Muslims attend Mass 2
Islam

Muslims flock to Mass to show solidarity and compassion

 

Praying before a blasphemous icon of another Jesus, standing in the shadow of a sacrificial cross which they deny, beneath the dome of a cathedral church steeped in idolatry, myths and deception, Muslims throughout France and Italy attended Mass yesterday. From Rouen, Nice and Paris to Milan, Naples and Rome, hundreds flocked to express solidarity and compassion with Europe’s Roman Catholics, many still reeling, weeping and mourning the loss of a much-loved elderly priest, Abbé Jacques Hamel, whose throat was slit by Islamists as he celebrated Mass last week.

All Muslims are exhorted to the greater jihad, to strive against the flesh and persevere in the purposes of Allah, but not all jihad is holy war. All Muslims are not Islamists, but Muslims are becoming terrorists. It is futile, patronising and dangerous to deny it. Islamists are extremists who kill the innocent; Muslims who are moderate and enlightened seek to worship in peace. Islam is not all about oppressing, torturing, murdering and slaughtering. It just seems like it. And no wonder, when the news dishes up a daily diet of Islamic State videos exhorting the faithful to attack the enemies of Allah; Western Muslims who fight for their country are condemned as apostates; hotels are bombed; ancient shrines blown up; ‘spies’ are beheaded; oil fields blaze; and British imams preach to young boys that it’s okay to have sex slaves. That’s just today’s coverage of degradation and destruction.

Amidst all this global trauma, suffering and strife, it is a cause of great hope that so many Muslims can put aside their theological scruples and multifaith ecumenical aversion to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass. It is profoundly offensive to their beliefs, and utterly repugnant to their teachings: Jesus is not the Son of God; he is not divine; he did not die on a cross; he does not become a wafer; praying with wine is haram.

Behold! The disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a table from heaven? Jesus said: Fear Allah, if you are believers. They said: We only wish to eat of it and satisfy our hearts, and to know that you have indeed told us the truth and that we ourselves may be witnesses of it. Jesus, the son of Mary, said: O Allah our Lord! Send down to us a table from heaven, that there may be for us – the first and the last of us – a festival and a sign from you; and provide for our sustenance, for you are the best sustainer. Allah said: I will send it down to you; but if any of you after that resists faith I will punish him with a penalty such as I have not inflicted on anyone among all the peoples (Surah Al-Maida 5:112-115).

What is this table from heaven? What is this meal which satisfies hearts and witnesses to the truth? What is this festival and sign which provides spiritual sustenance? What peace and reconciliation does it bring to the hearts of those who share it? ‘This is my body...’

“I thank you in the name of all Christians,” Rouen’s Archbishop Dominique Lebrun told his Muslim visitors. “In this way you are affirming that you reject death and violence in the name of God.”

“Being united is a response to the act of horror and barbarism,” said Imam Otaman Aissaoui.

“It’s an occasion to show (Muslims) that we do not confuse Islam with Islamism, Muslim with jihadist,” said the Rev’d Jean Rouet.

“I’m a practising Muslim and I came to share my sorrow and tell you that we are brothers and sisters,” said a woman called Sadia. “What happened is beyond comprehension.”

“Today we wanted to show physically, by kissing the family of Jacques Hamel, by kissing His Grace Lebrun in front of everybody, so they know that the two communities are united,” said Mohammed Karabila, President of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray Mosque.

There were tears during the sign of the peace. ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself‘ (2Cor 5:19). In their shared humanity, Muslims and Christians bore witness to the humanity of Jesus, his sacrifice and death, his reconciling love, his resurrection and glorification. ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them‘ (Mt 18:20). The Living God is present in the world, if not in bread and wine. We can meet Him, pray to Him and listen to Him. That is our privilege through Christ. And in that communion we stand with all believers in the world and throughout all history. And we stand with all participant peace-loving Muslims, too. ‘This is my blood…

Wordless interfaith dialogue is the best remembrance.

UPDATE (2nd August):

Douglas Murray has suggested that the Muslims who attended Mass in France and Italy belonged overwhelmingly to the Ahmadiyya sect, who are themselves persecuted by mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims (they deny that Mohammed is the ‘seal’ of prophets, and so are considered non-Muslims). Murray writes:

Anyhow – stories of the Muslims of Europe attending church in their dozens as a gesture of solidarity was clearly an Ahmadiyya initiative. Accounts of the Muslims attending mass in Rouen show that they unfurled an Ahmadiyya banner (the banner had the group’s outreach motto, ‘Love for all. Hate for none’ on it). Some accounts of the several dozen Muslims who attended mass in Rouen recorded that ‘Many of the Muslims’ attending mass there were Ahmadiyya.

His first link does indeed lead to this picture:

Muslim men from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association hold a banner reading "Love for all, hatred for no one" during a Mass in tribute to priest Jacques Hamel in the Rouen Cathedral on July 31, 2016. Muslims across France were invited to participate in Catholic ceremonies today to mourn a priest whose murder by jihadist teenagers sparked fears of religious tension. Masses will be celebrated across the country in honour of octogenarian Father Jacques Hamel, whose throat was cut in his church on July 26, 2016 in the latest jihadist attack on France. / AFP / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU        (Photo credit should read CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

But his second link does not state anywhere that “‘Many of the Muslims’ attending mass there were Ahmadiyyas”. Indeed, that piece refers specifically to exhortations from the head of Italy’s Union of Islamic communities, Izzedin Elzir, and the Secretary General of Italy’s Islamic Confederation, Abdullah Cozzolino, neither of whom is Ahmadi.

  • The Explorer

    Suppose you sought God, encountered the liberal wing of the C of E, and became an atheist in consequence. Who would be to blame: you, or the liberal C of E?

    I believe that before the time of Christ there were pagans who for obvious reasons had never heard of Christ who responded as best they could. I believe that since the time of Christ there are those of other religions who have either never heard of Christ, or have only heard a distorted version, and who have responded without knowing it.

    My hope is that among the saved there will be pagans, heathens, unbelievers and some from other faiths. I believe there to be biblical warrant for this.

    And so I am quite willing to believe that among at least some of the Muslims mentioned above, there is sincerity and genuine grief.

    • IanCad

      An interesting post Explorer. We worship the just God and scripture makes clear that without knowledge their will be no condemnation.

      For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; Romans 2:12

      Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15

      For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Romans 5:13

  • bluedog

    Touching, Your Grace. But is it fear for the future that has driven some Muslims to seek a form of sanctuary within the mass? Will a few of the worshippers start to come back repeatedly to a Christian service, or will pressure from within Islam dissuade them after a single gesture? Interesting that one of the attendees was a woman, who of course is denied access to the mosque. Perhaps it will be Muslim women who become the agents for change.

    One wonders what effect the next outrage by Islamic killers will have. At some point the kuffar are going to respond in kind, any fool can drive a lorry into a crowd, and only the naive can assume that in some parts of Europe reprisals aren’t being already planned.

    • The Explorer

      If you are the sort of Muslim whose motive for being in France is to seek a better life in the West, then current events must be deeply unsettling.

      • bluedog

        When a politician like Hollande says ‘We are at war’ and then does nothing, he adds to the sense of frustration felt by non-Muslims. Western electorates will very shortly demand concrete proposals for ending the problem that multiculturalism has created.

  • IanCad

    Wasn’t Guy Fawkes shopped by one of his fellow religionists? Perhaps that pattern will be repeated by those who today also have within their ranks terrorists and murderers.
    Let’s hope so.

    • Albert

      The parallels aren’t particularly great. Catholics were persecuted by the Protestants in this country at the time of Guy Fawkes. As one Catholic of the era put it, Catholics are better treated in the Sultan’s Istanbul than in England. Muslims are not persecuted here and now.

      • Martin

        Albert

        No, they weren’t persecuted. They gave their support to the heretical bishop of Rome who sought power over nations and were therefore traitors. Somewhat different to the one they claim to follow.

        • Albert

          No you’re right. Torturing Catholics and killing them wasn’t persecution.

          • Martin

            Albert

            It was standard practice for traitors in those days.

          • Albert

            Being a Catholic did not make one a traitor.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Having allegiance to a foreign unfriendly power did.

          • Albert

            Have you ever felt you might be happier living in the People’s Republic of China?

          • Martin

            Albert

            China, like the church of Rome, has a hierarchy of man made appointees.

          • Albert

            And you don’t think the Elizabethan state did?

          • Martin

            Albert

            That is the nature of man-made organisations.

          • Albert

            In which case, how justified if your claim that it is okay to kill religious people whom you regard as traitors because of their religion, given that the Elizabethan state is man-made?

          • Martin

            Albert

            It isn’t because of their religion but that that they pledged allegiance to a foreign power.

          • Albert

            You’re now arguing rather problematically. The same can be said of Catholics in the People’s Republic of China, when I pointed this out to you said China has a hierarchy of man made appointees. I pointed out that this was true of Elizabethan England and you said That is the nature of man-made organisations.

            So you’re happy for a religion to be persecuted because of your allegiance to man-made organisations. It could be China, it could be Hitler’s Germany, it could be Pol Pot’s Cambodia. You don’t need to wait until there is evidence of wrong doing, the fact that someone is a Catholic, and Catholicism has headquarters in Rome, means it is entirely acceptable for the state to imprison and torture them and that isn’t persecution.

            On this thread. I’ve found a lot of hatred of Catholicism – it feels like living in the 16th Century TBH. But you are far and away the darkest hater I have come across.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You forget, the pope of the day declared England’s queen to be illegitimate and called on those loyal to him to depose her. He turned the followers of Rome into rebels who sought to overthrow the state. Any state has the right to defend itself against sedition. It wasn’t a matter of religion, since power, not religion, is the business of Rome.

          • Albert

            You forget, the pope of the day declared England’s queen to be illegitimate and called on those loyal to him to depose her.

            You forget that the CofE had declared her illegitimate and logically should have disbarred her. She certainly was illegitimate, for the “marriage” between Henry and Boleyn was undoubtedly merely adulterous. Thus Elizabeth and her cronies prevented the legitimate monarch (Mary Queen of Scots) from coming to the throne. Why? Because Elizabeth was Protestant and Mary was Catholic, had the religions been reversed, no one would have thought Elizabeth was the legitimate monarch.

            He turned the followers of Rome into rebels who sought to overthrow the state. Any state has the right to defend itself against sedition.

            This is why I said: You don’t need to wait until there is evidence of wrong doing, the fact that someone is a Catholic, and Catholicism has headquarters in Rome, means it is entirely acceptable for the state to imprison and torture them and that isn’t persecution.

            Bizarrely, but tellingly, you have not eschewed the suggestion that you support the torture and imprisonment of innocent Catholics – despite the fact that I have put you in the same company as China, Hitler and Pol Pot. So I ask: do you agree that Catholics should have been tortured and put to death simply for being Catholics, Catholic priests and those who housed them – i.e. regardless of whether any crime or evidence beyond that was found?

            Strange religion, yours.

          • Martin

            Albert

            When were any kings and queens legitimate? The Tudors didn’t gain the crown through being nice and I’ll bet the Spanish royalty were no different. The pope had no business criticising since he’d already illegitimately allowed Henry to marry his brothers wife.

            Of course the pope was really worried about a protestant nation, since it diminished his power. And the popes are in much the same league as Hitler & Pol Pot. It was the pope who made his people traitors by his actions.

          • Albert

            When were any kings and queens legitimate? The Tudors didn’t gain the crown through being nice and I’ll bet the Spanish royalty were no different.

            The issue is moral. If they weren’t legitimate, by what legitimate right could they complain of treason and use torture and death to deal with opponents. I dare say the Spanish were no better in general – but the case of Elizabeth I is particularly problematic, given that her legitimacy had been denied not only by the Catholic Church, but also by the CofE.

            The pope had no business criticising since he’d already illegitimately allowed Henry to marry his brothers wife.

            What is the illegitimacy there?

            I asked you a question last time:

            So I ask: do you agree that Catholics should have been tortured and put to death simply for being Catholics, Catholic priests and those who housed them – i.e. regardless of whether any crime or evidence beyond that was found?

            Your failure to address this question could be taken as suggesting you approve of the violence meted out to Catholics. Is that right?

          • Martin

            Albert

            Why would the church of Rome have any say? Certainly the popes have no moral standing. They cannot even trace their origin back to the Early Fathers. As I said, the legitimacy of any English, or any other nation, monarch is open to question.

            As for Henry marrying his brothers wife, it’s clearly forbidden in Leviticus:

            If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is impurity. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.
            (Leviticus 20:21 [ESV])

            yet the pope approved it.

            I’d answered that question, in that the pope had declared war on England and turned his followers into spies and rebels against the English crown. Their crime was clear, they were dealt with as was the custom of the day.

          • Albert

            Why would the church of Rome have any say?

            If that question is sincere, you know less about Catholicism than I thought.

            Certainly the popes have no moral standing.

            I’m always amazed at how quickly Protestants like you resort to a kind of ministerial pelagianism.

            They cannot even trace their origin back to the Early Fathers.

            That is just factually false.

            As I said, the legitimacy of any English, or any other nation, monarch is open to question.

            In your view – but why should a Catholic of 16th Century accept your view?

            As for Henry marrying his brothers wife, it’s clearly forbidden in Leviticus:
            If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is impurity. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.
            (Leviticus 20:21 [ESV])
            yet the pope approved it.

            Because it is clearly permitted in Deuteronomy 25.5 (cf.Mark 12.18-27). The passages cohere because the Leviticus passage is taken to refer to a brother who still lives, while the Deuteronomy passage refers to Henry’s actual situation: a dead brother. Moreover, there is every reason to believe the first marriage was not consummated. Therefore, the Pope could approve it.

            I’d answered that question, in that the pope had declared war on England and turned his followers into spies and rebels against the English crown. Their crime was clear, they were dealt with as was the custom of the day.

            But I asked about Catholics who had no evidence and had done no crime except to be Catholics. Your hate-filled response appears to be that you would support their torture and death. That actually is worse that what Bloody Bess did, since one only needs to look at Byrd and Tallis to see she was far more generous than you, and that your answer here does not cohere with the facts of the time. It stems, I think, from a deep-seated hatred of Catholics that you have. To make your position even more compromised, you doubt the legitimacy of the monarch anyway. What a moral mess you’re in.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Yes, I know the popes of Rome likes to push it’s weight around. However, having departed from the faith they really have no moral standing.

            You think they can trace their origin back to the early fathers through the jumble of power seeking and corruption? There were even multiple popes at one time so no one knows who the ‘true’ pope was. Even a pope deciding on who could marry who was more about power than the Bible.

            Deuteronomy 25:5 is not about taking a brothers wife as your wife, it is about raising children on your dead brother’s behalf, it was about inheritance. In any case, it is not part of the moral law but the civil law. Curiously, Leviticus says nothing about consummation. Let’s face it, what it was really about was politics and the Pope couldn’t allow Henry to divorce Catherine because that would upset those with power over him.

            The followers of Rome had a choice, they could either follow what their corrupt church told them to do or they could obey the established law of the land. The pope, by calling on his followers to depose the queen made them criminals, clearly he didn’t care much about them. These days they would be subject to internment, then the penalty was death. One cannot but pity them for their position. Unlike Mary, Elizabeth was forced into the position, while Mary just killed those who disagreed with her.

            I don’t hate the followers of Rome any more than I hate Mormons or Jehovah’s witnesses, rather I pity them for being led astray.

          • Albert

            You think they can trace their origin back to the early fathers

            The historical evidence is itself from the early fathers!

            There were even multiple popes at one time so no one knows who the ‘true’ pope was.

            At the time, possibly, but it is an error of logic to say that therefore the papacy cannot be traced to the early fathers.

            Even a pope deciding on who could marry who was more about power than the Bible.

            Someone has to apply the Bible with authority. Fortunately, it isn’t you.

            Deuteronomy 25:5 is not about taking a brothers wife as your wife

            As so often you expose yourself by fatly contradicting scripture. The New Living Translation is particularly graphic, but the point is universal:

            If two brothers are living together on the same property and one of them dies without a son, his widow may not be married to anyone from outside the family. Instead, her husband’s brother should marry her and have intercourse with her to fulfill the duties of a brother-in-law.

            You say: In any case, it is not part of the moral law but the civil law.

            You said it was unlawful. It’s clear that it is lawful – according to scripture.

            Curiously, Leviticus says nothing about consummation.

            I think the consummation point probably comes from Mark 10.8 and 1 Cor.6.16.

            Let’s face it, what it was really about was politics and the Pope couldn’t allow Henry to divorce Catherine because that would upset those with power over him.

            All that proves is that the pope had more than one reason to do the right thing – it tells us nothing at all about the legitimacy of Elizabeth. Henry’s marriage to Catherine was wrongly annulled – that is, it was annulled on grounds scripture denies. Therefore, Elizabeth was not legitimate, and therefore not the legitimate monarch. The fact that the CofE later denied the validity of the marriage of her parents only supports this fact.

            The followers of Rome had a choice, they could either follow what their corrupt church told them to do or they could obey the established law of the land.

            The question is, if they did nothing against Elizabeth, except be Catholic, was the violence inflicted on them legitimate? I think you think it was.

            Unlike Mary, Elizabeth was forced into the position, while Mary just killed those who disagreed with her.

            You’re kidding right? When Edward died, the Protestants were trying even to prevent Mary becoming Queen (even though her claim was much better than Elizabeth’s!) by plotting against her!

            I don’t hate the followers of Rome any more than I hate Mormons or Jehovah’s witnesses, rather I pity them for being led astray.

            But you’re not prepared to say that torturing and killing Catholics was wrong. If that’s your pity, what does your hatred look like?

          • Martin

            Albert

            The early fathers would be aghast at your beliefs. And which of those multiple popes passed on the apostolic tradition? The Bible is the authority, not the Church. The Church is subject to the Bible, and the Church is every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, not a power hungry organisation.

            I suggest you read Deuteronomy 25:5 for yourself:

            If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
            (Deuteronomy 25:5-6 [ESV])

            It is quite clearly about raising a son to inherit the dead brother’s name and property. It is clearly not part of the moral law, it is you who is misusing the Bible.

            Elizabeth was as legitimate as any of the Tudor’s and came after the bloody reign of Mary, who killed people, as the church of Rome has down the ages, for being Christians. She proved that there was good reason to prevent her becoming queen. Roman is a good name for your church, it has inherited the persecution of God’s people from the Roman state, from the likes of Nero, and followed it with a zeal that would make ISIS proud.

            Where have I said that torturing and killing anyone for their faith is right? Remember, I’m a Baptist, one of the most persecuted of God’s people down the ages. I’ve pointed you to where the blame lies, Rome, and its religion of spilling the blood of the martyrs.

          • Albert

            The early fathers would be aghast at your beliefs. And which of those multiple popes passed on the apostolic tradition?

            As usual, you just change the subject. You said: You think they can trace their origin back to the early fathers and when I pointed out that it is the early fathers who provide the evidence, you just change the subject. If you can’t defend a point, I would suggest you don’t make it.

            The Bible is the authority, not the Church. The Church is subject to the Bible, and the Church is every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, not a power hungry organisation.

            The Church is subject to the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. A Christian’s interpretation of the Bible is subject to the Church. The Church is an organisation, and not just every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. The human ministers of the Church can of course sometimes be power hungry, but only a man of no faith would imply that meant the Church ceased to be the Church.

            It is quite clearly about raising a son to inherit the dead brother’s name and property.

            The issue is whether the passage permits or requires a man to marry his dead brother’s wife. You say it doesn’t. It obviously does. The fact that this may be in the context of inheritance, does not alter the fact that the passage of scripture you gave from Lev prohibiting a man to marry his brother’s wife, is plainly contradicted by this one – therefore, your interpretation of Lev is wrong, as I have explained already.

            Elizabeth was as legitimate as any of the Tudor’s

            That’s plainly not true. There is no doubt about Henry VIII’s legitimacy, neither is there any reasonable doubt about Mary’s legitimacy, since your argument from Leviticus makes scripture contradict itself (and you resolve the contradiction, bizarrely, by saying Deut. is not about marriage (even though it says it is)). Similarly, Edward VI was legitimate, since Catherine of Aragon was dead by the time Henry married Jane Seymour.

            and came after the bloody reign of Mary, who killed people, .

            She certainly did, and there is no excusing it. But given that Protestants were a threat to her life, it is hard to condemn Mary while exonerating Elizabeth.

            Where have I said that torturing and killing anyone for their faith is right?

            I’ve asked you repeatedly to renounce it, and I have pointed out that support for it, seems entailed from your arguments and unwillingness to oppose it. If you will say you condemn it, then obviously I will withdraw the complaint – but if you do do that, it will have been like getting blood out of stone, which I find bizarre.

            Remember, I’m a Baptist, one of the most persecuted of God’s people down the ages.

            I didn’t know you were a Baptist, though I guessed from the extreme hatred you manifest, coupled with your ignorance of both scripture and the Catholicism you hate.

            I’ve pointed you to where the blame lies, Rome, and its religion of spilling the blood of the martyrs.

            Well, of course, Baptists have not typically had any power, so obviously they haven’t persecuted people. But the Anabaptists of Munster did have power, and that was not exactly a peaceful period.

            It’s not Catholicism that leads to violence, it is sin and we have all sinned. Remember what scripture says: Any one who hates his brother is a murderer.

          • Martin

            Albert

            No, the early fathers do not provide the evidence, they’d accuse you of heresy. Even with their errors they would reject your doctrines. No change of subject there.

            No, a Christian is part of the Church, the Holy Spirit is the one whose interpretation a Christian is subject to. The Church is not an organisation, it is the assembly or congregation of all believers, of whom the Vatican has very few if any. The church of Rome ceased to be anything to do with God’s Church a long time ago and like Saul it persecuted Christ’s Church.

            You’re still trying to work around the meaning of Deuteronomy 25? It is very clear that it is not part of the moral law, but part of the civil law of Israel, and Christ gives an insight on that civil law when He says “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so”. The same point applies to slavery, it was allowed because of the hardness of men’s heart.

            Henry VII was certainly not the legitimate heir of anyone, but that’s how kingdoms were ruled.

            I doubt that the Protestants were a threat to Mary’s life, she just thought she could kill God’s people. Now she knows better. The following of Rome’s teaching is sin, it is the rejection of God’s mercy and it leads to the violent oppression of God’s people.

          • Albert

            No, the early fathers do not provide the evidence, they’d accuse you of heresy. Even with their errors they would reject your doctrines.

            Your point was about being able to trace the popes back to the early fathers. Now as for heresy, what heresy do you think they would accuse us of? And on what evidence? There is no doubt they would accuse you of heresy on a whole range of levels: ecclesiological, ministerial, sacramental, salvific, scripture and tradition – you show you have never studied the fathers of the Church.

            No, a Christian is part of the Church, the Holy Spirit is the one whose interpretation a Christian is subject to.

            And how is the Holy Spirit’s interpretation known to you? Through your subjective experience. Thus the objectivity of the Gospel and the apostolic proclamation become in the end a kind of subjective thing. That’s not the Gospel of the scriptures, that’s a modern re-run of montanism – a heresy to the early fathers.

            The Church is not an organisation, it is the assembly or congregation

            It is a body and therefore an organisation.

            believers, of whom the Vatican has very few if any.

            Who are you to judge this, and on what basis? Your subjective experience again, presumably.

            You’re still trying to work around the meaning of Deuteronomy 25? It is very clear that it is not part of the moral law

            Whatever category you want to call it, it is divine law and it permits a man to marry his dead brother’s wife. That is explicit. Also consider how it appears in the NT. Jesus does not refute his opponents the way he would if your interpretation was correct (“it’s only civil law”), he points out that it does not apply to the dead because they are not given in marriage.

            Henry VII was certainly not the legitimate heir of anyone

            What do you even mean by saying this?

            I doubt that the Protestants were a threat to Mary’s life

            This is your problem: you hate Catholics so you assume the worst of them, and you have a rose-tinted view of Protestants so you won’t even engage your brain in thinking about them. They tried to pretend Mary was not Queen in favour of Lady Jane Grey. Now what would that make Mary, but a traitor? And your whole case here is that traitors, especially Catholic ones, deserve death. So your own argument condemns your optimistic hypothesis.

            The following of Rome’s teaching is sin,

            How can rejecting God’s truth be sin?

            it is the rejection of God’s mercy

            It is you who reject God’s mercy, since you don’t even have an adequate doctrine of justification.

            and it leads to the violent oppression of God’s people.

            The Protestant reformation led to violence on a scale never before seen, long before the Catholics got involved. As early as 1525 Luther was saying:

            Therefore let everyone who can, smite, slay, and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel…anyone who is killed fighting on the side of the rulers may be a true martyr in the eyes of God

            You don’t even know your own history.

          • Martin

            Albert

            My point was both that you are unable to trace the popes back to the early fathers and the early fathers did not hod to the doctrines you hold to. They didn’t have your hierarchy of priests bishops and cardinals. The elder/overseer was over one congregation and usually there were two or more. The Lords Supper was a memorial, not a idolatrous sacrifice and salvation was by grace alone through faith alone, requiring no act on the part of the sinner. You clearly are ignorant of what they believed.

            As a Christian studies the Bible they understand it, its meaning becomes plain and as they meet with other Christians they find a concord in understanding. They require no cleric to dispense the meaning. Let’s face it, you are nearer to montanism, with your visions and signs. The Church is the assembly of all believers, it is not an organisation although it is a body.

            I judge the Vatican on its failure to preach the gospel, its power grabbing, its dishonesty, its oppression. There is nothing of Christ in it.

            Tell me, do you take a mill in pledge, do you beat with forty stripes, do you cut of the hand of a woman, Do you remember you were a slave in Egypt?

            Rome does not teach God’s truth it leads men astray and prevents them hearing the gospel. You reject God’s way of justification, whereby the sinner is justified by the blood of Christ, takes upon himself Christ’s righteousness.

            The violence was already there, Rome killed God’s people, men such as Tyndale and Whitcliffe and many others whose names are not remembered.

          • Albert

            My point was both that you are unable to trace the popes back to the early fathers and the early fathers did not hod to the doctrines you hold to.

            This is just untrue on both counts. The early fathers actually tell us the succession of bishops of Rome back to Peter, and then the later fathers tell us the succession from the early fathers, and then on from there. So what is your evidence for this claim of yours? How much of the early fathers have you actually read? I don’t mean, how many secondary sources have you read by dodgy evangelical sources, I mean what have you read of the primary material. By the same token, when you claim they do not hold the doctrines we hold what do you mean by that? I say plainly that they would anathematised you as a heretic: Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be, even as wheresoever Christ Jesus is, there is the catholic church.

            See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

            Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God… They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes.

            Make certain, therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist; for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with his Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice—even as there is also but one bishop, with his clergy and my own fellow servitors, the deacons. This will ensure that all your doings are in full accord with the will of God


            (Ignatius of Antioch at the turn of the first/second Century).

            God speaks by the mouth of Malachi, one of the twelve [minor prophets], as I said before, about the sacrifices at that time presented by you: ‘I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord, and I will not accept your sacrifices at your hands; for from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles . . . [Mal. 1:10–11]. He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us [Christians] who in every place offer sacrifices to him, that is, the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist

            Justin Martyr, mid second century.

            There’s plenty more where that came from if you want to talk about evidence.

            So what your first paragraph shows is that you’ve been indoctrinated. You’ve been told by your pastors that the early church was one particular way, and you’ve assumed that that was true in the ancient Church.

            As a Christian studies the Bible they understand it, its meaning becomes plain and as they meet with other Christians they find a concord in understanding.

            No. You are ignorant and unstable, and you twist the scripture – as scripture warns. What happens is that you have been given a human tradition by your baptist preachers, and you read into the scripture that human tradition. You then mistake your subjective state when reading the scripture for the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

            Let’s face it, you are nearer to montanism, with your visions and signs.

            What’s wrong with visions and signs?

            it is not an organisation although it is a body

            That is as meaningful as saying X is a triangle even though it does not have three sides. It’s flatly contradictory. The reason scripture speaks in images and symbols of human things is to help us to understand divine things by them. But as you do not even understand human things, how can you understand divine things? This is what the Bible says: 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. Now as you don’t understand the metaphor, what is an arrangement, but an organization? That’s what words mean. If you don’t believe me, look it up. So again, to defend your Baptist human tradition, you nullify the word of God.

            Tell me, do you take a mill in pledge, do you beat with forty stripes, do you cut of the hand of a woman, Do you remember you were a slave in Egypt?

            So suppose the argument here is “You don’t hold the whole OT law, therefore, you can’t apply Deut. to defend Henry’s marriage.” Well, if I admit that argument, you cannot use Leviticus against it either.

            You reject God’s way of justification, whereby the sinner is justified by the blood of Christ, takes upon himself Christ’s righteousness.

            But that’s the Catholic doctrine, and you don’t believe it. You believe, that someone remains a sinner, when they are justified. But a sinner is not righteous and a righteous person is not a sinner, for God is righteous. Therefore, you do not believe Christ justifies people (or, perhaps to be really accurate, you do not believe them to be righteous when you say are justified – but that’s just absurd, and it’s only the the fact that English has two words for the same thing (justify/righteous) that shields the flat contradiction).

          • Martin

            Albert

            Isn’t it strange how Ignatius, in writing to the Roman church, does not mention the ‘bishop’ yet when writing to Philadelphia he does. And is it not strange how he speaks of bishops and presbyters as if they are different roles, yet the Bible teaches they are one and the same. It seems to me that Ignatius stood on his own in his time as favouring a monarchical bishop and hence is not an argument for such. Thus Peter would not have been the sole elder but, as I’ve already said, one amongst equals, if he ever was an elder at Rome. But further, Ignatius believed each church should have a bishop, not an area, so he doesn’t support your model there either. Indeed, Ignatius would be horrified by you idolatrous belief in transubstantiation. Your last paragraph seems to me to carry spurious thoughts so perhaps you’re adding a bit there to what Ignatius actually wrote:

            “Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth ] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever you do, you may do it according to [the will of] God.”

            You should remember that I have also said that since the Bible reveals that even in the time of the apostles churches fell into error it is even more likely that following the apostles they would be in error. The authority is Scripture, not the Fathers nor the Church. Since you accept the opinion of your church on the meaning of the Bible it is clear that your authority is not Scripture but your schismatic church.

            I’d say that visions seen by silly little girls should best be ignored as should those produced by those with something to gain. That is of course quite different from the Bible explaining spiritual matters by using a likeness to the physical. Were you determined to misunderstand me there?

            The reason I can use Leviticus but you cannot use Deuteronomy in this case is the clear difference between them, one being a moral law and the other civil law.

            The Bible teaches that a sinner can be righteous because they take on the righteousness of Christ which covers their sin.

            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—
            (Philippians 3:8-9 [ESV])

          • Albert

            This post is long, you may need to “view in discussion” to see it all.

            Isn’t it strange how Ignatius, in writing to the Roman church, does not mention the ‘bishop’ yet when writing to Philadelphia he does.

            No. What I think is odd, is that you appealed to the fathers, but now seek to impugn Ignatius and the fathers in several ways. For example, here you criticised him for distinguishing between bishop and presbyter. Later you say The authority is Scripture, not the Fathers nor the Church. You seem not to remember your own arguments.

            I see no reason to think it is strange that, in writing to the Roman church he does not mention the bishop, and I fail to see any significance in it.

            And is it not strange how he speaks of bishops and presbyters as if they are different roles, yet the Bible teaches they are one and the same.

            The Bible doesn’t teach, it simply speaks in such a way as to indicate that they were the same – or overlapped (in the same way as the title “clergy” is a general term for those broken down into bishops, priests and deacons, in the Catholic Church). Moreover, what the NT says about the Church in the time of the apostles cannot be prescriptive for when the apostles die.

            Thus Peter would not have been the sole elder but, as I’ve already said, one amongst equals, if he ever was an elder at Rome.

            This really is an amazing argument. Because Peter calls himself an elder and there were several elders, they are all equals. Is that it? I ask because it is such a bad argument that I really wonder if that’s what you mean. If you use such a silly argument of an apostle (i.e. you deny that his being an apostle adds anything to his being an elder) then you must deny that Jesus is God and is instead a sinner. For in Hebrews, Jesus is described as the apostle and high priest of our confession. So on your twisting of scripture, Jesus is equal to the apostles, but the apostles were mere men and sinners at that. Therefore, Jesus was a sinful man and nothing more. Do you really expect me to believe your interpretation comes from the Holy Spirit?

            But further, Ignatius believed each church should have a bishop, not an area, so he doesn’t support your model there either.

            What? What is your evidence for this?

            Indeed, Ignatius would be horrified by you idolatrous belief in transubstantiation. Your last paragraph seems to me to carry spurious thoughts so perhaps you’re adding a bit there to what Ignatius actually wrote:

            Who’s to say what he actually wrote? Neither of us has the Greek in front of us (I assume). I don’t see how your translation gets you off the hook to be honest. But, bizarrely, or perhaps tellingly, you simply ignore the more powerful text I offered (from the same translator as you cited, I think):

            But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes.

            You say:

            The authority is Scripture, not the Fathers nor the Church.

            If only that were the case with you! Your authority is yourself and your human tradition. This is why you twist the scriptures – your reasoning from it denies fundamental truths when applied to other passages.

            I’d say that visions seen by silly little girls should best be ignored

            Does it not say in your Bible:

            I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.

            and

            Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

            St Bernadette was about 14 when she had her visions – a similar age to the Blessed Virgin Mary when she saw the angel. Do you still wish to hold to your major premise here?

            Were you determined to misunderstand me there?

            I don’t know what this refers to here. What I pointed out before is that you don’t understand how the human part of symbolism works, so how can you understand the divine part? As Jesus says: If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? And this is your problem. Scripture cannot correct you, because if you deem an interpretation of scripture to be false, you deny it. But what if it is your interpretation that is false? As you don’t understand the human elements of scripture, how can you understand the divine things?

            The reason I can use Leviticus but you cannot use Deuteronomy in this case is the clear difference between them, one being a moral law and the other civil law.

            Where is that distinction to be found in scripture? I can see a difference between ethnic, ritual and moral law, but this civil distinction seems to me to be part of your human tradition again.

            The Bible teaches that a sinner can be righteous because they take on the righteousness of Christ which covers their sin.

            This is the nature of heresy, that you take something that is true and use it to blot out something else that is also true. You seem to think that in justification God saves us from punishment. This is true, but he also saves us from our sins:

            Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 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.

            So you see, there is no sense in proclaiming one part of scripture to the degree that you deny other parts of it.

            The Bible teaches that a sinner can be righteous because they take on the righteousness of Christ which covers their sin.

            No, a sinner can be righteous because, by faith Christ gives his righteousness to them so that they no longer sin:

            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.

            Hence as scripture 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.

            But there is nothing that the Bible can say that would cure you of your human tradition. Even if the Bible expressed Catholic teaching so clearly as to say a man is justified by works and not by faith alone you would still cling to your view that a man is justified by faith alone and not but works and faith. Even should scripture say salvation is faith working through love you would still cling to faith alone. Even if scripture should say that 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. Even if scripture should define justification as what happens when he have been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness you would still cling to your justus et peccator doctrine. Even if scripture should teach when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you or `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” you would still deny the doctrine of merit.

            Don’t talk to me about scripture being your authority. You eschew all this.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I don’t appeal to the fathers, I use them as examples. As I’ve said again and again, errors creep in among the best men, the best churches as the Bible shows us. What you claim you can trace back to them is not what they started with, the errors developed over time. There is nothing contradictory about pointing out Ignatius’ error in separating the elder from the overseer and pointing out that Scripture is the authority.

            Of course you fail to see any significance in Ignatius’ failure to mention the bishop when writing to one church when he does to another. To do so would destroy your argument.

            The Bible does teach that bishops and presbyters are the same. You just use equivocation to pretend it doesn’t, as you use equivocation to deny that you worship Mary and the Saints. Actually, the structure of the local church created by the Bible is quite straightforward, elders/overseers as those with spiritual responsibility, deacons responsible for material matters. You just pretend it’s otherwise because it ruins your argument.

            Peter’s role as apostle is separate from his role as elder if, again, he was ever an elder in Rome. Your argument is based on the failure to translate the words, not reality.

            My evidence is that he is writing to a church, not an area, what is your evidence otherwise?

            The main heresy that Ignatius would have been dealing with in his time would have been Gnosticism, hence he was not claiming that the bread of wine became real flesh and blood but that Jesus had real flesh and blood.

            No, I am not the authority, nor is my tradition, for both what I say and my tradition need to be tested against what Scripture says.

            And you will note that the Bible says nothing of silly little girls having visions of Mary. And you call them Saints, ROFL. Curiously you seem to forget that the Bible tells us that all Christians are saints, it’s not a special rank.

            Actually Scripture cannot correct you because it isn’t the authority, your church is, much like the Mormons & JWs. I’m quite capable of understanding biblical symbolism, the Bible gives you that ability. Indeed it also enables you to understand the laws given to Israel. And no, I don’t proclaim one part of Scripture to deny another. I’m afraid the wretched man proves your wrong:

            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

            I don’t appeal to the fathers

            You did appeal to the fathers. You said that the popes cannot be traced back to the fathers. When I showed that to be obviously false, and pointed out other doctrines you seemed not to know are in the fathers, you then dismissed the fathers.

            As I’ve said again and again, errors creep in among the best men

            But not with you, apparently.

            Of course you fail to see any significance in Ignatius’ failure to mention the bishop when writing to one church when he does to another. To do so would destroy your argument.

            No. You haven’t shown any significance to it, that’s why I fail to see it. If it’s there, show how.

            The Bible does teach that bishops and presbyters are the same.

            Teaching and showing are different. The Bible shows the apostles went to the temple. It does not teach that we must go to the temple.

            as you use equivocation to deny that you worship Mary and the Saints.

            Of course, silly me. Of course you know better than I do what I do.

            Actually, the structure of the local church created by the Bible is quite straightforward, elders/overseers as those with spiritual responsibility, deacons responsible for material matters. You just pretend it’s otherwise because it ruins your argument.

            I don’t pretend it’s otherwise. It was otherwise, and obviously so. Any reader can see that, in addition to your model, there was the apostle on top. You deny that because it destroys your whole ecclesiology.

            Peter’s role as apostle is separate from his role as elder if, again, he was ever an elder in Rome.

            I do not understand this sentence. Is there a word missing here?

            My evidence is that he is writing to a church, not an area, what is your evidence otherwise?

            If you understood what you critique, you would see those things amount to the same thing. As Paul says: To the church of God which is at Corinth and Ignatius: Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which is at Ephesus. But as usual, you don’t bother to inform yourself before you condemn.

            The main heresy that Ignatius would have been dealing with in his time would have been Gnosticism, hence he was not claiming that the bread of wine became real flesh and blood but that Jesus had real flesh and blood.

            Ah! The same procedure you use when dealing with the Bible. You being with an assumption of what the author must be saying and then proceed to the conclusion that therefore he was saying what you think he must be saying. To the contrary: Ignatius, explicitly says the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ. As I have already quoted: They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins. If you ever had a passage of scripture which was as clear as this in teaching your sola fide tradition, you wouldn’t then say that it isn’t really saying what it is clearly saying.

            No, I am not the authority, nor is my tradition, for both what I say and my tradition need to be tested against what Scripture says.

            Tested by whom? You? When are you going to start? There seems to be nothing scripture can say that will correct any opinion you hold once you hold it.

            And you will note that the Bible says nothing of silly little girls having visions of Mary. And you call them Saints, ROFL. Curiously you seem to forget that the Bible tells us that all Christians are saints, it’s not a special rank.

            So as usual, you just change the subject…

            I’m quite capable of understanding biblical symbolism

            No you’re not. Symbolism requires some grasp of two things: the symbol and the thing symbolised. Now since you don’t understand the symbol (which is this worldly) how can you expect to understand the thing symbolised (which is beyond this world).

            And no, I don’t proclaim one part of Scripture to deny another.

            I showed how you did, and you haven’t answered, just as you haven’t your claim about civil laws in the Torah, and how that distinction means the Torah isn’t contradicting itself, even though it is, on your interpretation (but not on mine).

            I’m afraid the wretched man proves your wrong:

            How? It seems to me he proves you wrong.

          • Martin

            Albert

            That the popes cannot be traced back to the fathers is because there is no one line of popes and there is no evidence they existed in the time of the early fathers.

            The reason Ignatius doesn’t write to the bishop of Rome is, as you know, because there was no one bishop of Rome, like other churches they followed the model of a plurality of elders/overseers. Ignatius model was a rarity.

            No, when the Bible shows it also teaches. Equivocation is not a good argument. The Apostles are not part of the model of church government. And a church and an area do not amount to the same thing. A church is a congregation of God’s people who meet together, who appoint their elders/overseer and deacons from among themselves. An area can contain a number of churches, each independent of the other and self governing while having the same beliefs.

            So when I Ignatius was addressing the heresy of his time I’m reading into what he is saying, yet when you claim he is speaking of your idolatrous concept of the priest calling down Christ to be present on your altar, your not. Seems to me you have double standards.

            I always test what I say and what I believe against the Scripture, you should try it, it’s a revealing exercise. And yes, I do understand the symbol. You apparently cannot understand a simple sentence that points out that an office of apostle is different from that of elder/overseer. Nor apparently can you understand the difference between the civil law of the nation of Israel and the moral law. Simply rejecting my explanation does not prove I am wrong.

            So tell me, who is the wretched man.

          • Albert

            That the popes cannot be traced back to the fathers is because there is no one line of popes and there is no evidence they existed in the time of the early fathers.

            But I’ve already given evidence to the contrary!

            The reason Ignatius doesn’t write to the bishop of Rome is, as you know, because there was no one bishop of Rome, like other churches they followed the model of a plurality of elders/overseers. Ignatius model was a rarity.

            That does not follow. If the Pope wishes to write to the English Church he can write either to the Archbishop of Westminster or the English Church in general. You say Ignatius’ model was a rarity, but in his letters it is only the Church in Rome which he does not address to the Bishop. Therefore, the evidence we have is the opposite. Moreover, the episcopal structure is entirely consistent with a bishop being part of a body of presbyters, because that is what he is. He may simply, at this time, have been the senior presbyter amongst others. There are whole range of explanations which do not result in your view.

            No, when the Bible shows it also teaches.

            So, you’ll be heading off to the temple round about 3 p.m. then? (Acts 3.1)

            The Apostles are not part of the model of church government.

            What do you mean by that, and how do you know?

            And a church and an area do not amount to the same thing.

            A local church, such as Paul and Ignatius wrote to, is manifestly the church in a particular locality. It’s what words mean.

            A church is a congregation of God’s people who meet together, who appoint their elders/overseer and deacons from among themselves.

            But scripture shows Paul and others appointing these people. A minute ago you said that when the Bible shows, it also teaches…

            An area can contain a number of churches, each independent of the other and self governing while having the same beliefs.

            All the congregations are shown to be subject to the apostle. If that doesn’t fit your ecclesiology, it’s because you ecclesiology is contrary to scripture.

            So when I Ignatius was addressing the heresy of his time I’m reading into what he is saying, yet when you claim he is speaking of your idolatrous concept of the priest calling down Christ to be present on your altar, your not. Seems to me you have double standards.

            I didn’t say that, as any honest person can see. What I said was that he clearly believed the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. This is what he says:

            They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins.

            The Eucharist to be “the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ.” That’s all we mean. But you can’t accept it meaning that, you interpret it to mean the opposite of what it says. It’s not me that’s guilty of double standards. Your unbelief was clearly contrary to the teaching of Ignatius right back at the turn of the first Century.

            I always test what I say and what I believe against the Scripture, you should try it, it’s a revealing exercise.

            No. I always test what you say and what you say you believe against the Scripture, and it is a revealing exercise. Your knowledge of scripture is good, but more limited than many posters here. You seem incapable of seeing that a passage of scripture may mean something different from what you need it to mean. This means that when I cite a passage to defend Catholicism, you typically fail to answer that passage but bring up another one, effectively with the argument, that therefore my passage cannot mean what I say it means. But you fail to see that your passage can also be understood in a Catholic sense, and so, since our position makes sense of both passages, and yours only of one, it seems clear where the scriptural test leads.

            You apparently cannot understand a simple sentence that points out that an office of apostle is different from that of elder/overseer.

            I can understand that, and that was why I was querying it, for that is my whole argument, and your position was to reduce the apostle to the overseer.

            Nor apparently can you understand the difference between the civil law of the nation of Israel and the moral law.

            I can understand the difference, but you have not shown the difference exists in the Torah.

            Simply rejecting my explanation does not prove I am wrong.

            I haven’t rejected your explanation – you haven’t given an explanation.

          • Martin

            Albert

            No, you made claims to the contrary, but history teaches that the line of popes was interrupted over at least two periods, the pornocracy and the time when there were multiple popes, all excommunication each other. That’s, of course, if it could be traced back to the apostles in the first place.

            Your problem is, you’ve only got Ignatius and he only wrote to one other bishop by name. When he wrote to Rome, which had a plurality of elders/overseers, he wrote to the church. You’ve got no evidence for your claim.

            You go from the silly to the sillier.The laying down of rules for Elder/Overseer is a bit different from going to the Temple. But then, of course, your arguments are so weak you have to try anything.

            And why, if the Apostles were included in the model of church government was no mention made of the qualification for them or their successors?

            The local church is a church, not a group of churches. And guess what, Paul isn’t present to appoint elders/overseers and deacons. The apostles died, their authority passed to the Bible, they being dead still speak.

            What your church believes is that the priest calls Christ down to be in the bread and wine. But perhaps that’s too much honesty.

            You have to remember of whom Ignatius is speaking, the Gnostics, who held the body unclean and claimed that there was no bodily Christ. It has nothing to do with your silly little superstition.

            Your problem with the Bible is that you have to cite a passage you interpret to support, the whole doesn’t support you.

            The office of apostle has ceased the only offices now are elder/overseer and deacon.

          • Albert

            No, you made claims to the contrary

            No. I cited Irenaeus, I think.

            but history teaches that the line of popes was interrupted over at least two periods, the pornocracy and the time when there were multiple popes, all excommunication each other.

            These are not interruptions in the papacy, as I have explained already.

            That’s, of course, if it could be traced back to the apostles in the first place.

            Which it can be, therefore your argument is unevidential.

            Your problem is, you’ve only got Ignatius

            No, there are others, but if even if there weren’t, Ignatius is still evidence.

            and he only wrote to one other bishop by name.

            So what? All his letters, except the one to Rome speak of the bishop.

            When he wrote to Rome, which had a plurality of elders/overseers, he wrote to the church.

            A point I have already addressed without answer.

            You’ve got no evidence for your claim.

            No. There is plenty of evidence, it’s you position that flies in the face of the evidence, that’s why you keep needing to impugn Ignatius.

            The laying down of rules for Elder/Overseer is a bit different from going to the Temple.

            Really, how? It seems to me that the principle you created applies equally to both, and you don’t explain here why not. Moreover, there is a logical leap here from instructions about how to lay hands on for elder-overseer, to therefore, there are rules that the Church can only be run by a plurality of elder/overseers.

            And why, if the Apostles were included in the model of church government was no mention made of the qualification for them or their successors?

            The qualification for the Apostles is clear from Acts 1. Qualification for their successors is given in the Pastorals, since it is the same as for all ministry.

            The local church is a church, not a group of churches.

            This is questionable. It is highly unlikely, given the lack of space, that all the Christians of one place were meeting in a single building, indeed Romans 16 gives the impression of several places of worship. Nevertheless, they are still considered to be one Church.

            And guess what, Paul isn’t present to appoint elders/overseers and deacons.

            Why do you think my position entails he needs to be? As usual, you are arguing against a position you have not bothered to try to understand.

            The apostles died, their authority passed to the Bible, they being dead still speak.

            This is just a claim and there is no evidence for it. What the scripture shows is the apostles handing on authority. It shows nothing at all about the Bible (and again, we are back to problems of canonicity) taking their authority. Nor can it. For the apostle is clearly able to rule and make judgements, but scripture cannot do this – as the chaos of Protestantism proves.

            What your church believes is that the priest calls Christ down to be in the bread and wine. But perhaps that’s too much honesty.

            Do you seriously think that as a Catholic, I deny that core doctrine of our faith? You are either wicked or stupid for thinking that I did that. This is what I said:

            I didn’t say that [So when I Ignatius was addressing the heresy of his time I’m reading into what he is saying, yet when you claim he is speaking of your idolatrous concept of the priest calling down Christ to be present on your altar, your not], as any honest person can see. I was talking about the precise doctrine that Ignatius was stating, so as not to claim more from the text that he actually says. My point was expressed clearly: What I said was that he clearly believed the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. I made no claims for what Ignatius says about priests, because he doesn’t say anything about priests.

            You have to remember of whom Ignatius is speaking, the Gnostics, who held the body unclean and claimed that there was no bodily Christ. It has nothing to do with your silly little superstition.

            The Gnostics stayed away from the Eucharist, because they did not believe Christ had a body, and therefore could not believe that in the Eucharist the bread becomes the body of Christ. However, like it or not, that is the doctrine taught by Ignatius, and I repeat again, the words of Ignatius:

            They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins.

            You say:

            Your problem with the Bible is that you have to cite a passage you interpret to support, the whole doesn’t support you.

            On the contrary, the point I made remains unanswered:

            This means that when I cite a passage to defend Catholicism, you typically fail to answer that passage but bring up another one, effectively with the argument, that therefore my passage cannot mean what I say it means. But you fail to see that your passage can also be understood in a Catholic sense, and so, since our position makes sense of both passages, and yours only of one, it seems clear where the scriptural test leads.

            You say

            The office of apostle has ceased the only offices now are elder/overseer and deacon.

            The former is true, but the latter is just a claim, and it is a claim that cannot proved from scripture. It certainly does not fit with the evidence of the early Church.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You may have cited Irenaeus but they were but claims.

            Of course they are interruptions in the papacy. in one case the pope was someone who was corrupt and elected by corrupt means and in the other there were multiple persons who claimed to be pope. The papacy was interrupted. And no, it cannot be traced back to the apostles with any sort of certainty.

            Ignatius is your only one and he is not evidence. He also has unscriptural ideas about the elder/overseer. The development of the monarchical bishop was a departure from Scripture. Rome had a plurality of elders until 170AD I believe, hence Ignatius wrote to the church, not the bishop.

            It seems to you? The problem is that you don’t think in terms of what the Bible teaches but in terms of what your church teaches. Since the texts speak of appointing elders, in the plural, there is no jump I can see.

            There is no mention of successors of the Apostles.

            I’ve no doubt that the Christians in one town all sought to meet together, however questionable it may seem to you, and perhaps, in Rome and it’s environs there were actually a few churches, each with elders, but part of the Church. No less far fetched than your position.

            You seem to think that the Apostle’s successors had to appoint elders/overseers yet you can produce no evidence of these successors, it must be that you think the Apostles, being dead, still appointed. Fact is, there is no evidence of the Apostles handing on their authority. And no, there is no problem of canonicity.

            On the contrary, Ignatius was opposing the Gnostics, who, as you say, had a problem with the bread and wine representing the body and blood of Christ. Nowhere does he suggest that Christ’s body is called down from Heaven to again be sacrificed on the altar. Indeed, his words do not differ that much from the words of Scripture.

            Can you show me where in the New Testament an office other than Elder/Overseer or Deacon is instituted?

          • Albert

            You may have cited Irenaeus but they were but claims.

            You said, the papacy could not be traced back to the early fathers. So I gave you Irenaeus, who is an early father, to show your claim is false. Now Irenaeus is not a claim on my part – it’s the evidence you said wasn’t there.

            Of course they are interruptions in the papacy. in one case the pope was someone who was corrupt and elected by corrupt means and in the other there were multiple persons who claimed to be pope. The papacy was interrupted.

            If the pope is elected according to the rules of the time, then, even if those rules are found to be inadequate, because they were open to abuse, then the election remains valid, so there is no break there. When there are multiple persons who claim to be pope, that does not mean that none of them is – what extraordinary logic to think so. If multiple people claim to be you that is not evidence that you do not exist.

            And no, it cannot be traced back to the apostles with any sort of certainty.

            So finding that your previous claim has been falsified, you change your claim. Of course, if you want to be sceptical about it, you can deny anything from history. We know Peter was in Rome, we know from ancient sources the successors (even if they were the senior of a group of overseers – it makes not difference to the theology). Of course you can deny the evidence of Ignatius and Irenaeus, but that becomes special pleading.

            Ignatius is your only one and he is not evidence. He also has unscriptural ideas about the elder/overseer.

            You claim he is unscriptural, but you are inconsistent in the application of your principle by which you judge that. But even if he were unscriptural, that would not mean he is not evidence. What kind of logic would say he was? We also know from the epistle of Clement that Rome had a special authority – and that agrees with Ignatius and Irenaeus and with 1 Pet. 5:13. Move on beyond them, and you find similar references in Teretullian and Clement of Alexandria. The tradition is universally accepted – even when there are those who would prefer Rome not to have that claim. Meanwhile what is the biblical evidence for your sola scriptura doctrine?

            The development of the monarchical bishop was a departure from Scripture. Rome had a plurality of elders until 170AD

            What is your evidence for this? Even if it were true, it would not alter the fact that Rome clearly has a higher authority than other Churches. The idea that Ignatius would stress the authority of the bishop in writing to other letters, while knowing that “the Church which presides in love” (Rome) does not have a bishop stretches the imagination – especially in the light of the other evidence.

            hence Ignatius wrote to the church, not the bishop.

            Even if there were one bishop, he could have written the Church as a whole – it remains common practice to do so to this day.

            It seems to you? The problem is that you don’t think in terms of what the Bible teaches but in terms of what your church teaches. Since the texts speak of appointing elders, in the plural, there is no jump I can see.

            I was referring to your inconsistency in interpreting scripture. You have given no answer to that – of course.

            There is no mention of successors of the Apostles.

            We see Paul handing on authority to others.

            I’ve no doubt that the Christians in one town all sought to meet together, however questionable it may seem to you, and perhaps, in Rome and it’s environs there were actually a few churches, each with elders, but part of the Church. No less far fetched than your position.

            What? That is my position!

            You seem to think that the Apostle’s successors had to appoint elders/overseers yet you can produce no evidence of these successors,

            On the contrary, I have produced several pieces of evidence. It’s just you wont’ accept anything does not accord with your human tradition.

            And no, there is no problem of canonicity.

            Of course there is – look at the wild goose chase you had trying to defend the canon – everything from tradition (which you otherwise don’t accept) to how it makes you feel.

            On the contrary, Ignatius was opposing the Gnostics, who, as you say, had a problem with the bread and wine representing the body and blood of Christ.

            He does not say the Eucharist merely represents the body and blood of Christ, he says the heretics abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins. Or in his words:

            They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins.

            It’s just not truthful to say he is speaking of representation – that’s your word, his word is “is” (i.e. to be).

            Nowhere does he suggest that Christ’s body is called down from Heaven to again be sacrificed on the altar.

            He is clearly showing Christ’s body to be on the altar, how else can the Eucharist be his flesh? Catholic teaching is not that Christ is sacrificed again, but rather that the sacrifice of Christ is made present for us to participate in.

            Indeed, his words do not differ that much from the words of Scripture.

            Now there’s an admission. There is, after all, nothing in scripture about the Eucharist merely representing the flesh of Christ as you nullifiers of the word of God say. Hence, Ignatius, who clearly believes the Eucharist to be the flesh of Christ (he says so), is using the same language as scripture, because scripture says so. Even Luther understood this. You can’t claim the perspicuity of scripture and your “mere representation” doctrine.

            Can you show me where in the New Testament an office other than Elder/Overseer or Deacon is instituted?

            With pleasure:

            Luke 6.13; Luke 10.1; and some people think Acts 6. There are, of course, other ministries mentioned, although quite whether they come under what you define as an office or when they were instituted is not clear. How do you define office?

          • Martin

            Albert

            I’m afraid Iraenius doesn’t help with your claim to trace the papacy back to the early fathers. as to the election of popes, the only valid way to do that is by the people voting, how long since that was done? History tells us there were at least two periods, the pornocracy and the period of multiple popes, when the papacy is clearly interrupted. You see, my claim hasn’t been falsified.

            Actually I’m very consistent in how I judge, the Bible clearly teaches that each local church would have multiple elders and that the term elder is synonymous with overseer. It matters not what happened later or what Ignatius thought.

            And no, we don’t see Paul handing on authority to others. You have produced no evidence of successors to the Apostles. Your references in Luke are clearly not relevant and Acts 6 is about deacons. Looking at the institution of deacons and elders should give you sufficient understanding of what I mean by office.

            Curiously I found no problem in defending the canon of Scripture, although you seem to have a problem understanding that.

            You will note that Ignatius doesn’t say that a priest calls down Christ’s body from Heaven so that the bread and wine become flesh and blood. He isn’t arguing for your position, he is arguing against the position off the Gnostics who said Christ had no body. You cannot recruit him to your side. It is also clear that Scripture cannot mean that the bread and wine become Christ’s flesh and blood for at its institution, Christ was in the room with them.

          • Albert

            I’m afraid Iraenius doesn’t help with your claim to trace the papacy back to the early fathers.

            Why not?

            as to the election of popes, the only valid way to do that is by the people voting, how long since that was done?

            Who says?

            History tells us there were at least two periods, the pornocracy and the period of multiple popes, when the papacy is clearly interrupted. You see, my claim hasn’t been falsified.

            No. I’ve shown that neither interrupts the papacy, and you haven’t answered the arguments.

            Actually I’m very consistent in how I judge, the Bible clearly teaches that each local church would have multiple elders and that the term elder is synonymous with overseer. It matters not what happened later or what Ignatius thought.

            The Bible shows that there were a range of ministers operating under the apostle. You are inconsistent with your principles, because you don’t apply them to other matters when it doesn’t suit you. If it matters not what happened later, why did you raise the question of the fathers?

            And no, we don’t see Paul handing on authority to others. You have produced no evidence of successors to the Apostles.

            Yes, I have, in the Pastorals.

            Your references in Luke are clearly not relevant and Acts 6 is about deacons.

            My references to Luke are relevant to the question you asked: Can you show me where in the New Testament an office other than Elder/Overseer or Deacon is instituted? If that’s wasn’t the question you meant to ask, you can’t blame me for answering the question you did ask. Whether Acts 6 is about deacons is a disputed matter, bit not one I’m going to argue about, because I don’t think the issues can be resolved and it isn’t relevant.

            Looking at the institution of deacons and elders should give you sufficient understanding of what I mean by office.

            I really don’t see how. Do you think teacher is an office?

            Curiously I found no problem in defending the canon of Scripture, although you seem to have a problem understanding that.

            You may have no psychological problem defending the canon of Scripture, but you have an enormous intellectual and theological problem. The canon of scripture cannot be held by anyone who believes in sola scriptura. The arguments you have given for the canon of scripture are inconsistent with sola scriptura.

            You will note that Ignatius doesn’t say that a priest calls down Christ’s body from Heaven so that the bread and wine become flesh and blood.

            You seem to be fixated on this idea of the priest calling down Christ’s body from heaven. Can you cite a Magisterial text in which the Catholic Church actually says this? Perhaps it’s there, but I can’t think of one. What Ignatius says is the the Eucharist is Christ’s flesh. If the Catholic Church uses this expression of the priest calling down Christ’s body from heaven, then it means nothing more than Ignatius says.

            He isn’t arguing for your position, he is arguing against the position off the Gnostics who said Christ had no body.

            Which of course would mean no Eucharist, if the Eucharist is the flesh of Christ. I fail to see why his arguing against the Gnostics means he isn’t defending the faith that the Eucharist is the flesh of Christ – which, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, is what he says.

            You cannot recruit him to your side.

            No, it’s the other way around. He says nothing at all about your idea of merely representing the flesh of Christ., he says the Eucharist is the flesh of Christ, and that is the faith of the Catholic Church.

            It is also clear that Scripture cannot mean that the bread and wine become Christ’s flesh and blood for at its institution, Christ was in the room with them.

            And how exactly is that supposed to be an objection? Obviously, Christ was in the room with them, how else could he have said “This is my body”? You’re going to have to give an argument here if your point is going to have any purchase.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Iraenius says nothing about the papacy.

            The people voting for the bishop of Rome was the original practice, after all, there were no cardinals were there.

            No, you haven’t shown that neither interrupts the papacy.

            The Bible shows that the local church had two officers, the elder/overseer and the deacon and of each there were more than one.

            No, the pastorals provide no evidence of successors to the Apostles.

            The Church, as such, does not exist in Luke, hence your reference is irrelevant.

            No, teacher is not an office, it is an activity.

            There is no theological problem in my explanation of the origin of the canon, and thus no intellectual problem. Your problem is that you do not understand sola scriptura.

            So are you denying that the priest causes Christs body to be present? Or are you instead trying by weasel words to escape from the nonsense. Of course Ignatius was merely echoing Christ’s words:

            And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, Take; this is my body. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
            (Mark 14:22-24 [ESV])

            Clearly the bread and wine could not have been the body and blood of the one who was standing there in front of the disciples. Nor would the disciples have accepted such an concept, seeing how difficult Peter found it to eat what was unclean in Acts 10/11. The concept is simply silly.

          • Albert

            Iraenius says nothing about the papacy.

            Yes, he does. I’m not sure why I’m bothering to quote this again since this evidence plainly didn’t make any difference to you before, but here goes:

            Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.

            3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spoke with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

            You say:

            The people voting for the bishop of Rome was the original practice, after all, there were no cardinals were there.

            It may have been the original practice, but that does not mean that it is the only valid practice, which is what you claimed before. Have ever studied logic?

            No, you haven’t shown that neither interrupts the papacy.

            You have two arguments for the interruption of the papacy: sinful popes and anti-popes. Now the first argument effectively runs like this:

            1. If the pope is sinful he is not the pope.
            2. There have been sinful popes.
            3. Therefore there have been times when the pope was not the pope

            And so we reach an interruption in the papacy. But the major premise here is not true – in fact, it is utterly faithless. Therefore the argument fails.

            Your second argument appears to run like this:

            1. If more than one person claims to be pope there is no pope.
            2. There have been times when more than one person has claimed to be pope.
            3. Therefore, there have been times when there has been no pope.

            And so the papacy has been interrupted.

            But again 1. is just false. It isn’t any better if you clarify it to:

            1′. If more than one person claims to be pope and it is unclear which is the true pope then there is no pope.

            This is just a false claim, false in logic and false and false in theology. Therefore, your argument hopelessly fails.

            The Bible shows that the local church had two officers, the elder/overseer and the deacon and of each there were more than one.

            And it shows that the local church was subordinate to the apostle, who was able to command.

            No, the pastorals provide no evidence of successors to the Apostles.

            The pastorals plainly show Paul giving authority to Timothy and Titus. I cannot see how you can deny this without making God a liar, to be perfectly honest.

            The Church, as such, does not exist in Luke, hence your reference is irrelevant.

            That’s hairsplitting – your point was that there are only two offices in the Church, and clearly scripture shows there are more.

            No, teacher is not an office, it is an activity.

            Why should I accept this? Plenty of people would disagree, and they would add “evangelist” to the list of offices. Perhaps they’re wrong, I don’t know. I don’t know how you are defining “office”.

            There is no theological problem in my explanation of the origin of the canon, and thus no intellectual problem. Your problem is that you do not understand sola scriptura.

            So then, explain what sola scriptura means, how I misunderstand it, and how your doctrine of the canon works particularly in the light of your doctrine of sola scriptura.

            So are you denying that the priest causes Christs body to be present? Or are you instead trying by weasel words to escape from the nonsense.

            Interesting, I asked for a magisterial teaching on this, and you haven’t given it. If you wish to critique us, why not use the formulae we use? I think you like this expression of the priest calling Christ down for some rhetorical reason. But if your argument is serious put aside the rhetoric and use the proper formulae.

            Now here is our doctrine: Christ is the priest at Mass. He uses the hands and voice of the ministerial priest. The ministerial priest thus causes Christ’s body to be present in the same way as a pen causes something to be written. A pen is a real efficient cause of the writing, but only because it is held by an author. In this sense, the priest causes Christ’s body to be present, but only because Christ uses him in this way. Now Ignatius plainly teaches the Eucharist is the body of Christ, therefore, in the sense just given, the presider at the Eucharist causes the body of Christ to be present. So here’s a question for you: do you regard this as being impossible for Christ to do?

            Of course Ignatius was merely echoing Christ’s words:
            And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, Take; this is my body. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

            It’s much more likely that he has in mind John 6 since he does not use the word “body” (σῶμα) of Mark 14 but “flesh” (σάρξ) as John 6 does.

            Clearly the bread and wine could not have been the body and blood of the one who was standing there in front of the disciples.

            This is just a repetition of the objection you made before which I said did not follow. If you understand the doctrine, you will know that this is not an objection to it (the doctrine could still be wrong, but this objection doesn’t work). But of course, that would require you to understand those you regard as your enemies, and that, it seems is too much to ask of you.

            Nor would the disciples have accepted such an concept, seeing how difficult Peter found it to eat what was unclean in Acts 10/11. The concept is simply silly.

            As far as I can see, you don’t understand the concept yet. But in any case, you fail to see the key point of Acts 10/11 – Peter accepts them as clean when he understands what Christ is teaching. Thus, if the Ignatian/Catholic teaching here, is that of Christ, then Peter would have believed it.

          • Martin

            Albert

            No mention there of the papacy, but there is mention of the church at Rome, that is the whole congregation, sending a letter to the Corinthians. Your problem is that you read into the ancient documents your beliefs, rather than letting them speak for themselves.

            Oh, you’re so generous, of course it was the original practice, and where did the current practice come from since there is no mention of cardinals in the Bible.

            If the pope is sinful he certainly is not the pope and if there’s multiple persons claiming to be pope then who is to know which, if any, are the pope. My logic stands.

            Remember, there are no longer any Apostles. Timothy and Titus were not appointed successors to the Apostles, they were sent away to do a job.

            Since the Church did not exist Luke cannot be speaking of the creation of church offices. The only two offices we know of are elder and deacon, any other office you claim you must demonstrate was created in the same way as those two, with rules laid down.

            I suggest you go back and read what I wrote on the canon & sola scriptura. I’m not in the mood for continually repeating all my arguments.

            I think you are using weasel words to try to pretend that the priest does not cause Christ’s body to descend and enter the host? I’m sorry if I don’t use the right words but surely the meaning is plain. The fact that one who has once been ordained can still consecrate the host even if he leaves the church of Rome rather indicates that it is not Christ who controls what is happening but the priest.

            Actually by referring to John 6 you weaken your argument. None of those there think Jesus is speaking literally of His own body. Else they would not have complained as they do:

            So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. They said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, I have come down from heaven?

            they would most certainly have objected to what they perceived as cannibalism. As would the disciples at the Last Supper. So clearly that concept cannot have entered their minds. Likewise, Ignatius wasn’t speaking of your Mass, he was responding to the Gnostics, unless you can demonstrate that there were Protestants in his day.

            I’m afraid your ‘doctrine’ is so full of contradictions and special cases that either you are being dishonest or you believe a mishmash of nonsense.

            And no, I don’t regard you as my enemy, I regard you as those who have been taken in by heresy.
            (John 6:41-42 [ESV])

          • Albert

            No mention there of the papacy, but there is mention of the church at Rome, that is the whole congregation, sending a letter to the Corinthians.

            Which comment of mine are you referring to here? Bizarrely, you seem not to be responding to that long quotation from Irenaeus. It’s fascinating how you so often just ignore any evidence that doesn’t suit your purposes.

            and where did the current practice come from since there is no mention of cardinals in the Bible.

            There’s no reference to popular election in the Bible either.

            If the pope is sinful he certainly is not the pope and if there’s multiple persons claiming to be pope then who is to know which, if any, are the pope. My logic stands.

            And if Peter was a sinner, did that mean he wasn’t an apostle? Obviously, if you just make up your own criteria for what constitutes the pope you can say what you like, but you won’t be criticizing or falsifying Catholicism. We recognize that all have sinned, but since Christ is the real minister acting through the ordained minister in any situation, the sinfulness of the ordained minister does not render his ministry void (although it is a scandal and undermining). I note that you have stopped using your argument about anti-popes.

            Remember, there are no longer any Apostles. Timothy and Titus were not appointed successors to the Apostles, they were sent away to do a job.

            With authority from Paul the apostle.

            Since the Church did not exist Luke cannot be speaking of the creation of church offices.

            How do you know? What is your evidence? It seems obvious that the ministry of the apostles was founded before the creation of the Church and yet continued into the life of the Church. Therefore, your argument is false.

            I suggest you go back and read what I wrote on the canon & sola scriptura. I’m not in the mood for continually repeating all my arguments.

            But you do expect me to keep repeating my arguments. What I remember was something about tradition (!) and something about the Holy Spirit guiding you. But it became a bit vague when we got into how you know what is guidance and what is not.

            I think you are using weasel words to try to pretend that the priest does not cause Christ’s body to descend and enter the host?

            You are using weasel words since I actually gave a very careful explanation of what is meant. The reason I gave that explanation was to avoid false connotations that your preferred formula may have indicated.

            The fact that one who has once been ordained can still consecrate the host even if he leaves the church of Rome rather indicates that it is not Christ who controls what is happening but the priest.

            I cannot for the life of me see why you think that is an argument. Please show your reasoning.

            Actually by referring to John 6 you weaken your argument. None of those there think Jesus is speaking literally of His own body. Else they would not have complained as they do:

            Well I never expected you to provide such a bad argument as that, for they in fact do precisely what you say they don’t do. Immediately, after the passage you cite, we read:

            Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

            You say:

            they would most certainly have objected to what they perceived as cannibalism.

            Which is perhaps why some of the people, in the response to Jesus heightening the language, by using the word to chew when speaking of eating his flesh, say firstly “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” and then it says After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.

            You say:

            Likewise, Ignatius wasn’t speaking of your Mass, he was responding to the Gnostics, unless you can demonstrate that there were Protestants in his day.

            And yet, despite repeatedly saying this, you can provide no textual evidence for Ignatius not speaking of the Eucharist – not least because he clearly is. Of course there were no Protestants in those days, but does not mean there is no possibility of Gnostics, who denying the incarnation necessarily deny the Eucharist “to be the flesh of Christ.”

            I’m afraid your ‘doctrine’ is so full of contradictions and special cases that either you are being dishonest or you believe a mishmash of nonsense.

            No, it’s your position which imposes on us positions we don’t believe. As you keep repeating your positions, even when I have corrected them, I don’t think you get to suggest I am being dishonest.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You claimed Irenaeus spoke of the papacy. The papacy didn’t exist until centuries later.

            I think this passage cover the means by which deacons are to be chosen, and hence elders also:

            And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.
            (Acts 6:2-3 [ESV])

            Peter was a saved man, those who you pretend to have been pope show no evidence of being saved. Their actions preclude the notion of “Christ …. acting through them”.

            They were acting on Paul’s behalf, they were not successors to the Apostles.

            Why does it seem obvious that the ministries of the Apostles began before Pentecost? Judas was one of the twelve but he never became an Apostle.

            The strange thing about your Mass is how you have changed a simple ceremony of remembrance into a magical event. This has to be done then that and it all has to be done by a priest, an office that curiously doesn’t appear in the New Testament. And curiously this ‘priest’ retains this power to call down Christ even if he leaves your church and is declared a heretic. It looks to me as if this piece of superstitious nonsense has been to blame for a great deal of other superstitious nonsense along the lines of the black mass. How you people have corrupted the simple gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            You do realise that you have just proven that Calvinism is correct in saying that only those who Christ draws to Himself can be saved? The Jews, however, were pointing out that he was still alive, he couldn’t give them his flesh to eat. The Jews, at least, taking the same view as you, could see it was stupid. You just continue in your folly.

            If Ignatius had been speaking of your Mass he would have had the same reaction as those who left Jesus, Your sects folly is in not seeing that. Yours is the doctrine so full of contradictions that it turns the Lord’s Table into a magical event where the proper words have to be spoken and the proper actions made. Nothing of that is seen in the New Testament. Nothing is impossible for God, but would God really decree a magical ceremony? Indeed, nowhere in the New Testament is such a thing seen.

          • Albert

            You claimed Irenaeus spoke of the papacy. The papacy didn’t exist until centuries later.

            Clearly, you are using a different definition of papacy. What is it?

            I think this passage cover the means by which deacons are to be chosen, and hence elders also:

            That doesn’t follow. See Acts 1.26.

            Peter was a saved man, those who you pretend to have been pope show no evidence of being saved.

            And you’re in a position to judge? How? In any case, your position was that if someone is a sinner, they cannot be a minister.

            Their actions preclude the notion of “Christ …. acting through them”.

            O ye of little faith. See also Matt.7:21-23.

            Why does it seem obvious that the ministries of the Apostles began before Pentecost? Judas was one of the twelve but he never became an Apostle.

            Another example of your weak knowledge of scripture:

            And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

            On the one hand, you claim to know scripture well enough to be able to decide the most profound questions. On the other hand, you don’t seem to know the most basic passages of scripture. You are living evidence of why Protestantism cannot work.

            The strange thing about your Mass is how you have changed a simple ceremony of remembrance into a magical event.

            There’s nothing magical in it, but how do you know the Eucharist is meant to be simple?

            I asked you to show your reasoning on this claim, in your previous post:

            The fact that one who has once been ordained can still consecrate the host even if he leaves the church of Rome rather indicates that it is not Christ who controls what is happening but the priest.

            but all you can manage is this?

            And curiously this ‘priest’ retains this power to call down Christ even if he leaves your church and is declared a heretic.

            How precisely is that a defence of your position?

            How you people have corrupted the simple gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Until you get a better knowledge of scripture, you are in no position to judge.

            You do realise that you have just proven that Calvinism is correct in saying that only those who Christ draws to Himself can be saved? The Jews, however, were pointing out that he was still alive, he couldn’t give them his flesh to eat. The Jews, at least, taking the same view as you, could see it was stupid. You just continue in your folly.

            I cannot for the life of me see what this is supposed to be about. Perhaps it you did me the courtesy of posting the words of my post you are answering. The only thing I can see here to respond to is that the problem is not that the Jews are pointing out that he was still alive, but that Jesus was showing that they do not believe in the Eucharist, because they are judging him according to the flesh (Jn.6.61-65).

            If Ignatius had been speaking of your Mass he would have had the same reaction as those who left Jesus

            Here again, you assume you know that people would react the way you and the Jews of John 6 react. But some people have faith and believe what Jesus says. Ignatius did have our view of the Mass. You cannot over -throw what he says with assumption about ow people must have reacted. Some very likely reacted as you – the Gnostics apparently as well as the Jews. But evidently, the faithful reacted the way Catholics do today, with faith – hence, we find the same Catholic teaching in the fathers, over and over again.

            Yours is the doctrine so full of contradictions that it turns the Lord’s Table into a magical event where the proper words have to be spoken and the proper actions made.

            That’s not a magical event and you haven’t supplied any contradictions.

            Nothing of that is seen in the New Testament.

            Tell me, what is required in the NT for baptism to be baptism, as opposed to any other practice? What is required for the Eucharist to be the Eucharist, as opposed to any other meal?

            Nothing is impossible for God, but would God really decree a magical ceremony?

            No, but then he doesn’t. There’s nothing magical about miracles, you should know that. Underneath all this therefore is your idolatrous assumption that you know what God would do. You have this assumption because think he is made in your image. You keep needing to caricature the faith in order to cover up your lack of belief.

          • Martin

            Albert

            The papacy is that monarchical organisation that demands obedience from Christians and claims to be the only valid interpretor of the Bible. That’s a bit different from what existed in New Testament days.

            Acts 1:26 is irrelevant.

            Of course I’m in a position to judge:

            They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
            (Titus 1:16 [ESV])

            They are a great example of what James 2 is about, their faith is seen in their works. Indeed, Christ has said to them, I never knew you.

            Jesus may have spoken of them being sent, but Judas was never one of those who spread the Good News for he never knew it.

            Seems I’m better at the basics than you.

            I’d call magical that which required special acts and words, much like the Mass. As for the Lords Supper, I assume you realise eucharist simply means thanksgiving, did you not read:

            Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
            (Matthew 26:26-29 [ESV])

            No parading, no special prayers, no special containers, just a simple meal. No worry about dropped bread or spilled wine either. Rome and others have corrupted the original simple memorial ceremony.

            Frankly I have nothing but mockery for your elaborate ceremonial that those Christians under the persecutions would have been aghast at.

            What did you not understand about “Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44? Curiously you gave no reference but expect me to quote what you have written. That verse demonstrates that we do not become Christians of our own free will but that God causes us to become Christians.

            I have faith and believe what Jesus says, but I don’t believe the nonsense you hold to which is clearly contradicted by Jesus own words. Jesus wasn’t speaking of the Last Supper in that passage for clearly it hadn’t taken place. The Gnostics merely rejected the notion that Jesus had a body at all, which was what Ignatius was attacking. You do not find your teaching in the fathers, and even more you don’t find it in the Bible.

            What is required in Baptism is the faith of the believer and water. For the Lord’s Supper the gathering of God’s people, bread and wine, or suitable substitutes. Nothing more, for God has promised to be there. It’s hardly idolatrous to take God at His word.

          • Albert

            The papacy is that monarchical organisation that demands obedience from Christians and claims to be the only valid interpretor of the Bible.

            I don’t think that’s the right definition. If that is the definition it would be impossible for the Catholic Church to define it. For the Church would have to be able to say “The Pope has power X”, but on your definition, there is no pope until he has power X. Therefore the statement could not refer to anyone. So, I think what you have done is to invent a definition that makes it impossible for the early Church (or for that matter any age) to have a papacy. Obviously, if you make up such a definition, you can say it wasn’t there in the early Church, but that’s because your definition is false.

            The normal position would be to say that the papacy refers to the successors of Peter as bishop of Rome, having some kind of position or status among the other bishops. This is clearly what we see in the early Church, even if, as with every doctrine, it takes time to address exactly what all that entailed.

            Acts 1:26 is irrelevant.

            Why?

            Of course I’m in a position to judge:
            They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

            This may well be true, but their being unfit does not make Christ unable to work through them. So you are in no position to judge.

            Jesus may have spoken of them being sent, but Judas was never one of those who spread the Good News for he never knew it.

            You are just flatly contradicting scripture in order to maintain your human tradition.

            I’d call magical that which required special acts and words, much like the Mass.

            So the miracle recounted in Mark 7.31-34 is not a miracle on your terms, it’s magic.

            o parading, no special prayers, no special containers, just a simple meal.

            It’s in the context of the Passover meal, which is a specific ritual with particular rules and sayings. Jesus replaces the lamb with himself. Thus your simple service of bread and wine is not in fact a reflection of the Lord’s Supper – it’s another human tradition.

            Frankly I have nothing but mockery for your elaborate ceremonial that those Christians under the persecutions would have been aghast at.

            Presumably you mock those passages of scripture which describe elaborate ceremonial. You seem so completely to hate scripture.

            Curiously you gave no reference but expect me to quote what you have written. That verse demonstrates that we do not become Christians of our own free will but that God causes us to become Christians.

            It doesn’t demonstrate that, it is just consistent with it. It actually says nothing more than that people will not come to God without God drawing them. That does not mean that there is no act of free will once God draws them (or to be more precise, because God draws them). These are issues of basic logic, and as you do not understand the human elements of language you cannot get the divine meaning.

            I have faith and believe what Jesus says, but I don’t believe the nonsense you hold to which is clearly contradicted by Jesus own words.

            Which words?

            Jesus wasn’t speaking of the Last Supper in that passage for clearly it hadn’t taken place.

            You seriously think that’s an interpretation of scripture? Really? So Jesus is unable to speak of what he will give? The OT prophets too, cannot speak of Christ or the redemption he will achieve because it hasn’t happened yet? Why don’t you just come straight out and say you hate scripture?

            The Gnostics merely rejected the notion that Jesus had a body at all

            True.
            which was what Ignatius was attacking.

            Plainly false. He says, therefore they don’t accept the Eucharist to be Christ’s body – it’s what the passage says.

            You do not find your teaching in the fathers

            I have given several passages which show that, I think, but you will not accept them even when they state it explicitly.

            even more you don’t find it in the Bible

            Yes you do, but since when has the Bible been important to you? Your whole post has been one long rebellion against the Bible.

            What is required in Baptism is the faith of the believer and water. For the Lord’s Supper the gathering of God’s people, bread and wine, or suitable substitutes. Nothing more, for God has promised to be there.

            Do you have to use particular words? What do you have to do with the water?

          • Martin

            Albert

            There was no papacy in the early Church and indeed there was no monarchical bishop of Rome until at least 140AD, long after Peter had died. But that doesn’t fit in with your claims so you don’t like it.

            Acts 1:26 was an aberration, never again used in Scripture. I’d venture to suggest they were too hasty, not waiting on God.

            But I am in a position to judge. Christ can work through the vilest, but that does not mean that the vilest can pass on the apostolic succession.

            So what was the Good News, and how would Judas have known it?

            The miracle in Mark 7:31-34 did not require anything except the power of God.

            Jesus is the Lamb of God but it isn’t flesh that is eaten, it is simple bread in a simple ceremony. Where are the elaborate ceremonies in the New Testament. Or is it that you look back with longing to the elaborate ceremony of the Temple which were what the Judaizers wanted to retain.

            No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44 [ESV])

            So what else does this mean other than that no one comes to Christ of their own free will. You allow your tradition to get in the way of the clear meaning of Scripture. And since Jesus also says He will raise them on the last day clearly they cannot fall away. The Father draws them, gives them to the Son who raises them on the last day. There is no opportunity for human free will.

            These words:

            And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
            (Luke 22:17-20 [ESV])

            As for:

            I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.
            (John 6:48-51 [ESV])

            it wasn’t said at the last supper, it wasn’t said to the disciples, it doesn’t say that the bead and wine become flesh and blood. Perhaps you need to compare it with:

            Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, Give me a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water. The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock. Jesus said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. The woman said to him, Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.
            (John 4:10-15 [ESV])

            You are as theological inept as that woman, you cannot see the truth staring you in the face. Your cult has fed you a lie and you have believed it.

            In Christ is life, we don’t have to eat flesh and drink blood to gain it but by faith we lay hold on the Saviour, taking His as our righteousness.

            How can you say it is plainly false that Ignatius was attacking the Gnostics doctrine, you haven’t got any evidence of anything else. Mind, you can’t even understand the plain meaning of Scripture, so there’s no surprise there!

            No, you given no passages that support your position. and it isn’t found in the Bible.

            So now you are trying to pretend that Baptism is just like your Mass, with special words said and special actions carried out. The difference is, of course that no one is trying to call God down from Heaven in Baptism.

          • Albert

            There was no papacy in the early Church and indeed there was no monarchical bishop of Rome until at least 140AD

            How do you know this? In any case, you don’t seem to realise that your original claim was about the early fathers. But this is plainly in the period of the early fathers.

            But that doesn’t fit in with your claims so you don’t like it.

            On the contrary, I have already said there may have been a number of elders working together. I expect that there was one which preeminent. I don’t see any need for more than that.

            Acts 1:26 was an aberration, never again used in Scripture. I’d venture to suggest they were too hasty, not waiting on God.

            Well, I’ve heard it all now. If you’re now getting round directly to condemning scripture that does not suit your argument, then at least you’re consistent. However, you seem entirely to miss the OT context of the practice. Moreover, if you don’t trust the apostles here, why true them in Acts 6?

            Christ can work through the vilest, but that does not mean that the vilest can pass on the apostolic succession.

            The passing on of the apostolic succesion is a work of Christ, thus your position makes no sense.

            So what was the Good News, and how would Judas have known it?

            He preached what the others preached: the Kingdom of God is at hand.

            The miracle in Mark 7:31-34 did not require anything except the power of God.

            No, but it included other things – words and actions, things you condemned as magic. Therefore, you condemn the miracle in Mark 7 as magic. Perhaps you would say it was an aberration.

            Where are the elaborate ceremonies in the New Testament. Or is it that you look back with longing to the elaborate ceremony of the Temple which were what the Judaizers wated to retain.

            No, I look forward to elaborate ceremony of the Book of Revelation. But again, you seem deliberately (or perhapos ignorantly) to be missing the point: the passover meal was a ritual.

            So what else does this mean other than that no one comes to Christ of their own free will. You allow your tradition to get in the way of the clear meaning of Scripture.

            I have already said it is open to two possible interpretations and you haven’t explained why yours is the right one.

            And since Jesus also says He will raise them on the last day clearly they cannot fall away.

            Can you give the exact quotation, please.

            These words:

            The words of institution do not plainly teach your doctrine of the Eucharist.

            it wasn’t said at the last supper, it wasn’t said to the disciples

            What has that got to do with it?

            it doesn’t say that the bead and wine become flesh and blood.

            It says we must eat (chew) his flesh and drink his blood. We know that at the Last Supper, the Lord said “This is my body, this is my blood.” If he wasn’t giving a commentary on the Last Supper, then that is very odd, especially as he does not water down or spiritualise his words when challenged.

            You are as theological inept as that woman, you cannot see the truth staring you in the face. Your cult has fed you a lie and you have believed it.

            That is amazing coming from someone who thinks some of scripture is an aberration. I think you’re actually a liberal, since you seem to think that because some passages of scripture need a spiritual interpretation, all do. That’s really bad logic, but it is also really bad theology.

            In Christ is life, we don’t have to eat flesh and drink blood to gain it but by faith we lay hold on the Saviour, taking His as our righteousness.

            We do exactly what he told us. If he chooses to give us his body and blood this way, who are we to grumble (John 6.61)?

            How can you say it is plainly false that Ignatius was attacking the Gnostics doctrine, you haven’t got any evidence of anything else.

            Do keep up. I was attacking what you said Ignatius was attacking in the Gnostics’ doctrine: you say he was simply attacking their doceticism, I say, as the passage actually says, he was attacking their lack of Eucharist on account of their docetism: They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s just ridiculous to say he is only attacking them for not believing Christ had a body.

            Now as for other passages of the fathers, here’s Justin just a few decades after Ignatius:

            For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.

            The doctrine we keep is plainly in the Bible, just as your doctrine, as with so many of your doctrines, is plainly condemned there.

            So now you are trying to pretend that Baptism is just like your Mass, with special words said and special actions carried out. The difference is, of course that no one is trying to call God down from Heaven in Baptism.

            Are you serious? You’re surprised to hear I think the Eucharist and Baptism are both sacraments, that they both include words and actions to be so? Really? What unbible reading sect are you of? I’m not sure what you mean by your last sentence, but if you mean that these sacraments are different, well, yes, obviously.

          • Martin

            Albert

            How do we know? because it’s History. The letter of ‘Clement’ to the Corinthians, for example, does not mention it’s author and is addressed from the church of Rome to the church at Corinth. No mention is made of any ‘bishop’ for the authority rested in the church, not the monarchical bishop.

            It isn’t sufficient to say “I expect”, there just isn’t any evidence to support a monarchical bishop.

            I’m not condemning Scripture, just pointing out that a unique occasion proves nothing. There is no OT context that is at all relevant and it was before Pentecost, while Acts 6 is after Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, changing the nature of the disciples into that of Apostles.

            If the passing on of apostolic succession is the work of Christ, why shouldn’t Christ pass it on to the Reformers, rather than the corrupt church of Rome?

            The fact that the other disciples didn’t understand why Christ had to die on the cross proves that none of the disciples knew what the good news was.

            The difference between the real celebration of the Lord’s Supper and the Mass is that a failure to follow a set pattern makes not an iota of difference to the Lord’s supper.

            No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44 [ESV])

            This can only mean one thing, that the Father draws the called sinner and the Son raises every called one to salvation. There can be no other meaning.

            Jesus was using metaphor, pointing out that He is the source of salvation. He wasn’t calling for His listeners to eat him,or saying to the woman at the well that He was water any more than He is a door or way. That you cannot see that indicates how little you understand Christianity.

            The Gnostics were at least logical,since Jesus had no body and was a phantasm He clearly didn’t have a body to eat. That is what Ignatius was attacking. And it looks to me as if Justin is supporting my position.

            My position is as above, neither Baptism nor the Lord’s Supper have any effect other than the blessing received through faith by those involved.

            (Sorry for the late reply, the new incarnation, together with other events, made it difficult.)

            ()

          • Albert

            How do we know? because it’s History.

            You made a specific dated claim. I was looking for evidence.

            The letter of ‘Clement’ to the Corinthians, for example, does not mention it’s author and is addressed from the church of Rome to the church at Corinth. No mention is made of any ‘bishop’ for the authority rested in the church, not the monarchical bishop.

            You’re making an inference with which many would disagree. But sure, things take time to settle down and even within the Catholic structure, you can have more practical equality than we have at present.

            I’m not condemning Scripture, just pointing out that a unique occasion proves nothing.

            It’s not unique, when we consider the OT practice, but in any case, you are arguing from a unique example too!

            while Acts 6 is after Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, changing the nature of the disciples into that of Apostles.

            No. They are called apostles already: Lk 6.13.

            If the passing on of apostolic succession is the work of Christ, why shouldn’t Christ pass it on to the Reformers, rather than the corrupt church of Rome?

            Errr…because the Reformers weren’t doing the work of Christ.

            The fact that the other disciples didn’t understand why Christ had to die on the cross proves that none of the disciples knew what the good news was.

            What has that got to do with anything. Judas was proclaiming as much of the Gospel as had been revealed – it says so.

            This can only mean one thing, that the Father draws the called sinner and the Son raises every called one to salvation. There can be no other meaning.

            Even if I accept this as an interpretation of the passage cited (and the inference here is logically fallacious), that does not rule out free-will. You don’t seem to understand the doctrine.

            Jesus was using metaphor, pointing out that He is the source of salvation. He wasn’t calling for His listeners to eat him,or saying to the woman at the well that He was water any more than He is a door or way. That you cannot see that indicates how little you understand Christianity.

            You don’t understand Christianity if, every time you don’t like something, you spiritualize it. Why not, for example, take the view of the wise in St Paul, say the cross is a stumbling block and therefore spiritualize – it didn’t really happen, it’s just a way of saying he is the source of salvation.

            The Gnostics were at least logical, since if Jesus had no body and was a phantasm He clearly didn’t have a body to eat. That is what Ignatius was attacking. And it looks to me as if Justin is supporting my position.

            They were logical, and it is the logic of their position (and yours) that Ignatius is attacking. They don’t believe in the incarnation, therefore they don’t accept the Eucharist – that’s what he says.

            My position is as above, neither Baptism nor the Lord’s Supper have any effect other than the blessing received through faith by those involved.

            But that’s not what the Bible actually says. I can see that that is the position of your theological assumptions, but as it is not what the Bible says that seems to imply your assumptions are wrong.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You mean evidence like the fake list of all the bishops of Rome? The fact that no other list is as complete. The fact that the letter of ‘Clement’ does not come from a bishop and with his authority but from the church, the congregation of believers. The fact that Ignatius in writing to Rome speaks of no bishop, unlike other of his letters?

            Why would one consider the Old Testament practice? That was the time of sacrifices, the New Testament is the time of the last sacrifice, once in time, never to be repeated. And certainly not by some guy speaking special words and performing special actions.

            The apostles may have been so named but they included one who wasn’t and until Pentecost the Church did not exist. The Reformers certainly doing the work of Christ, preaching the gospel, that Rome had failed to preach, and forming real churches.

            The gospel hadn’t been revealed, it couldn’t be until Christ died on the cross for all His people. The gospel was till not understood by men, although Jesus clearly taught it.

            The dead have no free will, God raises the dead to life and the Son raises them to salvation, eternal life. No human will is involved.

            I don’t spiritualize the cross, the saviour had to die as a sacrifice for sin, physical death but a death in the past. It cannot be repeated or re-enacted, it is past.

            Ignatius was attacking the Gnostics position, can you provide an example of anyone attacking my position?

            The Bible tells us that the blessings in baptism, just like the blessing down the ages, are received by faith.

          • Albert

            As usual, you have not bothered to paste the comments of mine you are answering. This of course makes it easier for you to evade points.

            You mean evidence like the fake list of all the bishops of Rome?

            I was looking for evidence for your claim of dating a bishop of Rome to 140 AD. Saying the evidence for earlier bishops is fake, is not at all the same thing as providing evidence that there weren’t.

            What do you mean by fake, how do you know and with what purpose were these lists faked? It just seems like you are beginning with your conclusion and challenging the evidence to ensure you get to maintain your conclusion.

            The fact that the letter of ‘Clement’ does not come from a bishop and with his authority but from the church, the congregation of believers.

            It appears to come from a single author who represents the Church at Rome. That is hardly evidence against my position, is it?

            The fact that Ignatius in writing to Rome speaks of no bishop, unlike other of his letters?

            You seem to rest a lot on this. But a quick look at how the NT addresses different churches indicates very little can be gleaned from this sort of thing. Paul write to the Philippians: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philip’pi, with the overseers and deacons. He does not do this for other churches. Are we to assume that they were without overseers and deacons?

            Why would one consider the Old Testament practice? That was the time of sacrifices, the New Testament is the time of the last sacrifice, once in time, never to be repeated.

            Well, it seems important to them that there were twelve apostles. Where did the number twelve come from I wonder?! Did you study with Marcion?

            The apostles may have been so named but they included one who wasn’t

            Well, I’m fascinated. I thought the idea was that we get our doctrine from the Bible, and test everything we believe from the Bible. Here you say effectively “I know the Bible says X, but actually the reality is not-X, this I know for my theology tells me so.”

            The Reformers certainly doing the work of Christ, preaching the gospel, that Rome had failed to preach, and forming real churches.

            The Protestant Reformers made up a new doctrine which (a) only makes sense if you adopt certain late Medieval Catholic philosophical assumptions (b) is not taught in scripture (c) is plainly contradicted by scripture.

            The gospel hadn’t been revealed, it couldn’t be until Christ died on the cross for all His people. The gospel was till not understood by men, although Jesus clearly taught it.

            Jesus said “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” How are people supposed to believe the gospel if it hasn’t been revealed.? And what about this:

            And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

            So (a) Christ preached the gospel (b) the 12 preached the gospel and (c) people were commanded to believe the gospel. But you say none of this is true. And why do you say that? Because, as with the word apostle, it doesn’t fit with your theology. Well, change your theology – it doesn’t fit with the Bible.

            The dead have no free will,

            How is this known?

            God raises the dead to life and the Son raises them to salvation, eternal life. No human will is involved.

            Well what does scripture say?

            Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

            So even if the dead do not have free will, it makes no difference, those receive the resurrection of life do so because they “have done good” (presumably in their life on earth) and those who “have done evil” rise to “the resurrection of judgment”. I would have thought this passage was rather awkward for you, for a number of reasons.

            I don’t spiritualize the cross, the saviour had to die as a sacrifice for sin, physical death but a death in the past.

            Well then, why should you criticise us for not spiritualising the Eucharist?

            It cannot be repeated or re-enacted, it is past.

            It is not repeated, but there are problems with you saying not “re-enacted” and “past”. On re-enactment, this is the teaching of scripture:

            Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

            So his death is not being repeated here, but it is being made present. And that is all we claim about the Mass. As for “past” this is difficult because scripture says:

            the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world

            Now, if this is the correct translation, it would appear to imply something timeless about this act, which makes calling it purely past difficult.

            Ignatius was attacking the Gnostics position, can you provide an example of anyone attacking my position?

            Yes, Ignatius! He attacks the Gnostics for not believing the Eucharist to be the body of Christ. You don’t believe the Eucharist to be the body of Christ either. Therefore, he is attacking you. The fact that your reasons are different for your shared lack of faith on this point does not alter the fact that your lack of faith is under attack. I would add the John 6 also provides an attack on your position.

            The Bible tells us that the blessings in baptism, just like the blessing down the ages, are received by faith.

            Again, if you actually quoted my comment, it would be clear that this is beside the point. The issue is not whether one is blessed through baptism, but whether, as you put it:

            My position is as above, neither Baptism nor the Lord’s Supper have any effect other than the blessing received through faith by those involved.

            For the sake of simplicity, we can leave the Lord’s Supper out of this for the moment. The idea that baptism gives nothing more than the blessing receive through faith down the ages show a lack of knowledge of scripture, in keeping with the rest of your post.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You’ve not given references to your quotes, although I’ve asked you to, why should I quote your text and make the post longer?

            There were plenty of ‘bishops’ in Rome prior to 140AD, it’s just that there is no evidence that they were monarchical. like Philippi in your quote, they had more than one at a time. And it is incredible that a list of ‘bishops’ should exist for only that succession that is claimed as the authority for Rome.

            I’d be surprised if the letter attributed to Clement didn’t have one author, were you imagining they wrote alternate sentences? It is, of course, addressed to the Corinthian church, form the church at Rome. Nowhere does it say it is from a bishop, Clement or otherwise. It’s authority is of the church, the congregation at Rome, not from any man in authority. There’s no ‘Pope’ telling the Corinthians what they should do. Curiously it also speaks of Peter as an Apostle, not as the former bishop.

            The fact that Paul addresses the Church at Philippi before he addresses the ‘bishops’, note the plural, is indicative that the people are the ones foremost in his mind. Ignatius doesn’t even address the bishops.

            Of course the number twelve was important to them but that doesn’t mean that God didn’t have in hand a replacement.

            Did Judas Iscariot see the risen Christ? The Apostles are generally regarded as those who had seen the risen Christ. Christ preached that the time was at hand, that the kingdom of God was imminent, but how could He or His disciples preach of the Messiah crucified and raised again?

            Did Lazarus ask to be raised? Did Jesus call out “Lazarus, come out if you want to”? Ephesians 2 tells us:

            And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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 2:1-10 [ESV])

            The Christian was dead, but God made them alive and raises them. It isn’t what they have done, it is what God has done. Even their faith is the gift of God. Because they have been raised, they do the works of God, the evidence of their faith, as James says:

            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 who do good do so because they are believers. Nothing the unbeliever does is good, hence the unbeliever can do nothing to justify themselves before God.

            Even the word Eucharist shows you are wrong, it means thanksgiving, it doesn’t mean a re-enactment and it certainly doesn’t speak of turning bread and wine into flesh and blood. the Lord’s Supper is done in remembrance, not as a re-enactment, not being made present, whatever that means.

            and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. (Revelation of John 13:8 [ESV])

            I think this is the verse you were thinking of, a lot of translations seem to ascribe the writing to ‘before the foundation of the world’.

            The Gnostics didn’t believe Jesus had died on the cross, after all, how could a phantasm die. Ignatius wasn’t attacking my position, because I accept that Jesus died on the cross, but theirs.

            Prove me wrong from Scripture on the blessings of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper being received

          • Albert

            You’ve not given references to your quotes, although I’ve asked you to, why should I quote your text and make the post longer?

            If you don’t know the Bible quotes I give, you can google them. If you don’t quote my posts then I don’t know the point you are answering. There’s no comparison therefore.

            There were plenty of ‘bishops’ in Rome prior to 140AD

            How do you know this?

            I’d be surprised if the letter attributed to Clement didn’t have one author, were you imagining they wrote alternate sentences?

            You’ve never heard of having multiple authors for a text?

            Nowhere does it say it is from a bishop, Clement or otherwise. It’s authority is of the church, the congregation at Rome, not from any man in authority. There’s no ‘Pope’ telling the Corinthians what they should do.

            So let’s see here, you think the letter was written by one person with the authority of the Church of Rome. Do you really need me to spell out what that means?

            Curiously it also speaks of Peter as an Apostle, not as the former bishop.

            That’s not curious at all. Although people speak of Peter as the first pope, actually popes are those who follow him. Thus we would not expect Peter to be spoken of as bishop, because he wasn’t. Besides, why choose the lesser title ( bishop) over the greater (apostle).

            The fact that Paul addresses the Church at Philippi before he addresses the ‘bishops’, note the plural, is indicative that the people are the ones foremost in his mind. Ignatius doesn’t even address the bishops.

            I cannot for the life of me see why you think this is significant.

            Of course the number twelve was important to them but that doesn’t mean that God didn’t have in hand a replacement.

            That is spectacularly to miss the point. You said Why would one consider the Old Testament practice? The fact that the need to replace Judas to make 12 is to reflect OT symbolism!

            Did Judas Iscariot see the risen Christ? The Apostles are generally regarded as those who had seen the risen Christ. Christ preached that the time was at hand, that the kingdom of God was imminent, but how could He or His disciples preach of the Messiah crucified and raised again?

            You are arguing with the scriptures, indeed, arguing with what the scriptures say Jesus said. Maintaining your position is apparently more important to you than faithfulness to the Bible.

            Did Lazarus ask to be raised?

            What is this in response to?

            The Christian was dead, but God made them alive and raises them. It isn’t what they have done, it is what God has done.

            Again you argue with what scripture says Jesus says. I don’t care how many Protestant divines you can produce, the fact is that in the resurrection those who have done good, will rise to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. The fact that you have a problem relating grace and free-will doesn’t give you the right to say that the Lord has got it wrong. Can’t you see that “what they have done” is because of “what God has done” or even “what they do” is God acting in them? When God crowns our merits, it’s his own merits he is crowning. You can’t be faithful to scripture if you say God cannot do good in us.

            Even their faith is the gift of God. Because they have been raised, they do the works of God, the evidence of their faith, as James says:…Those who do good do so because they are believers. Nothing the unbeliever does is good hence the unbeliever can do nothing to justify themselves before God.

            A more exemplary statement of Catholic belief on this question would be hard to come by. Do you not realise that?

            Even the word Eucharist shows you are wrong, it means thanksgiving, it doesn’t mean a re-enactment and it certainly doesn’t speak of turning bread and wine into flesh and blood.

            Bizarre argument. Where does the name Eucharist come from and why do you think it is the only name for it?

            The Gnostics didn’t believe Jesus had died on the cross, after all, how could a phantasm die. Ignatius wasn’t attacking my position, because I accept that Jesus died on the cross, but theirs.

            Ignatius thinks they make two errors: 1. they don’t believe that Jesus is physical therefore 2. they don’t believe the Eucharist is Jesus’ flesh. That’s what he says. You share the second of the two errors but say you don’t share the first.

            Prove me wrong from Scripture on the blessings of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper being received

            Haven’t I done this already? This is the passage I quoted on Baptism:

            Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

            It’s ridiculous to say that’s a mere blessing. As for the Eucharist, here’s what scripture says:

            The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

            It’s plainly not merely a blessing or Paul wouldn’t need to say what it is beyond being simply the cup of blessing. Paul goes on:

            For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged.

            It’s hard to see how a mere blessing can have that effect.

          • Martin

            Albert

            To you there may seem no comparison, but you reference neither Bible nor other quotes. My meanings are clear, it can’t be too difficult to work them out.

            How do I know there were plenty of bishops in Rome, why because the leaders of the church, the elders are also bishop and the practice was to appoint elders, plural, in each church. Rome undoubtedly would have had many members and probably more elders than some of the smaller churches.

            The letter, of course, could have been written by an elder or merely a scribe at Rome. We aren’t told, but it is written with the congregation’s authority, not a bishop’s.

            You will note I didn’t say pope, but if Peter were a bishop and his authority gave weight to what the church said I’d expect him to have been mentioned.

            You don’t see why the ones in authority should be the ones addressed first if it is a hierarchical system?

            The fact that Jesus calls the disciples that he sends out delegates doesn’t mean that the twelve who go out after His resurrection can’t also be called delegates. Clearly Judas wasn’t one of the latter. The disciples seemed to have the idea that they had to immediately replace Judas. They didn’t allow for the option that God had other plans, it had to be one of their number.

            Lazarus was dead, did he ask to be raised? In just the same way, those dead in their sins do not ask to be saved. It is you who are arguing with what Scripture says. The Bible says that God saves, not that God gives Man the ability to save himself.

            Read it again:

            But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
            (Ephesians 2:4-7 [ESV])

            Nothing there about free will, nothing there about doing good. All you have is making alive and raising up.

            All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
            (John 6:37-40 [ESV])

            And there we see the actions divided amongst the Godhead, the Father gives those who are to be saved to the Son and the Son raises them up. Not a word there about their good deeds.

            It seems you do not realise that good works come only after the sinner is effectually saved. It is impossible for good their works to save anyone.

            So you didn’t use a word that means thanksgiving?

            No, the Gnostics didn’t believe that Jesus died. Therefore there was nothing to celebrate.

            You do realise that water baptism is a representation of what has already happened, a representation of what Paul is writing about. Both water baptism and participation in the Lord’s Supper are acts of faith and, as any act of faith, produce the benefits of faith. Conversely, disobedience brings judgement. It’s very simple.

          • Albert

            To you there may seem no comparison, but you reference neither Bible nor other quotes. My meanings are clear, it can’t be too difficult to work them out.

            I’ve given reason to think they are different. You have given no reason to say not. Sometimes it simply isn’t clear.

            How do I know there were plenty of bishops in Rome, why because the leaders of the church, the elders are also bishop and the practice was to appoint elders, plural, in each church. Rome undoubtedly would have had many members and probably more elders than some of the smaller churches.

            So you are inferring it from what you assume is going on. But what if your assumption is wrong?

            We aren’t told, but it is written with the congregation’s authority, not a bishop’s.

            It doesn’t say it is coming from the congregation, it says it is coming from the Church.

            if Peter were a bishop and his authority gave weight to what the church said I’d expect him to have been mentioned

            Not if that authority was taken for granted.

            You don’t see why the ones in authority should be the ones addressed first if it is a hierarchical system?

            No. And it just doesn’t follow, indeed, it doesn’t always happen in the Catholic Church. Consider no lesser an authority than St Ignatius. He clearly believes in the importance of the bishop, but he writes to the Church. You see, you keep assuming things that not only lack foundation, but are demonstrably false.

            The fact that Jesus calls the disciples that he sends out delegates doesn’t mean that the twelve who go out after His resurrection can’t also be called delegates

            What’s this word “delegates” got to do with it? The issue is that scripture says Jesus called Judas and the others “apostles”. Martin says Jesus is wrong – Judas wasn’t an apostle.

            Lazarus was dead, did he ask to be raised? In just the same way, those dead in their sins do not ask to be saved. It is you who are arguing with what Scripture says.

            I am doing nothing other than defending the following propositions:

            the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

            If you reject that teaching, you reject it’s author too.

            You say,

            Nothing there about free will, nothing there about doing good. All you have is making alive and raising up.

            So because a small portion of scripture does not mention freewill, therefore freewill does not come into it? It is the mark of a heretic that he interprets one passage in contradiction to another – and your interpretation seems to be in contradiction with the John passage I just cited. Besides, what does it mean to be made alive, than to have free will? How can it be that sinner, who misuses his free will is more alive than someone who is given grace?

            And there we see the actions divided amongst the Godhead, the Father gives those who are to be saved to the Son and the Son raises them up. Not a word there about their good deeds.

            The point about good deeds has already been made, and it is clear that this text does not exclude good deeds – provided they are done as a result of grace received through faith. I just don’t understand why you exclude this possibility from what you think God can do. It’s clearly in his power, and it is clearly taught in scripture.

            It seems you do not realise that good works come only after the sinner is effectually saved.

            Good works come after grace and faith, but whether they come after being saved, depends on what is meant by “saved”. The NT uses this word in at least three tenses and with more than three meaning. Your theology seems to require a rejection of most of that, and a restriction to only one kind of biblical claim. Works do not precede the sacrifice of Christ or initial grace or faith. In that sense, there are no good works before salvation, but scripture clearly envisages good works after that and also envisages salvation as something still in the future in some sense. It seems you do not realise the power of God’s grace in Jesus Christ enabling us to 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.

            So you didn’t use a word that means thanksgiving?

            The fact that we use the word “Eucharist” does not mean that the Eucharist is nothing more than thanksgiving.

            No, the Gnostics didn’t believe that Jesus died. Therefore there was nothing to celebrate.

            No, the Gnostics didn’t believe the Word became flesh. Therefore there was no body to receive.

            You do realise that water baptism is a representation of what has already happened, a representation of what Paul is writing about.

            No. That’s what your theology requires, but it is not what the scripture says. It says:

            Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

            Nothing about it being only a representation there. Your human tradition may deny scripture on this, as on so many other things (whether Judas was an apostle, whether the kind of resurrection is dependent on good or evil works, whether we can work out our salvation and so on), but that does not make your human tradition more important than scripture. It demonstrates the deviation from scripture of your human tradition.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Have you any reason to think there was a monarchical bishop in Rome? I’ve given the evidence I’m working on, where is yours.

            The word church means the congregation.

            Authority is never taken for granted.

            Ignatius writes to the church at Rome because the church at Rome did not have a monarchical bishop, the congregation was the authority.

            Apostle means delegate. A word doesn’t gain a special meaning because you don’t translate it. And no, I don’t say Jesus is wrong, just that you attempt to obfuscate.

            I’m saying that the dead do not choose to be saved, I’m not arguing with the concept of judgement. The good are those who have been saved, otherwise they could not have done good works.The wicked are those who have not been saved.

            A freed will is the result of salvation, it is not involved in obtaining salvation. You seem to be obfuscating again.

            Good deeds are done as a result of salvation which is the result of grace and faith is the gift of God. No one does good deeds unless they are first saved. A Christian is saved in the present and the future, in the present because of the promise in the future because of the promises fulfilment. Good works are the result of salvation.

            And what God can do is not necessarily what God does do.

            In Gnostic belief there was no body to die on the cross, hence there was no memorial to the death on the cross.

            Your text is speaking of baptism into death, the reality of what water baptism speaks.

          • Albert

            Have you any reason to think there was a monarchical bishop in Rome? I’ve given the evidence I’m working on, where is yours.

            I’ve given a list from the early Church. You on the other hand have done nothing more than attempt to draw evidence of absence from (what you think is) absence of evidence. But actually, it was you who claimed a monarchical bishop from 140, and I was asking you for evidence of that. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any evidence about the Church in Rome from specifically 140.

            The word church means the congregation.

            No, the concept of Church is not univocal with “congregation”. That’s obvious from scripture.

            Authority is never taken for granted.

            I mean taken as read.

            Ignatius writes to the church at Rome because the church at Rome did not have a monarchical bishop, the congregation was the authority.

            How do you know that that is his reason? In fact, that cannot be his reason, since he write to the other churches which did have bishops, not to the bishop himself. you confuse your inferences for facts.

            Apostle means delegate. A word doesn’t gain a special meaning because you don’t translate it.

            Literally, it means one who is sent. It is entirely reasonable to keep the terms in their original language – Tyndale leaves the word “apostle” untranslated (just as Mark, in particular leaves words in Aramaic). But you misunderstand what is going on. It is not that words gain special meaning because we don’t translate them, it is that we don’t translate them because we know they have a special meaning. The use of the word ἀποστόλους in Luke 6 is clearly used in a sense in which it is not used in, for example, 2 Corinthians 8.23. Hence, it would be confusing to translate it in Luke 6.

            And no, I don’t say Jesus is wrong, just that you attempt to obfuscate.

            Sorry, where is the obfuscation in this. Scripture says:

            And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

            Thus Jesus calls Judas an apostle. You say Judas wasn’t an apostle. I can’t accuse you of obfuscation since, you give no reason for disagreeing with what scripture says the Lord says. You just deny the truth of the words – for your own purposes.

            I’m saying that the dead do not choose to be saved, I’m not arguing with the concept of judgement.

            The issue is what you mean by “saved”. There are several uses of this term in the NT, but in order for your position to make sense you have to ditch some of them and reduce it to only one.

            The good are those who have been saved, otherwise they could not have done good works.

            Then there’s no salvation for anyone since we are to work out our salvation in fear and trembling, since 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.
            Hence, Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

            Now don’t get me wrong. There is no salvation without faith, and no faith without grace. We do not save ourselves. Good works come from our faith and are the work of God in us, since in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. Consequently, the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. If we don’t say this, then there is no justification, since justification is not merely imputed but infused. We really become righteous – that’s the power of God, it is plainly taught in scripture, so I wonder why you don’t believe it.

            A freed will is the result of salvation, it is not involved in obtaining salvation. You seem to be obfuscating again.

            No, the will is freed as part of the work of God in us for salvation. Hence, scripture says:

            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 God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

            You see, even though salvation is not complete, nevertheless, we are still able to will and to work for his good pleasure. This is not because of our own strength, but because God is at work in you. Why do you not have faith to believe that God can do this to you, as scripture says?

            A Christian is saved in the present and the future, in the present because of the promise in the future because of the promises fulfilment.

            In which case, Phil.2.12-13 make no sense, and the whole of the NT’s interpretation of Abraham’s justification must be repudiated.

            Good works are the result of salvation.

            Good works are the result of grace and faith, hence Romans 6.16 says obedience leads to righteousness/justification.

            And what God can do is not necessarily what God does do.

            So you do believe God is capable of doing what scripture says. Why then do you not just believe what scripture says?

            In Gnostic belief there was no body to die on the cross, hence there was no memorial to the death on the cross.

            That’s perfectly true, but Ignatius goes further and condemns them for denying the Eucharist is Christ’s flesh.

            Your text is speaking of baptism into death, the reality of what water baptism speaks.

            Where do you get these things from? Is this what your congregation believes or do you make this stuff up in order not to be proved wrong? The point is so obviously wrong. Consider this scripture:

            For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

            Now, if by baptism we are to drink of one Spirit, how can it only be about death? For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. And in case you try, arbitrarily to claim that this is not water baptism, that move is excluded by this passage: you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

          • Martin

            Albert

            There is no list of bishops of Rome from the early Church, it was composed much later and is clearly not genuine. I don’t claim a monarchical bishop from 140, I said that there is no evidence of one until 140.

            The word translated church is ekklesia, which simply means a popular gathering or congregation. That is obvious from Scripture.

            Every New Testament church had bishops, multiple elders as is demonstrated in Acts 20:17. It’s reasonable that Ignatius only addressed bishops where there was a monarchical bishop.

            No, it is not reasonable to keep the terms in their original language. It’s designed to hide from the masses the real meaning of the word. If it is confusing to translate in 2 Corinthians 8 you must be saying that the original readers would have been confused, as would the original writer be. That’s clearly nonsense.

            No, Judas was not an ‘apostle’ in the sense that the word is used in Acts.

            There is only one meaning of saved in the New Testament, that is to have all your sins forgiven and to be assured of eternal life. And good works are the result of salvation, not a means of achieving it. Faith, as well, is the gift of God, not something by which we achieve salvation. Justification is imputed, we are justified when we are saved. We receive Christ’s righteousness in exchange for our unrighteousness.

            You didn’t realise that God saves us?

            Our salvation is complete, but we are still called to work, to subdue our selves, to make us more like Christ. It is your understanding that is at fault.

            Romans 6:16 says nothing about justification. Justification occurs at the moment a child of God is born again.

            Unless you understand that Baptism and the Lords Supper point to realities you will not understand that passage.

            BTW, I came across this passage that exposes the nonesense behind the Mass:

            “When the priest pronounces his tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from his throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: it is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.” The Faith of Millions: The Credentials of the Catholic Religion. John O’Brien

            This is not what the Lords Supper is about, this is superstition.

      • IanCad

        Albert,
        I have to wonder what the reaction would be today were our Muslim subjects to attempt the destruction of the Houses of Parliament and our representatives ensconced therein. Further, were they to attempt on numerous occasions, the murder of our Queen; would our reaction be as tempered as it was in the times of Bess Tudor and James 1st?

        • Albert

          I’m just wondering what it is about the reaction of Bloody Bess in particular, that you think was tempered. I’m less clear on James I, but the fact that the terror of the Titus Oates story could take place in the time of Charles II says something, about what life was like for Catholics in this country, guilty or not. Moreover, the Gunpowder Plot was a reaction against persecution, as well as a cause of further persecution.

          But this is off the point of your original post. There was a motivation to shop fellow Catholics in those days, because Catholics feared the repercussions for the Catholic community of a successful attack. But these repercussions do not seem on the cards for Muslims who keep quiet.

          • IanCad

            “But these repercussions do not seem on the cards for Muslims who keep quiet.”
            Not just yet!!

  • Martin

    “Praying before a blasphemous icon of another Jesus, standing in the shadow of a sacrificial cross which they deny, beneath the dome of a cathedral church steeped in idolatry, myths and deception, Muslims throughout France and Italy attended Mass yesterday.”

    And is it not a shame they do not hear of the real Jesus, who took upon Himself the nature of a Man and lived without sin, being the perfect Lamb that takes away the sin of His people?

    Is it not a shame that they attended “the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits”?

    • bluedog

      Doctrinal purity notwithstanding, you may recall that Fr Hamel was a Catholic priest. It follows that Muslims seeking absolution for the sins of their co-religionists are possibly going to look to the Roman Church for salvation rather than indulge themselves in sectarian debate.

      • Martin

        BD

        The problem remains, there is no gospel in Rome.

        • bluedog

          Do the Muslims know that? Are they bovvered? No.

          • Martin

            BD

            Of course not, they have little understanding of Christianity. The Qur’an even implies that Mary is part of the Trinity. However the gospel is to them as much as anyone.

  • Dreadnaught

    Archbishop Dominique Lebrun told his Muslim visitors. “In this way you are affirming that you reject death and violence in the name of God.”

    Why is he saying this and not the Muslims?

    While violent Jihad is prescribed and lauded in the Koran as a route instant martyrdom such exercises are designed to ‘smoke the bees’ while the hive is being plundered. When Muslims vociferously take to the streets of the world to protest for reform of their text and turn over to the forces of law and order, the would be hate preachers, ‘disenfranchised’ proto-jihadis and armed militia leaders, they may be taken as serious in their compassion.

    Until PIGS FLY (well they believe a horse can) don’t believe a word of it.

  • Anton

    Good. But what exactly are they united in?

  • len

    It appears that Islam is at a turning point where the barbaric behaviour of the Jihadists is turning some Muslims away from their faith.This happened in Christianity where the same excess’s became intolerable and ‘a separation’ occurred.
    There is separation and division going on in all religions and in many parts of society and I believe this is a sifting process separating ‘the good seed from the bad seed.’ The good will seek the Light and the bad will cover their deeds and wish to remain in the Darkness.

    There will come a cut off point to receiving salvation through Jesus Christ and only God knows when that will be but it will be as;

    Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”(revelation 22:11)

  • Uncle Brian

    This is an encouraging development. We can but hope.

    A fortnight ago today, Archbishop Welby extended a “great” welcome at Lambeth Palace to a Pakistani apologist for anti-Christian atrocities, of whom it is said that he ought to be prosecuted for incitement to violence under Pakistan’s terrorism act. When Fr Jacques Hamel was murdered eight days later, did Welby get on the phone to his fellow “faith leader” to ask him what he thought about it, and suggest it would be an appropriate gesture to show up at mass the following Sunday? Why not, I wonder.

  • it is a cause of great hope that so many Muslims can put aside their theological scruples

    Breitbart makes the point that, out of five million French Muslims, ‘just a few hundred’ went to Sunday services. In the Basilica of St Denis, which now finds its catchment area vibrantly enriched by Islam, it was thought necessary to have armed police in attendance (third picture down).

    Father Jean Rouet can distinguish between Islam and Islamism, and between Muslim and jihadist, to his heart’s content but it does not alter the fact that, as a Christian, Islam sees him as an evil-doer:

    [5:72] Unbelievers are those that say: ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary.’ For the Messiah himself said: ‘Children of Israel, serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ He that worships other gods besides Allah shall be forbidden Paradise and shall be cast into the fire of Hell. None shall help the evil-doers.

    • Ivan M

      Unfortunately the Catholic Church instead of seeing the reality of the situation prefers to blather over it. The logical response is to accept that while there are Muslims that wish to live in peace, they have no purchase on their killers, which is what everyone is bothered about. The response should be clear, since it is not for any cleric to speak of forgiveness when the would be killers, their enablers and the large matrix in which they find sustenance remain unashamedly unrepentant.

      • Albert

        What precisely is your practical suggestion?

        • Ivan M

          I believe in being correct about it. Accept the solidarity of fraternal Muslims but they are not the problem. I don’t think we should be effusive over their religion. It is for them to reform it. I don’t understand why we have to treat them as recalcitrant teenagers, when they know the standards that are expected of them. I don’t want to turn off genuine offers of sympathy but as been pointed out these people appear to be Ahmedi a proscribed sect among the Muslims
          So strongly did the Sunnis feel about their heterodoxy that they had refused to bury the famous scientist Abdus Salam in that part of India which is now in Pakistan where he was born.
          I

          • Anton

            He was a superb theoretical physicist.

          • Ivan M

            Boss I. take your word for it since I do not understand the physics he made his name in. As I have repeated before the man averred that “…the Koran is the greatest book vouchsafed to mankind…” but that was not good enough for Zia ul Haq. And before going gaga over the Ahmedis they don’t have a great reputation among Indians as being particularly tolerant

          • Anton

            I don’t know very much about them; I was speaking specifically about Abdus Salam.

    • Anton

      When I was last in Paris I spent an afternoon praying for Europe in Basilica St-Denis, by the tomb of Charles Martel.

  • AncientBriton
  • Albert

    Excellent post. I may have made this point before, but I would just question this use of the language of “moderate Muslims.” If someone describes me as a “moderate Catholic” or a “moderate Christian”, I don’t think I would be very pleased. It makes it sound like I am only moderately Catholic or moderately Christian. It makes it sound that to be a proper Catholic I should not be moderate. If this applies to Muslims then we need a new language to describe peaceful Muslims. “Observant Muslim” would be a better word rhetorically if it could be used to describe peaceful Muslims.

    he does not become a wafer

    Another thing Catholics and Muslims can agree on!

    • CliveM

      Oh Albert don’t worry no one would call you a moderate Catholic! ;0)

      • Albert

        You say the sweetest things, Clive!

    • chefofsinners

      Modern ‘moderate’ Islam is an evolved religion. It has come a long way from its barbaric and violent roots. However those roots remain, which is why there will always be radicalisation, jihadis, Sharia law and intolerance.

      Christianity, by contrast, has its roots in love, peace and doing good to all. While it is still open to corruption by evil men, it will always be the case that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
      Go ahead and be a ‘extreme’ Christian without fear.

      • Albert

        All of which may well be true of Islam, or it may not. But what you suggest is the problem: the language conveys the sense that the real Muslims are those who blow themselves up and kill elderly priests.

    • Dreadnaught

      It show the inadequacy of the 21st Century world to understand the logic of a 6th Century desert bandit culture in its midst.

    • Anton

      “Observant Muslim” is what Cranmer’s “moderate Muslims” are not. You don’t need a doctorate in philosophy to read and observe that they are – thankfully – ignoring certain significant parts of the quran.

      • Albert

        Which is precisely why I put it in the conditional – “Observant Muslim” would be a better word rhetorically if it could be used to describe peaceful Muslims

        The point being that the interpretation of the Qur’an is the very thing under examination – just like the interpretation of the Torah is for Jews.

        • Anton

          Why do you assume it is a question of interpretation rather than a question of obedience?

          • Albert

            Firstly, because it nowhere says you should blow yourself up – indeed suicide is clear contrary to the Qur’an. Secondly, it places limits on violence. Thirdly, there are other texts.

            All exegesis is interpretation. Who am I (or you) to say what the text should mean?

          • Anton

            The relevant verses are as clear as your posts here (clearer, in many cases). So how am I, or anybody else, to know what you mean? Or either of us to know what any exegete means, in fact?

            I agree with you that suicide is contra-indicated in the quran, but for you to say so means you reckon you know what it means without interpretation. So why do you reckon that you are fit to draw this conclusion from the relevant verses, whereas neither you nor I is fit to draw any conclusion from verses commanding that Islam be spread by force where it is not accepted freely? And who is to decide what the text means? If you say “Muslims,” that means you believe that only adherents of particular sacred books are fit to perform exegesis on them. But in that case you are not free to comment critically on (for instance) the 39 Articles of the Church of England, as you are not an Anglican. You are not fit to critique Das Kapital because you are not a Marxist. And so on.

          • Albert

            The relevant verses are as clear as your posts here (clearer, in many cases).

            I don’t think the passages you cited before are that clear. They seem to set limits on the violence which would prevent the kind of terrorism we see at the moment. If a Muslims tells me, on the strength of those passages that he isn’t permitted to kill me, I can see why.

            So how am I, or anybody else, to know what you mean?

            My point was that it is for Muslims to determine what their texts mean, not us to tell them.

            I agree with you that suicide is contra-indicated in the quran, but for you to say so means you reckon you know what it means without interpretation.

            No, it means I can understand it if my Muslim neighbour says “All this terrorism is clearly contrary to the Qur’an.” I don’t need to understand it to accept that he thinks it is contrary to the Qur’an, but I can understand it in this case – as can you.

            If you say “Muslims,” that means you believe that only adherents of particular sacred books are fit to perform exegesis on them.

            If they say “This is what my religion teaches me”, then it makes no sense for me to contradict them on the basis of my own interpretation, especially when I don’t read the language (do you?), and haven’t studied much of the history of the tradition of reading the text. If an atheist tells me I’ve got to be in favour of stoning adulterers, I don’t have to accept his interpretation, since his interpretation is dull reading of certain OT texts, which take no account of anything else.

            But in that case you are not free to comment critically on (for instance) the 39 Articles of the Church of England, as you are not an Anglican.

            If I have studied the role of the 39 Articles in the CofE (as I have), then despite being a Catholic, I am in a position to grasp something of their application. And if someone comes up to an Anglican and says “On the basis of Article 36, you must believe in the monarchy” then, although that would seem to be the sense of the words, the conclusion would be false.

            The issue then is to understand that texts are always understood in some kind of wider traditional context. So if a Muslim says to me “Sura X only applies in an Islamic state, so it cannot be applied here” then who am I to disagree?

          • Anton

            “If I have studied the role of the 39 Articles in the CofE (as I have), then despite being a Catholic, I am in a position to grasp something of their application.”

            And likewise you are in a position to grasp something of the quran if you have studied it. So am I. And I *have* studied it. I don’t read Arabic but here

            http://prophetofdoom.net/Qurans.Islam

            are four (in some parts five) English translations side by side, including by Muslims. I learnt of the frequent concatenation of “jihad” with “qatala” (to fight with intent to kill) from a non-Muslim who does understand Arabic, by the way.

            “My point was that it is for Muslims to determine what their texts mean, not us to tell them.”

            But I don’t tell them; I tell politically correct secularists and liberal Christians what Muslim texts mean. For Muslims I have a different message, since they should lovingly (ie, noncoercively) be offered an introduction to Christ. Chapter 3 of the quran says some remarkable things about Christ.

            You have contradicted your own logic regarding the 39 Articles, by the way. Based on your statement I have just quoted about Muslims, you would *have* to be a practising Anglican to make sense of the 39 Articles. Merely having studied them (as you have, even as a then Anglican) is not enough, according to you. You contradict yourself.

            The other points you need to know are:

            (1) The quran contains contradictions (which raises the question of whether it originates from an omniscient mind), and the Muslim way to deal with the problem is to take as authoritative the verse which came to Muhammad later. This principle of naskh (abrogation) is based on Q2:106 stating that Allah sometimes thinks of something better.

            (2) The doctrine of taqiyya states that Muslims may dissemble when speaking to non-Muslims in order to further the faith. “Religion of peace” comes to mind. So you do better to read the Islamic scriptures for yourself than ask a follower, don’t you think? Muslims are permitted even to deny Allah under duress (Q16:106), so lying about lesser matters to non-Muslims is of less account. The scholar al-Ghazali, who re-oriented Islam back from exploration of philosophy to the Quran in the 12th century, wrote: “If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying… When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible, and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory” (from Ihya ulum al-din, chapter: The extent to which lying is permissible).

          • Albert

            And you are in a position to grasp something of the quran if you have studied it. So am I. And I *have* studied it.

            Fine. And have you studied the Muslim jurisprudence I referred to? Also, are you so sure that your interpretation and sense of application is the only viable one?

            But I don’t tell them; I tell politically correct secularists and liberal Christians what Muslim texts mean.

            What Muslim texts mean to you.

            Based on your statement I have just quoted about Muslims, you would *have* to be a practising Anglican to make sense of the 39 Articles.

            I think you aren’t hearing the point I am making. I said: The issue then is to understand that texts are always understood in some kind of wider traditional context. You can read a text in any context you like. But it is the understanding and application of the text in the context that matters. For example, someone may think that to quote the 39 Articles is to settle matters for Anglicans. Clearly, that is not how the 39 Articles are used. I have indicated how Muslims may apply their texts, and that, once they place them within a tradition application (e.g. certain texts can only be followed in a Muslim state) they may have a different application from the one you think they should have.

            As for your two points that you humbly introduce saying The other points you need to know are: what makes you think I didn’t know them already?

          • Anton

            Because you write as if you don’t.

            Please read the slight update I made to that preceding comment.

            As for your selective slipperiness in demanding “interpretation” of religious texts but understanding other texts as they stand, you are merely contradicting the principles of logic. I might as well *interpret* your last comment as saying that you are in full and complete agreement with me, so thank you very much!

          • Albert

            Because you write as if you don’t…As for your selective slipperiness in demanding “interpretation” of religious texts but understanding other texts as they stand, you are merely contradicting the principles of logic.

            The problem here is that, as so often, you don’t get what I say. You think you know what I mean, and you persist in holding that view regardless of what I say. I have not said that there are no problems with the Qur’an. I have not said that I don’t think the Qur’an teaches violence. I have not said that I think there are no problems with Islam.

            I am simply saying that if a Muslim tells me the Qur’an is not teaching him to be violent, who am I to disagree? Why would I? I’m not a Muslim. I don’t know the text well. I do not read Arabic. I don’t know the principles and history of interpretation. I know enough to be able to see that people sometimes quote the Qur’an rather selectively, and that the full quotations open up the possibility of different interpretations – whether I think they are plausible or not.

            I am not defending Islam or the Qur’an. I am not naive about how it inspires, rightly or wrongly some Muslims to acts of violence. I am defending peaceful Muslims. I defend them out of a sense of justice to them and because I think according them the respect that they believe their religion teaches peace is actually more useful in keeping them peaceful than telling them that their religion is one of violence.

            I find it very odd that you want to argue with that.

          • Anton

            I am always pleased when Muslims act peaceably. But you assume that the difference between peaceable and bellicose Muslims is a matter of interpretation, when it could be a matter of obedience. How could you tell which it is (especially in view of the doctrine of taqiyya)?

          • Albert

            But you assume that the difference between peaceable and bellicose Muslims is a matter of interpretation, when it could be a matter of obedience.

            On the contrary, I think that is a distinction without a difference.

            especially in view of the doctrine of taqiyya

            I think this scepticism of Muslims makes no sense. All people lie sometimes unfortunately. But you cannot move from “They may be lying” to “They are lying.”

          • Anton

            Anybody of any faith might lie, but Islam has a doctrine of tactical lying whereas Christianity doesn’t. To ignore that fact when evaluating public comments by Muslims about Islamic doctrine is to ignore relevant information. To ignore relevant information is unwise.

            When a man does something that you think is contrary to his scriptures, it could be because you understand those scriptures differently from him, or because you understand them identically and he is merely a nominal believer in them. If you think this is a “distinction without a difference” then there is little point in continuing. I doubt you would take that attitude to relations between Christian behaviour and belief.

          • Albert

            Anybody of any faith might lie, but Islam has a doctrine of tactical lying whereas Christianity doesn’t. To ignore that fact when evaluating public comments by Muslims about Islamic doctrine is to ignore relevant information. To ignore relevant information is unwise.

            This is psychologically naive. People don’t need religion to tell them to lie for a good cause. Most people will and utilitarians perhaps should. So, while Muslims do not compare well with faithful Christians on this point, I cannot see they are worse than most other people.

            When a man does something that you think is contrary to his scriptures, it could be because you understand those scriptures differently from him, or because you understand them identically and he is merely a nominal believer in them. If you think this is a “distinction without a difference” then there is little point in continuing

            Or perhaps our minds are just not meeting. You said:

            But you assume that the difference between peaceable and bellicose Muslims is a matter of interpretation, when it could be a matter of obedience

            My point is that a Muslim may be peaceful out of obedience, and that would be a matter of interpretation. You seemed to be shutting this possibility down, now you seem to be agreeing with me (albeit without realising it).

          • Anton

            I am not judging whether Muslims are worse than other people. I’m saying that Islam has a doctrine of lying about itself, and that to fail to take this into account when evaluating comments by Muslims is naive. Can you name any other religion with such a doctrine?

            The quran contains both peaceful and bellicose verses. Muslims resolve contradictions by taking the later verse, as part of the quran itself implies. Muhammad was a man of peace in Mecca then a man of war in Medina. Why do you think you have to be a Muslim to understand these sentences?

          • Albert

            I am not judging whether Muslims are worse than other people. I’m saying that Islam has a doctrine of lying about itself, and that to fail to take this into account when evaluating comments by Muslims is naive. Can you name any other religion with such a doctrine?

            I have given reason to show that trying to pretend that Muslims are more likely than many others to lie is naive. You haven’t answered that argument. Now as for religions which may commend lying, I suggest Protestantism. Here are some authorities:

            Jeremy Taylor To tell a lie for charity, to save a man’s life, the life of a friend, of a husband, of a prince, of a useful and a public person, hath not only been done at all times, but commended by great and wise and good men. Who would not save his father’s life, at the charge of a harmless lie, from persecutors or tyrants?

            Milton: What man in his senses would deny, that there are those whom we have the best grounds for considering that we ought to deceive,—as boys, madmen, the sick, the intoxicated, enemies, men in error, thieves? I would ask, by which of the commandments is a lie forbidden? You will say, by the ninth. If then my lie does not injure my neighbour, certainly it is not forbidden by this commandment.

            Paley: There are falsehoods, which are not lies, that is, which are not criminal.

            Johnson: The general rule is, that truth should never be violated; there must, however, be some exceptions. If, for instance, a murderer should ask you which way a man is gone.

            Or if someone reads 1 Kings 22.22-23 out of context and says that God sometimes demands lying and therefore a Christian is a liar for God. What then?

            So when you tell me that Muslims have this doctrine of lying in order to save a life, how am I to know you are not lying for a cause you think worthwhile?

            Now you say The quran contains both peaceful and bellicose verses. Muslims resolve contradictions by taking the later verse, as part of the quran itself implies. Muhammad was a man of peace in Mecca then a man of war in Medina. Why do you think you have to be a Muslim to understand these sentences?

            Fine. But when they say “Yes, but look at the restrictions put on violence, we think they come later and abrogate the former” or “But the restrictions are in the very suras you cite for violence” or “But the abrogation doctrine is precisely about the natural Muslim situation of Muslims being power, but we aren’t in power” or “Actually, I’m quite a lukewarm Muslim, but I’ve been thinking of taking my faith more seriously, thank you for telling me I should be a terrorist” what is your answer?

          • Anton

            I am talking about a doctrine of lies in the scriptures, and you won’t find that in the New Testament – to which protestants don’t add. (I haven’t checked all the add-ons that Catholics regard as equally binding.) Despite the smokescreen, you have failed to name any religion other than Islam which has a doctrine of lying about itself in its scriptures (Q16:106).

            “So when you tell me that Muslims have this doctrine of lying in order to save a life, how am I to know you are not lying for a cause you think worthwhile?”

            You are capable of reading Q16:106 for yourself, although you seem to think that you need a phalanx of highly-trained scholars and theologians to make sense of writings which were written for regular people living in agricultural societies, ie peasants.

            when they say “Yes, but look at the restrictions put on violence, we think they come later and abrogate the former”

            Please specify sura and ayah (ie, chapter and verse).

            “or “But the abrogation doctrine is precisely about the natural Muslim situation of Muslims being power, but we aren’t in power”…”

            The verse commending abrogation was not given in the context of power politics (Q2:106), and it is the only way Muslims have found – regardless of how convincing it actually is – to respond to the potentially deadly critique that the quran was not written by an omniscient being. So it is universal in its scope.

            or “Actually, I’m quite a lukewarm Muslim, but I’ve been thinking of taking my faith more seriously, thank you for telling me I should be a terrorist” what is your answer?

            I have told no Muslim that. If I speak to Muslims I commend Christ to them. My warning is to politically correct secularists and liberal Christians.

            So, what do you think those bellicose verses mean and how do they have application in Europe today? Feel free to ask Muslims first, but it’s your opinion I request.

          • Albert

            I am talking about a doctrine of lies in the scriptures of a faith system, and you won’t find such a thing in the New Testament – to which protestants don’t add. (I haven’t checked the add-ons that Catholics regard as equally binding.) Despite the smokescreen, you have failed to name any religion other than Islam which has a doctrine of lying about itself in its scriptures

            Just a minute! Your original claim was “any other religion” not “any other scripture particular to that religion.” I have massively answered your question: a passage of the OT that could indicate that both Christians and Jews may lie at time. A series of bona fide Protestant authorities saying the same thing. I have used reason to show that your argument is irrelevent, and yet you call my response a smokescreen! I have answered what you asked for. In addition: consider how someone, not of good will towards our faith may interpret this passage:

            Go to the feast yourselves; I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” So saying, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.

            You say, You are capable of reading Q16:106

            My question was rhetorical. Obviously I know the doctrine you refer to, but my point was that you also belong to a religion that can be interpreted at teaching lying at times, and so I do not know whether to believe you.

            Please specify sura and ayah

            I have done this once already. I think you suggested 9.29:

            Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth , (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

            Also from sura 9:

            When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.

            But the full quotation is:

            When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful. If an idolater seeks asylum with you, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God, and then convey him to safety. For the idolaters are ignorant men.

            Now I’m not suggesting this is okay. I’m not defending it. I’m just saying that there are restrictions on the violence.

            The verse commending abrogation (Q2:106) was not given in the context of power politics, and it is the only way Muslims have found – regardless of how convincing it actually is – to respond to the potentially deadly critique that the quran was not written by an omniscient being. So the doctrine is universal in its application.

            As usual, you’ve missed the point: “But the abrogation doctrine is precisely about the natural Muslim situation of Muslims being power, i.e. this is conceding your point: the Qur’an is peaceful when they aren’t in power, but violent when they are. But then I added: but we aren’t in power. So long as a Muslim follows such jurisprudence, then the passage does not apply. And again, even if I think the jurisprudence is tenuous, who am I to grumble about their interpretation? I think the whole thing’s false!

            I have told no Muslim that.

            But you seem to criticise those who encourage peaceful Muslims.

            My warning is addressed to politically correct secularists and liberal Christians.

            Perhaps you think I fall into one of these categories, do you? To what end to you give this warning, and how do you think you manage to insulate your warning from Muslim ears who may go back tot he Qur’an and say “You know what? Anton’s right – now how do I find a bomb making recipe on the internet…”

            You say that Muslims should be the definitive explainers of the quran to non-Muslims.

            Not quite – I think they are their own arbiters to themselves. If I’m puzzled by their behaviour, they may choose to explain it, but their behaviour does not rest on them explaining it to me.

            When some Muslims say the quran is a book of peace and they live peacefully, but others say it is a book of war and they plan forcible takeover, how do you (personally) decide who is right?

            I don’t need to. I think the religion is basically false, and I defend people’s right to believe falsehoods without violent censure. What I need to do is stop those who plan to takeover and try to stop people joining them. I think it is worth encouraging those who live peaceably, so as to prevent them being excluded. There may be non-Muslims who think there are no Muslims who are motivated to violence by their religion. But I think most people realise this is false. Rightly or wrongly, some Muslims are motivated by the Qur’an to violence. We should tell them that true religion does not teach violence in the name of religion. If that encourages them to reject violent Islam, well and good, if on the other hand, they think that Islam does teach such violence, and therefore they decide it is false (since true religion does not teach such violence) then that is not exactly bad from our point of view, is it?! 🙂

            So let me direct the question back to you:

            When some Muslims say the quran is a book of peace and they live peacefully, but others say it is a book of war and they plan forcible takeover, what do you personally do about it, and particularly, what do you say to Muslims who argue that their religion teaches peace?

          • Anton

            I’ve answered that already: whatever view of their scriptures they take, and whatever their actions, I invite Muslims to come to Jesus Christ. That is in private conversation. If I am in a debate with them before an uncommitted audience then my concern is to sway the audience, and I would aim to show that Islam has not in fact brought peace in its heartlands (sunni vs shia, Turk vs Arab, etc).

            I think the religion is basically false, and I defend people’s right to believe falsehoods without violent censure. What I need to do is stop those who plan to takeover and try to stop people joining them.

            We agree about that. But knowing the Muslim mind is part of that, and making decisions based on knowledge of what the quran says is part of that, in its turn. Please reread our exchange to verify that I have never criticised those who encourage peaceful Muslims; indeed, I have never discouraged peaceful Muslims – I am simply wary that they might read the quran more closely and reach different conclusions. I do not consider you to be either a politically correct secularist or a liberal Christian. Those are the only categories I actively seek to warn, but not the only categories I disagree with.

            If you are happy to pay the jizya, good luck to you. What is likely to happen is that you run out of money and then get the (worse) penalty for nonpayment. As for the other extract from sura 9, how can the idolaters be arrested and tested for repentance if they have been slain wherever they have been found?

            Yes, you answered the question I first put, but anybody can see it is what is in the binding scriptures of a religion that matters, rather than non-binding commentaries on them. Hence my tightening of the question. So I await an answer to the question that matters, which you have so far avoided.

          • Albert

            I’ve answered that already

            And since you are unlikely to convert them, what next? And also what about answering the rest of my question?

            f you are happy to pay the jizya, good luck to you.

            I never said I was happy with it. I said I’m not suggesting this is okay. I’m not defending it. I’m just saying that there are restrictions on the violence.

            As for the other extract from sura 9, how can the idolaters be arrested and tested for repentance if they have been slain wherever they have been found?

            Exactly, both parts of this need to be obeyed, so it is a matter of interpretation. The clarification comes later than the injunction. Therefore, one follows the injunction in the light of the clarification.

            anybody can see it is what is in the binding scriptures of a religion that matters, rather than non-binding commentaries on them.

            There speaks a Protestant – the assumption that one’s individual interpretation of a scripture is prior to the community’s traditional interpretation of it. But the moment a religionist disagrees with you about this, is the moment a difference conversation starts. That’s my point. You keep imposing your own Protestantism on Islam. I’m sure there are many Muslims like that, and certainly the fact that Islam is textually fundamentalist makes it closer to Protestantism in this respect. But there is also a strain in Islam that sees tradition, as a comprehending of the text. This point makes your next comment rather ironic:

            So I await an answer to the question that matters, which you have so far avoided.

            for you have failed to respond to my comment about jurisprudence.

          • Anton

            You say so much that is off the point which I ignore and you then request an answer to. Please repeat it as a concise standalone comment (taking negligible time with cut-and-paste) and I shall reply.

            And there speaks a Catholic who has training in philosophy and thinks that training in philosophy is needed to make sense out of texts that were written to be comprehended by simple agriculturalists. It reminds me of Plato, a philosopher, who conveniently reckoned that philosophers should run the city-states.

            Exactly, both parts of this need to be obeyed, so it is a matter of interpretation.

            You can’t interpret contradiction. This is all one sura so naskh does not apply.

            And since you are unlikely to convert them, what next? And also what about answering the rest of my question?

            The Bible is clear that if you fail to convert someone you should not nag them or attempt coercion. Of course there will be interactions between Muslims and Christians in a society in which both live. We should befriend people of other faiths as we find them in our daily lives; we should unite with people of other faiths against secular evils such as pornographic sex education in schools; we should debate people of other faiths in front of uncommitted audiences (including online) so that the audience can see the Christian position set out and defended; but there is no good in taking part in multifaith gatherings in which people discuss their own religions amongst each other. At the political level, Christians should advocate godly laws via the democratic process. I suggest that Islam be better understood by our authorities as a political movement and I work in my own small way to achieve that.

          • Anton

            Some further responses:

            * Most verses are clear, making the need for interpretation the exception rather than the rule.

            * You ask what I’d say to Muslims after explaining Christianity to them and if they refuse it. I said “Nothing” and you suggested that that was inadequate. I’m not a politician in power, but if I were then in a meeting with leaders of the Muslim community, I’d ask: “Your scriptures say this, here. Why then should Islam not be reclassified as a subversive political movement?”

            I am all in favour of moves that divide the actionists from the passivists inside the Islamic community. The trouble is that there is continual traffic between those blocs, arguably due to renewed reading of the quran.

          • Albert

            Most verses are clear, making the need for interpretation the exception rather than the rule.

            The application is not clear – as my repeated question to Muslim jurisprudence makes indicates.

            You ask what I’d say to Muslims after explaining Christianity to them and if they refuse it. I said “Nothing”

            I’m not sure where you did say that, but even if you did. Do you mean to say that, once someone has rejected Christianity, you can no longer have a conversation with them? Does this rule apply only here (if so, why?) or does it apply more widely. It seems to me that as Christians we belong to the household of faith, but also the wider human family. We have duties to both, and shouldn’t use Christianity as a mechanism for shutting down the latter relationship.

            “Your scriptures say this, here. Why then should Islam not be reclassified as a subversive political movement?”

            I think that would be an interesting question to ask. It is an aggressive way of asking a Muslim how he interprets the more violent passages of the Qur’an. The answers he gives, I suspect would be like those I have given here.

            The trouble is that there is continual traffic between those blocs, arguably due to renewed reading of the quran.

            Yes, although we know that many terrorists seem to have only an elementary grasp of the Qur’an. Thus, fighting the violent cultural interpretation with the peaceful one, seems in everyone’s interests. But you promote the violent interpretation – arguably, even at the expense of the text itself.

          • Anton

            Application of verses varies from circumstance to circumstance.

            I’m not sure where you did say that, but even if you did. Do you mean to say that, once someone has rejected Christianity, you can no longer have a conversation with them?

            I’m sure you – and everybody else – are aware that I meant: nothing more about Christ. Deliberate misunderstanding is an unworthy rhetorical trick.

            As I said – and you have now agreed – most verses are clear, so that it is a matter of application rather than interpretation, and application varies with circumstance. It is not I who promotes the view that Islam is to be enforced wherever it is not accepted voluntarily. It is the view of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Are you suggesting that Muslims should take a different view of how to put the quran into action from him? Try that claim out at your nearest mosque…

          • Albert

            Application of verses varies from circumstance to circumstance.

            Precisely, so it’s a matter of interpretation and so your endless repetition of the text is inadequate.

            I’m sure you – and everybody else – are aware that I meant: nothing more about Christ. Deliberate misunderstanding is an unworthy rhetorical trick.

            How dare you? It was not a deliberate misunderstanding or a rhetorical trick. How dare you accuse me of that in such an aggressive way. I think anyone reading your comment would have taken it the same way.

            My question was firstly, how do you deal with a Muslim interpreting these text.

            You: I would speak about Christ.

            Me: and if he rejects Christ?

            You: I would say nothing.

            Now how am I supposed to know that by “nothing” you mean “nothing more about Christ” rather than “I would say nothing about the meaning of the Qur’an or its application etc.? But you’re so all seeing you know my soul apparently, you know I deliberately misunderstood as a cheap rhetorical trick. One of the problems you have as a reader of the Bible, is that you seem incapable of seeing that words can have more than one meaning, and anyone who interprets them differently from you, must be being dishonest. This is a fundamental failing of Protestantism in general, and in this conversation, you have extended it to the Qur’an.

            As I said – and you have now agreed – most verses are clear

            I have not agreed to that. In fact, I maintain that they do not mean what you say they mean, and in any case, I do not agree that the passages are clear in the interpretation of their meaning, but not their application. Rather I regard working out the application as part of the interpretation of their meaning. Secondly, you take a verse here or there, without acknowledging wider elements of clarification and jurisprudence.

            It is not I who promotes the view that Islam is to be enforced wherever it is not accepted voluntarily. It is the view of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

            And if so, that is evidence that Islam is a false religion. But can you give a source for this, please?

          • Anton

            I already have, in the quran.

            I don’t withdraw that accusation.

          • Albert

            But it’s the interpretation of the Qur’an that is under examination. So where in the Qur’an does it say this?

            I don’t withdraw that accusation.

            I knew you wouldn’t. Repentance is not something you do.

          • Anton

            You have no idea how I live my life.

          • Albert

            I know that you don’t repent of certain sins to persons you sin against. And you have no idea how I live my life, which is why you shouldn’t judge, or if you do, you should apologise. You were plainly wrong to make the accusation you did – I have shown that. But there’s no point arguing about it, because repentance towards other people, in circumstances such as these, at least, is something you do not do.

          • Anton

            You have shown no such thing except perhaps in your own eyes. I find it incredible that you would suppose I would refuse to speak on any subject to someone who had rejected Christ.

          • Albert

            You accused as if there was only one reasonable interpretation of your words. I showed that there was another reasonable interpretation. Even if you reject the suggestion that it is reasonable, you are still in no position to judge my motivation, for you would then be missing out the possibility that I made a genuine (if irrational) mistake.

            I find it incredible that you would suppose I would refuse to speak on any subject to someone who had rejected Christ.

            I cannot see where I said that. I can only assume you are speaking of this passage:

            Do you mean to say that, once someone has rejected Christianity, you can no longer have a conversation with them? Does this rule apply only here (if so, why?) or does it apply more widely. It seems to me that as Christians we belong to the household of faith, but also the wider human family. We have duties to both, and shouldn’t use Christianity as a mechanism for shutting down the latter relationship.

            I find it incredible that you would take that passage so literally as to mean you think I mean any subject is now excluded from conversation. What I mean is that you would refuse to have a conversation about where you go from there, on the topic we are talking about. Why on earth would you assume that I am referring to all sorts of other topics that haven’t been mentioned? Why would you think I assume you won’t talk science to an unbelieving scientist given that you are a scientist, or politics, given that I see you talk politics to non-believers down here every day. Why on earth would you accuse me of that, even at the price of accusing me of being dishonest?

            By “conversation” I mean “conversation about what we (you and I) are talking about: how a Muslim deals with difficulty passages. I envisage such a conversation as this: “Okay, I see you don’t want to become a follower of Jesus. Can you explain to me please, how you interpret sura X which appears to command violence against me.”

            Obviously, you are going to go pass the time of day with people who aren’t Christians. I never intended to be understood as saying you wouldn’t. But are you able to continue the dialogue on peace in society, when someone rejects Christ. It seems to me that we need to, but that your position excludes this and that strikes me as being bizarre, and not at all society-minded. Surely, Christianity teaches the common good: While we have time, let us do good unto all men, and especially unto them that are of the household of faith?

          • Anton

            Yes absolutely, which is why I don’t agree that you showed there was another *reasonable* interpretation of my words, just an unreasonable one. But if your thinking is really so convoluted into opaque thickets of logic then I withdraw the accusation, while regarding you as unique among the many people with whom I have crossed pens on various blogs.

          • Albert

            Well, I think you were at fault in two ways. Firstly in thinking my understanding of your words was unreasonable. For you seriously to entertain that, you had to accept the idea that I was suggesting you wouldn’t talk to non-Christians who have rejected Jesus. But apart from the enormity of that opinion, I see you talking to non-Christians who have rejected Jesus every day. Therefore, you are unreasonable in thinking that was my view. That’s not thickets of logic, that’s just plain evidence. But, as I say, the moral claim was not just that I was being unreasonable, but that I was being deliberately unreasonable. This is not something you could have known. For both these reasons you should not have said what you said. But you’ve offered an apology (of sorts – i.e. the kind of apology that says it was really my fault), and I accept the apology, such as it is – with a degree of amazement and gratitude.

          • Anton

            I made what I believe readers will regard as overwhelmingly the obvious inference from your words to that point. That is why I used the verb Withdraw.

            NB I don’t *speak* to anybody on blogs; in the context of evangelisation, the obvious meaning is face-to-face.

          • Albert

            With distinctions as fine as that in your own posts, I think anyone can see you should have understood my words, or at least, finding that your first interpretation of my words was uncharitable to me, you should have looked for another – and clearly have the ability to find it.

          • Anton

            Perhaps I misinterpreted your words. We are all entitled to our own interpretations… I do think it is a bit much for you to complain about fine distinctions.

          • Albert

            Perhaps I misinterpreted your words.

            And rather than give me the benefit of the doubt, you accused me. Having accused me, and having just about opened your mind to the possibility you were wrong to do so, you withdrew the accusation, although it seems without apology. What kind of man are you?

            I do think it is a bit much for you to complain about fine distinctions.

            It was a tu quoque – you always accuse me of that, and then employed it in your own post. Given that a whole portion of human discourse is apparently closed to you, how on earth do you expect to interpret the Qur’an properly, let alone the word of God?

          • Anton

            Interpretation is the exception rather than the rule, because most verses are clear. As for application, which is not the same as interpretation, I do not intend to apply the quran as I am not a Muslim. In applying the Bible I look to help from God in Jesus Christ, who speaks in many ways.

            Your summary of the exchange, in your first paragraph, is far from matching mine.

          • Albert

            Interpretation is the exception rather than the rule

            All reading is interpretation.

            most verses are clear

            Clearly what? I don’t accept your interpretation.

            As for application, which is not the same as interpretation, I do not intend to apply the quran as I am not a Muslim.

            Application and interpretation are not divisible here, for what we are asking is “What does this teaching mean to me/now/her?” One could for example admit that a passage teaches violence, but that it cannot be applied to this circumstance – this is why I keep asking about jurisprudence (and why you keep ignoring it). As you know, jurisprudence is based, in Islam on the Qur’an and the hadith. Thus, if someone says this passage does not apply here and now, it is likely to be because something in either source indicates Mohammed thought it only applied in certain circumstances. Now you ignore this because it doesn’t serve your cause. Might it be crucial to them.

            Your summary of the exchange, in your first paragraph, is far from matching mine.

            As I say, it is always about interpretation.

          • Anton

            Yet there is a meaning.

          • Albert

            Well, there we can agree- although, as much of our conversation has shown, often there is more than one meaning.

  • CliveM

    “Muslims have refused to bury the body of a militant that killed a Christian priest in France on Saturday, as Christian and Muslim groups organised vigils in a show of unity.
    Members of the the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray Muslim community said they did not want to “taint” their religon by being involved in the burial of Adel Kermichie, Sky News reported.”

    Most Muslims just want to get on with their lives, watch their children grow up and be left in peace. A lot of Muslims know their biggest threat isn’t the “crusader” west, but other Muslims. We aren’t going to ‘rid ourself ‘ of Islam and it is important that those who wish to live in peace are allowed to do so. Just like the rest of society. So when Muslims attend Church in solidarity, we should welcome it and treat the move with respect.

    • Dreadnaught

      If we had the resolve and commitment we could legislate that those involved in acts of murder, preparation to murder in the cause of Islam, to be expelled along with their extended families to the Muslim country from where they or their relatives first came and after serving their sentence.
      Those who die in their actions should equally carry the same responsibility for the reaction of this Country also to deport ALL members of their extended families.
      Until the Jihadis recognise that there will be a severe cost to be borne by their loved ones after their murderous intentions are carried out, nothing will change.

  • carl jacobs

    This would be more impressive if it happened in Egypt.

    • Albert

      Where it would make a lot of sense given how Christians suffer in such places.

    • dannybhoy

      Yet let’s not despise the day of small things. A gesture has been made and is to be encouraged.
      These Muslims are reaching out and we must recognise that this will then put them at odds with their more extremist brethren..
      If we can come to the place where Muslims in Europe will campaign for Christians in Muslim countries to be free from persecution, and enjoy equal rights as citizens such as Muslims in Europe enjoy; then we will be able to rejoice.

    • It would be seen and treated as a public act of blasphemy.

      • carl jacobs

        Which is why I think this gesture is fundamentally meaningless. It doesn’t say anything about Islam in general. It says something about a few people.

        • Albert

          If it say something about a few people, it is necessarily not fundamentally meaningless.

          • carl jacobs

            Meaningless in the general case. It would have meaning in the particular, but the particular is of no interest as it relates to the general problem. You can’t extrapolate from this particular act to the general conclusion that Islam is not a threat – which is what many will try to do.

          • Albert

            which is what many will try to do

            Do you think so?

          • bluedog

            Yes. Denial is the order of the day because it spares Western societies from contemplating the two most probable outcomes of Muslim settlement – submission to Islam or expulsion of the Muslims.

          • Albert

            It’s clear there are Muslims who are pushing for that, but most are not. I think we are generating this conflict by our fear.

          • The Explorer

            Douglas Murray on the Munich shooter:

            But the coverage of the attack was revealing. Was it a surprise that the BBC and other broadcasters stopped broadcasting the Munich gunman’s middle name? (Ali). Perhaps. It certainly seems at one with the audible sigh of relief when the name of Breivik emerged. Hurrah – went the barely-disguised speech-bubble over everyone’s heads – now we can blame racist European society…

            Nevertheless, this is going to require caution. When an Iranian born in Germany can be portrayed as a white nationalist but a set of ‘Allahu Akbar’-shouting Mohammeds are symptomatic of nothing in particular, you know our continent is engaged in a piece of cognitive dissonance from which we will be wrestled only very reluctantly.

          • Albert

            But havcen’t people seen through this BBC, just as they saw through all the Remainian propaganda?

          • The Explorer

            If you take the Brexit vote as indicative, just over half the population has seen through the BBC, but nearly half the population hasn’t.

          • Albert

            Not necessarily. Perhaps some people really thought there were good arguments for the “in” side. I’m amazed at how many educated and sensible people I know, saw through the BBC, but voted in for other reasons.

        • Maybe not impressive, Carl. But not without meaning.

        • Uncle Brian

          … And now we know who those few people are, thanks to Douglas Murray in the Spectator. See Pubcrawler’s comment above.

  • preacher

    For most Muslims Islam is like a prison – full of rules, regulations, demands & laws, with draconian penalties for those who refuuse to adhere to them.
    The problem they face is that they are unable to see it, fear has blinded them to the fact that they have no choice. Indeed as it has many of the Christian leaders, Bishops & senior clergy. Let’s be honest, if the synod will not stand on the Word of God, as represented in scripture, when faced with blatant deviations from the Word because they seek favour with men rather than God & fear empty Church buildings, then they are dry springs with nothing to quench the spiritually thirsty, no message, or power, they build their own whitened sepulchres.
    The Muslims who speculate if the gospel is true, soon see that often it’s just out of the frying pan into the fire & who would risk their life to change from one set of rules to another ?.
    You can’t blame a man who’s born blind for falling & not being able to see the beauty that surrounds him, You can’t tell him he should read the Bible or see a film about Jesus. So what can You do ? If the Holy Spirit leads You to pray for his healing – Do it!, if not, tell him about the Lord Jesus, go to him & read the Bible, be a true friend to him.
    The Lord said he came to give sight to the blind, to heal the sick & set the captives free – & He did. He promised that we would do the same & even greater works when the Holy Spirit was given. Do we make Christ a liar because of our fear & disbelief ? If the organised Church cannot or will not do the job, then we must step up to the crease. If we want to experience New Testament Christianity we can – & should desire to build God’s Kingdom for the short time that we are here. Be disciples – leaders, not followers give God the Glory 100%. Keep nothing back, & He will bless you, He has given you the key to mankind’s freedom – use it daily.

    Or live in a state of safe mediocrity until the day you meet Him.

  • Dreadnaught

    If we had the resolve and commitment we could legislate that those involved in acts of murder or assisting in the preparation to murder in the cause of Islam, to be expelled along with their extended families and during the serving of their sentence, to the Muslim country from where they or their relatives first came .
    Those who die in their actions should equally carry the same responsibility for the reaction of this Country also to deport ALL members of their extended families.
    Until the Jihadis recognise that there will be a severe cost to be borne by their loved ones after their murderous intentions are carried out, nothing will change.

    • Albert

      I think this assumes too rational an emotional motivation for these attacks. What of those who, consciously or unconsciously do these things while hating, or because they hate, their families? If they wish to punish people, then you’ve just given them cause to punish others.

      • Dreadnaught

        I’m afraid I don’t buy the premise that some may hate their families and resort to using Islamic terrorism to get back at them. Isn’t the most common excuse the fact that someone, somewhere is killing, oppressing or offending Allah, Muslims or Islam?
        I am proposing giving them a choice of living here peacefully or inviting severe retribution on them and their families if the attack us.

        • Albert

          As I said, the idea may be conscious or unconscious. Psychology is profound is it not, and people often don’t understand what drives them. If this is true for normal people, then how much more for those who are going to blow themselves up. Most likely, such people have high levels of pain caused by very low levels of self-esteem – and that, very often will have begun in childhood in the family.

          I certainly accept that those who were in anyway accomplices or knew about these things should be punished, but I do not think there should be punishment merely by association. If we take that step, then I think we have eschewed our own culture, in favour or the barbarism we need to avoid.

          • Dreadnaught

            We defended our culture by bombing the crap out of Germany and then went back to a more civilised way of life.

          • Albert

            I don’t think the comparison is a good one, and for the record, I don’t think bombing the crap out of Germany was a moral act. But my other point is that you fail to see the fact that what you propose may make some nutters more, not less likely, to blow themselves up. Remember: we bombed the crap out of Germany because they first bombed us.

          • Dreadnaught

            We did what we had to do to survive. I don’t think anyone really wanted to drop the atomic bomb but we did.
            The trouble now is we are now like rabbits in the headlights and it has to be stopped.
            Doing nothing is not an option and the threat of prison doesn’t concern someone who believes that by blowing themselves up and taking others with them are likely to be deterred.
            If Islam is incapable of sorting out its own house then there is no place for it in ours.

          • Albert

            We did what we had to do to survive.

            The comparison remains inexact to put it mildly. The threat to our nation in WWII was quite different in scale from the threat we face now. Secondly, it is highly questionable whether diverting resources into bombing Germany was worthwhile – the evidence of the damage to places like Coventry would indicate not. Thirdly, we should see now that we bombed Germany because they bombed us. Thus attacking innocent people, like Muslim families, is part of the problem.

            The rest of your post reads like an example of the politicians’ fallacy.

          • Dreadnaught

            So what’s your plan?

          • Albert

            I would start by avoiding anything that will escalate the situation: bad plans and unjust plans.

          • bluedog

            Watch the electorate. Just as Brexit appalled and continues to appall the bien pensant, so too will the demands for retribution against the Muslims appall. Be in no doubt, those demands are coming and politicians who ignore them will find themselves out of office or simply side-lined.

          • dannybhoy

            I agree,
            The indigenous people of this country will not accept that innocent people should continue to be sacrificed in order to promote the nonsense that Islam is a religion of peace.
            And I’m afraid that religious leaders calling themselves Christians will find also find themselves in the firing line…

          • bluedog

            Perceptive. Religious leaders who thought that Brexit was unChristian may easily fall into the trap of rejecting anything they view as detrimental to Islam…

          • Albert

            You may well be right in foreseeing the outcome, but would that outcome be the right outcome? I suspect however, that our electoral system, which does not offer the electorate the yes no division of the referendum, will prevent what you say. Perhaps the worst argument for same-sex marriage came from Nick Clegg. He pointed out that all the major parties were in favour of it. Which was another way of saying the electorate did not have the chance to vote against it. Look how much energy has been expended down here on that subject, and yet, overwhelmingly, people down here will have voted for a party that supported it – most likely the Tories who undemocratically introduced it.

          • bluedog

            The right outcome is one which ensures the security and continued prosperity of the native British. Your comparison seems invalid in that SSM does not represent an existential threat. Islam and Islamism very obviously does. No homosexuals wielding AK 47s attacked shopping centres or self detonated themselves outside public toilets in protest at their inability to ‘marry’.

            As yet we have not suffered a major terrorist atocity in the UK since the London tube bombing. But the authorities are clearly sufficiently worried to have conditioned the public to expect an attack. The seemingly incessant wave of attacks in France is close enough to home to be forcing the electorate towards considering their own response, should such an attack be carried out in the UK. The blogosphere seems unanimously in favour of deportation, either individually or collectively.

          • Albert

            The right outcome is one which ensures the security and continued prosperity of the native British.

            Two things here. Firstly, that seems idolatrous to me. I agree that it is massively important, but it cannot be the ultimate consideration. Secondly, if you mean by this that retribution against Muslims is the answer to ensuring security and prosperity then I would point out that it appears to be exactly what the Islamists want. I find it hard to see that the solution to the problem of Islamism is the same as the Islamist objective. Thirdly, you seem to be assuming that we can easily work out who the native British are. That seems problematic to me.

          • bluedog

            Well, if seeking prosperity is idolatrous, one presumes that the Remainian threats of poverty in the event of Brexit represented an idolatrous position. Can’t recall that particular criticism.

            As to seeking security, such a goal does not imply retribution and your inference that it may do so is a surprise. One can envisage a Balkanised society, with some areas being more Muslim than others, if not 100% Muslim. This is already happening if one considers the evolution of Tower Hamlets and various northern mill towns into virtual emirates.

            You say, ‘I find it hard to see that the solution to the problem of Islamism is the same as the Islamist objective.’ Now, if the Islamist objective is self-defeating, who are we to prevent them achieving their objective? If all Muslims are contained within a limited and defined geographical space, we have a partial solution to the threat they present. Sometimes one needs to be astute enough to follow Napoleon’s advice, ‘Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake’.

            As to identifying the native British, would you accept any non-Muslim, or only Catholics?

          • Albert

            Well, if seeking prosperity is idolatrous, one presumes that the Remainian threats of poverty in the event of Brexit represented an idolatrous position.

            Which is not of course what I said. I said, I agree that it is massively important, but it cannot be the ultimate consideration.

            As to seeking security, such a goal does not imply retribution and your inference that it may do so is a surprise.

            I’m surprised you’re surprised. It was your word: Just as Brexit appalled and continues to appall the bien pensant, so too will the demands for retribution against the Muslims appall. Be in no doubt, those demands are coming and politicians who ignore them will find themselves out of office or simply side-lined. But it was unclear whether you supported that, which was why I said if you mean by this that retribution against Muslims is the answer to ensuring security and prosperity

            Now, if the Islamist objective is self-defeating, who are we to prevent them achieving their objective? If all Muslims are contained within a limited and defined geographical space, we have a partial solution to the threat they present. Sometimes one needs to be astute enough to follow Napoleon’s advice, ‘Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake’.

            But is it a mistake from their point of view. What you are suggesting here is just not practically possible, unless you want a version of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (which I’m sure you don’t. So you play into their hands: creating chaos, injustice and resentment amongst formally peaceful Muslims, without creating your geographical containment.

            As to identifying the native British, would you accept any non-Muslim, or only Catholics?

            That stupid question does you no credit.

          • bluedog

            Talking ‘retribution’ without resort to perma-cut and paste. The principle danger at present must be vigilante retribution that creates a self-fueling round of tit-for-tat. The essence of social cohesion is trust. That trust can be very rapidly eroded, and is being rapidly eroded by the Islamists, so that there is no possibility of peaceful co-existence between demographics with very different sets of customs and values. The political elites are not going to initiate retribution because that implies the failure of the entire western, infinitely tolerant, liberal-democratic societal model. The loss of face would be more than the elites could take. The revolt will come from the lower orders who will decide at some point they have had enough. It will all happen at the football club level. But this communicant suggests that anti-Muslim riots are only a matter of time and an atrocity will be the catalyst.

            You will then see an urgent geographic re-alignment of demographics. Self-selection will be the method.

            ‘That stupid question does you no credit.’ Heavens, and there I was rewarding your judgment that I enjoy attacking other Christians. It’s cruel and unforgiving world alright.

          • Dreadnaught

            Hmmmm, No plan then other than just sit back and suck it up. Now that’s what I call non-fighting talk.

          • Albert

            I don’t need to have an alternative plan to be able to reject bad, counter-productive and unjust plans.

          • carl jacobs

            The Germans never deployed a good strategic bomber during the Blitz. Their aircraft were largely tactical in design. So the effect on Britain is not translatable to the effect on Germany.

            I don’t know who you mean by “we” but the USAAF did not bomb Germany simply out of retaliation. It bombed Germany to reduce its ability to support its war effort. A Germany with an intact war economy would have been much more difficult to detect.

            The British bombed the Germans in 1940-1941 to carry the war to the enemy. It was a necessary act to five people a vision that the war could be won and not just endured.

            Jus in Bello is a lovely concept. But in certain conflicts the only rule is “Win.” It doesn’t matter how. It doesn’t matter what cost is inflicted. There are no prizes for losing noblely.

          • Albert

            And when you stand before God?

          • carl jacobs

            Your perception of the proper understanding of Proportionality is not holy writ, Albert. It holds no terror for me. And neither does this distinction between “doing” and “allowing” to which you implicitly and constantly appeal. I consider it little more than moral narcissism. A soldier has a fiduciary responsibility to act.

          • Albert

            I am not talking about proportionality. I am talking about actions which are objectively wrong, like killing innocent people.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, you are talking about Proportionality. You just don’t realize it. If I destroy a target, I can cause the death of innocents so long as the consequence imposed is not disproportionate to the advantage gained. Every single argument you will make will orbit around Proportionality.

          • Albert

            I’m sorry Carl, that is not at all what I mean, and this shows you have not understood – despite everything – the issue at stake. Some actions are wrong in themselves, regardless of proportionality. That is what I keep saying in moral terms. Please don’t assume that you understand my thoughts better than I do.

            This is one of the moral hazards of Protestantism – if you don’t understand something, your word remains law. There’s no one to correct you. You can then be tossed about by every wind of doctrine.

          • carl jacobs

            Then what you mean is an incoherent understanding of Jus in Bello. Either that, or you might as well declare yourself a pacifist and live with the consequences. Because it’s not possible to fight a war under the terms you seem to suggest.

          • Albert

            Then what you mean is an incoherent understanding of Jus in in Bello

            I did not mention Jus in Bello. But if you think my position is incoherent or pacifist, explain how.

          • carl jacobs

            OK. Answer this question first so that we are clear on your position. Can I or can I not kill an innocent incidental to a legitimate military mission?

            If you say “Yes” then you have firmly placed yourself in the realm of Proportionality because every action can be rendered proportional to some alternative. If you say “No” then you have effectively declared yourself a pacifist because there is no way to meet the condition you have specified. Capabilities and tactics do not have the ability to discriminate. If for example, I plan a mission to destroy a command bunker under Baghdad, I can never guarantee that the families of high-rankling officers have not been sequestered in that location for safety.

            That’s a real example btw.

          • Albert

            Can I or can I not kill an innocent incidental to a legitimate military mission?

            Is the killing direct or indirect? Your current expression (using “incidental”), is too imprecise and in that imprecision may lie your confusion. What do you mean? If you mean “Can I kill him, even though he is incidental to the mission?” then the answer is clearly no. If you mean “If I am carrying out my mission and he gets killed incidentally and I did not intend or want it” then that may be possible in some circumstances.

            Now, since I answer “No” to the first question, it follows that Just War is not just about proportion as you think, it is also about discrimination as well. And therefore my point is sound, not incoherent, and not pacifist

          • carl jacobs

            I gave you a clear example of what I meant. Let me restate it.

            I am a pilot. My target is a command bunker underneath Baghdad. I am going to put a 2000 lb PGW into that bunker in order to kill everyone in it, and to destroy its utility to the enemy. I do not know and cannot know that the wives and children of Iraqi officials have taken refuge in that bunker. It would not matter if I did, however. I am going to destroy that bunker.

            And another case:

            I am an American Ranger fighting in Mogadishu. There is a woman holding an infant standing in the street in front of me. A man is laying on the ground behind her and firing at me from between her legs. I cannot get a clear shot at my enemy. At this distance I cannot insure the infant will not also be killed if I fire at the woman. So I kill the woman to reveal my enemy and then kill my enemy – indifferent to the fate of the infant.

            Those are both real situations. I did not invent them. What say you? Are they lawful exercises of lethal force?

          • Albert

            As I read it, the first case if morally permissible, the second is not.

          • carl jacobs

            The actions of the Ranger were easily lawful under the Laws of War that govern the conduct of US military forces. The enemy violated a protected status and thus bears the fault for the death of the infant. The Ranger would have been wrong to withhold fire, and thus jeapordize his own life, the lives of his comrades, and the successful completion of their task.

            This is what I mean when I say you are a functional pacifist. If you would refuse to kill under such circumstances, then you have already lost.

          • Albert

            The actions of the Ranger were easily lawful under the Laws of War that govern the conduct of US military forces.

            Which tells me what about the moral status of the action? That American particularism is the moral basis for judgement?

            The enemy violated a protected status and thus bears the fault for the death of the infant.

            You’ve ignored the moral point: you’ve directly and deliberately killed an innocent woman.

            The Ranger would have been wrong to withhold fire, and thus jeapordize his own life, the lives of his comrades, and the successful completion of their task.

            You can’t do evil that good may come of it – it says so in the Bible.

            This is what I mean when I say you are a functional pacifist. If you would refuse to kill under such circumstances, then you have already lost.

            This is what I mean by you not understanding Just War Theory. You think I am arguing about the Just War principle of proportion. I am arguing about the Just War Principle of discrimination.

          • Was the woman a willing participant in offering herself as a shield? If so, then it’s moral to kill her and the possible death of the infant is an unintended consequence. If she was a hostage, acting her will, then you have intentionally killed an innocent woman rather than attempting to kill the enemy without harming her or the infant. It may be lawful. It’s certainly not moral. You’re judging the action by its outcome not its inherent immorality.

          • bluedog

            Strategic bombing was an essential part of the war effort. Destroying German industry so that weapons and munitions could not reach the front to be used against Allied troops made complete sense. Any suggestion to the contrary is unsound.

          • Uncle Brian

            Of course. I’m surprised that such an obvious point should still need stating.

          • Uncle Brian

            In war as in chess.
            “It is always better to sacrifice your opponent’s pieces.”
            —Savielly Tartakower

          • Anton

            “Nobody ever won a war by dying for his country. You win by making the other dumb bastard die for HIS country” – Patton.

          • Albert

            Any suggestion to the contrary is unsound.

            Historically and evidentially, it’s an open question. A lot of resources were diverted to do the bombing. Was it worth it? You can’t just answer that with an act of authority, as here. But I find it interesting how Protestants, who are normally so keen to display their Christian doctrinal purity, so easily slip over to secular utilitarianism when it comes to killing innocent people.

          • bluedog

            Yes, it was worth it because the effect on the German war effort was significant, both in a direct military sense and in an upstream industrial sense. The bombing successfully targeted supply and logistics infrastructure too, such as railways, bridges and goods marshalling yards. In this way, even if fuel, supplies, ammo and weapons were available, the means to transport them to the front was not functional. Look at the Normandy campaign in 1944, when apart from intelligence failures, the German response was hindered by a lack of fuel and resupply of ammunition. Same again in the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans had fuel for about 150km and their objective, the critical Allied supply port of Antwerp, could only be reached if the Germans captured Allied fuel dumps on the way. If Dresden is the cause of unspoken angst, it was a critical transport hub in the resupply of German forces facing the Red Army. Destroying the railway network around Dresden prevented that resupply. By the end of the war, almost all German aircraft manufacture took place using slave labour in underground factories. Think of the additional cost.

            For their part, as Carl says, the Germans never developed a strategic bomber force. They went about the strategic degradation of British industrial capacity through their U-boat fleet, and nearly succeeded in cutting off the supply of raw materials.

            You say, ‘But I find it interesting how Protestants, who are normally so keen to display their Christian doctrinal purity, so easily slip over to secular utilitarianism when it comes to killing innocent people.’

            This communicant is happy to concede that he is less holy than thou.

          • Albert

            I’m not going to argue the figures – they can be argued both ways.

            This communicant is happy to concede that he is less holy than thou.

            That’s confused. Right belief does not in itself make anyone holy. But if you think that your positions make you less holy, change them, and return to Christian teaching. Protestants are keen to show how marvellously Christian they are when attacking Catholicism, but some turn out to be quite content to be pagan and barbarous when it comes to moral questions of this sort. And the latter perhaps indicates the real motivation for the former is not what it seems.

          • bluedog

            I’m not confused at all. It’s my pragmatic assessment of the situation. You invariably determine what is or is not holy and hand down magisterial judgements accordingly. That’s not my game. I never accuse other communicants of being un-Christian, un-Islamic, un-Calathumpian or even un-pagan. It’s for the individual to make their own decisions before their deity. Returning to the matter at hand, I see nothing moral in a Christian people being defeated by the forces of Islam so that survival entails dhimmi status, at the best.

          • Albert

            You invariably determine what is or is not holy and hand down magisterial judgements accordingly.

            The idea that you shouldn’t kill innocent people is not magisterial, but scriptural.

            I never accuse other communicants of being un-Christian, un-Islamic, un-Calathumpian or even un-pagan.

            Now who’s holier than thou? Perhaps you don’t do these things, but you are quite content to attack other Christians, which is the same thing.

            Returning to the matter at hand, I see nothing moral in a Christian people being defeated by the forces of Islam so that survival entails dhimmi status, at the best.

            I agree. But God’s goodness, built into this world, means a prudent and successful response will be not sinful or unjust.

          • bluedog

            ‘Now who’s holier than thou? Perhaps you don’t do these things, but you are quite content to attack other Christians, which is the same thing.’

            Tough love, Albert.

          • Albert

            I can take it – but I’m not above firing it back! 🙂

          • carl jacobs

            It is not an open question. In the case of Japan, strategic warfare (bombing and blockade) was the sole reason for Japanese surrender. In the case of Germany, the Allies were learning as they went. The early raids did not have the impact desired because no one had ever conducted such a campaign before. They had no operational experience to draw upon. The Allies were developing doctrine in real time. They eventually learned what was effective and what wasn’t. The eventual focus on oil and transportation had real impact. Germany didn’t achieve a full war economy until very late in the war. What would have been the military capacity of the Reich if its economy had remained intact?

            You also discount the fact that the Luftwaffe was consumed in the bombing campaign. It wasn’t fighting in the East because it was pulled back to defend the Reich, and was destroyed in the resulting battle of attrition.

          • Albert

            In the case of Japan, strategic warfare (bombing and blockade) was the sole reason for Japanese surrender.

            That is certainly a disputed question.

          • carl jacobs

            There is utterly no dispute about it. And certainly not since the Magic transcripts were released. If the Japanese Gov’t (as opposed to the Army) was seeking surrender terms in the summer of 1945, it was because the USAAF had spent the previous five months burning the Japanese economy to the ground. The US Navy had destroyed virtually every ship in the Japanese merchant marine. Japan was isolated, and facing both economic implosion and mass starvation.

            What happened in China or on the Pacific islands meant nothing to ending the war except to the extent they allowed a strategic campaign to be conducted against Japan. The war had to be ended on the Japanese islands. Invasion or devastation – there was no other way.

          • Albert

            Apologies, I answered too quickly and did not read clearly enough what you claimed. I thought you were talking about the atomic bomb for some reason, and I withdraw my previous comment, which was directed at the claim that the atomic bomb was the sole cause of Japan surrendering. As you say here that thesis is certainly open to question.

          • carl jacobs

            The atomic bombings were a continuation of the strategic campaign by another means. They were not dropped with the specific intent of triggering Japanese surrender. However, the bombings did cause the Emperor to change his mind, and the Emperor was the only force in Japan that could cause the army to submit. The fact that the Gov’t was looking for surrender terms is irrelevant, because the Gov’t had no authority over the army. In fact, the Gov’t was discussing terms in secret amongst itself for fear of assassination.

            So, yes, strictly speaking, the atomic bombings did end the war. They convinced the Emperor that his end game strategy was no longer viable. As a result he ordered the Army to stop, and the Army was bound to obey. There is again no historical doubt about this. The Magic Intercepts turn the revisionist “Japan was about to surrender anyways” arguments into so much scrap metal. Read “Downfall” by Richard Frank and you will understand.

          • Albert

            I’m not going to read a whole book on this – there’ll be another one arguing the other way. It makes no difference to the moral issue.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s the problem, Albert. You are trying to argue the moral case with a very limited knowledge of the history of the war.

          • Albert

            The problem with you is that you think that facts on the ground trump God’s commands. You are in so many way an exemplary Christian intellectually, but you have this secular city in this portion of your morality.

          • dannybhoy

            There is a big difference between fighting on your own turf and someone else’s turf.
            I accept that most Muslims came here looking for a better life. I also accept that as time has gone by, the fanatics have entered the frame and they hide in our Muslim communities.
            However as an English Christian who has also lived and worked abroad, my perspective is that Muslims in Britain who believe they too are reasonable and just, must realise that Islamic nations do not treat their Christian communities with the same degree of respect and equality as we Christian countries treat our Muslim communities.
            If they truly believe in righteousness and compassion then they should be speaking out to protect the persecuted minorities and thanking God that they were accepted into Western nations.
            Do I hear an ‘Amen’?

          • Dreadnaught

            I agree.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector rather hopes that none of this opportunist consolation business affects in any way future planning to deport large numbers of muslim undesirables. And what then is the definition of such. Well, it occurs to the Inspectorate that these killers all had one thing in common, other than their bloody hatred of the West. To wit, they were known to the police through criminal activity. So there you have it – break the law just once, young Mohamed, and out you go. Or to be more precise, spend the rest of your life in prison unless your lawyers can find a country to take you in.

    Gentlemen, this tough and uncompromising stance will save lives and re-assure a frightened public that the powers that be are tackling the threat seriously and robustly, and one has no trouble commending the policy to Mrs May.

  • Inspector General

    Fellows who don’t yet grasp the need for us to be ruthless in casting out dangerous people may be of the opinion that come a few years, Islamic jihad terrorism will cease in Europe. No it won’t…and this below will give you understanding of what is in store for our churches and congregations

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/08/01/isis-orlando-shooting-was-a-hate-crime-because-we-hate-devilish-sodomites/
    ————————–
    …ISIS extremists celebrated the attack [Orlando] in propaganda magazine Dabiq.
    An article titled ‘Why We Hate you and Want to Fight You’ explained:

    “Shortly following the blessed attack on a sodomite, Crusader nightclub by the mujahid Omar Mateen, American politicians were quick to jump into the spotlight and denounce the shooting, declaring it a hate crime, an act of terrorism, and an act of senseless violence.

    “A hate crime? Yes. Muslims undoubtedly hate liberalist sodomites, as does anyone else with any shred of their fitrah (inborn human nature) still intact.”
    The group then proceeded to list six reasons why they hate Westerners, in one of the worst forms of listicles we have seen.

    They wrote: “We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realise it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices.

    “We hate you because your secular, liberal societies permit the very things that Allah has prohibited while banning many of the things He has permitted, a matter that doesn’t concern you because you Christian [sic] disbelief and paganism separate between religion and state, thereby granting supreme authority to your whims and desires via the legislators you vote into power.”
    ————————————

    • IrishNeanderthal

      First time I have ever followed a link to Pink News. One item puzzles me:

      “the listicle contains cats”.

      I see no reference to felines. Is there some in-house jargon there?

      • Inspector General

        Dreadful illiteracy on that site. All they have to do is cut and paste what proper journalists come up with, and they can barely achieve that…

  • Pubcrawler
    • Uncle Brian

      I have been scouring through these stories and the striking thing about them is that in most cases the Muslim attendees at mass appear to have been – as I would have expected them to be – Ahmadiyya Muslims. This is the persecuted sect which many Muslims regard as non-Muslims and who are subjected to severe persecution around the world from other Muslims. Even here in the UK.

      Good for Douglas Murray. Was he the only one to spot that?

      • dannybhoy

        Interesting that UB. When I was researching peace in Islam it was the Ahmadiyya websites that came up as most reasonable.

        • Uncle Brian

          The imam sporting a doubtfully islamic collar and tie in His Grace’s illustration is identified in this BBC report as Sami Salem, photographed yesterday at Mass in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, barely a mile from St Peter’s Square. It shouldn’t be too hard to find out whether he’s an Ahmadiyya.

          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36936658

          • dannybhoy

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/07/muslim-man-admits-murdering-shopkeeper-asad-shah-who-wished-belo/

            Asad Shah was a member of the Ahmadi Muslim community.

            And to me regardless of what the Koran says, my view is that any Muslim who comes (or stays) in this nation whilst hating us British people and wishing us violence and acting upon it, should be shot.
            No trial and subsequent prison sentence: shot dead.
            Either you protect your own people and way of life or you are complicit in helping murder your own.

          • Inspector General

            Steady on Danny. We are civilised and these blighters are not. We can only do what the world community will not object to, and that means Dredders idea of expelling whole families after the behaviour of one is a non starter.

            Now, the Inspector’s way, as published tonight, that would be accepted…

          • bluedog

            Should we not bulldoze the homes of offenders, in the unlikely event they are not accommodated in social housing?

          • Inspector General

            Not you too!

          • bluedog

            Who else? Dredders? He seems to have the bit between his teeth on the Muzzies, but can’t find his recommendation of demolition.

          • James M

            I believe that razing the houses of heretics was not unknown in Inquisitional practice. The much-reviled Inquisition asked for by their Catholic Majesties Ferdinand and Isabella looks a lot less malign than our 19th-century ancestors, who were not threatened by the Mohammedan hordes, perhaps realised.

            I think the Christian culture of the West may end up being strongly militant, much less elaborate than now, and much simpler – basically, like that in the Song of Roland. All in order to resist the paynim hordes.

          • bluedog

            Demolishing the houses of miscreants and suspects is only practical in agrarian societies. With a largely urban population, knocking down one house in a terrace row makes no sense and even less in the case of a block of flats.

            Your point about the Spanish Inquisition is highly topical and reflects the changes seen since three decades ago when the Monty Python sketches were written. Suddenly the entire process of the Reconquista and its aftermath is worthy of serious study. Where the purge that followed the Reconquista went very wrong was in the expulsion of the Jews. If you research the life of Peter the Cruel, King of Castile, during the mid-fourteeth century you will find that official attitudes to the Jews were the complete reverse to those shown later by Ferdinand and Isabella. King Peter seems to have been a liberal minded individual who also tried unsuccessfully to employ the noted Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun as an adviser. King Peter’s career and reputation have much in common wth those of his descendant King Richard III.

          • dannybhoy

            Outside of the Covenant people of Israel, a war is not won by the righteous, but by the most powerful and ruthless.
            We did not defeat Hitler simply because we were righteous, but because we knew what we were fighting against, and had the will and resources to overcome him.

          • bluedog

            Exactly. We have the means to deal with every aspect of the threat from Islam, but are crippled by lack of will.

          • grandpa1940

            As I wrote on my own blogsite

            when commenting upon the need to fight against the Nazis:-

            We only found out the ultimate evil which gestated in the entrails of Nazi Germany when the extermination camps were overrun: it was only then we found out that the sacrifice of so many men and women in Great Britain’s crusade against Hitler’s Germany was, and had been, so necessary.

          • dannybhoy

            It depends who you speak to grandpa1940.
            There were Jewish sources in Europe and Palestine who knew what was going on, and don’t forget the Jews in Germany had already experienced Kristallnacht and the wearing of the yellow stars and separation from German institutions and friends. Even the British government didn’t want to act on what they (probably) knew.
            What we did (officially) know was enough to be sure that we were fighting a just war, and cosy, cuddly compassion was not going to save us.

          • People are getting fed up Inspector.

          • Dreadnaught

            The idea of the threat of deporting whole families would deprive the culprit of the argument of a ‘right’ to a family life as has been upheld by deporting him/her on their own.
            They can’t have it all ways while we stand defenceless as they set about destroying Western cultures and lives.
            As I have said its up to the Ummah to sort out its own or we get to play dirty too.
            Man, I thought you were made of sterner stuff.

          • Dreadnaught

            Dan… you Wimped me out! Mr Angry or what!

          • dannybhoy

            I’m not angry nor interested in wimpiness. It’s about knowing what is important and how best to defend it. I know that if and when it comes down to it, I will do all I can to protect my old country and those I love.

          • Anton

            The shocking fact is, Danny, that the country you loved has gone down the tubes during your lifetime and no longer exists. If it did, we would not be in this mess. God has given us over to ourselves and look at the result. No wonder Muslims don’t wish to integrate.

          • dannybhoy

            My take on it is that scientific humanism has triumphed over Christianity, and has replaced God with man.
            Thus the Church(es) have been rendered irrelevant, and the State has taken over the role once played by the Church.
            The traditional churches have gone along with this, and we have no foundation left to build on in terms of a national Christian voice. Our priests and vicars are being relegated into ancillary social workers and counsellors.
            Add into the mix a people who feel so strongly about their religious faith that they are willing to die for it by blowing themselves up or shooting/mutilating/enslaving the innocents of whatever background.
            Our secular anti-religious governments are unable to cope and give in by trying to adapt their humanism to Islam’s stated needs.
            We have Sikhs living peacefully amongst us, Hindus and other faiths. All have found a way to reconcile their religious and cultural beliefs with those of their adopted homeland.
            Great. Only certain groups within our Muslim communities have isolated themselves or/and sought to impose their values and practices on the rest of us.
            That is the biggest problem facing us as a nation, and that is why I believe accommodation is seen by these groups as weakness and encourages them to go further in securing their objectives. Muslims of good will should make it clear they want none of it, and our own government should deal very severely with those who would do us harm.
            The point is you cannot overcome this kind of evil in this kind of context by compassion and accommodation.
            These minority groups are at WAR with us, and if they win every person of goodwill regardless of faith or culture, is in danger of death or forcible conversion.

          • Merchantman

            We are indeed in a dreadful spot of trouble. Many are falling away. Most of the COfE Bishops it seems. We must pray without ceasing and be vigilant because this is the Lord’s battle.

        • Dreadnaught

          That’s why they are regarded as non-Muslims by both Sunni and Shiia.

    • IanCad

      Thanks for starting my day with a big disillusionment Crawly.
      I thought things might be beginning to look more hopeful.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    I think Douglas Murray hits the nail on the head with this one…Ahmadiyya Muslims, not Shia or Sunni…

    • chefofsinners

      I have started a new youth outreach group: ‘Jihadis for Jesus’. I offered orange squash and a biscuit, but no comers yet.

      • Uncle Brian

        A biscuit, Chief? A biscuit ? What you need is nothing less than a few dozen of Mrs Proudie’s hobnobs!

        • James M

          Are there hobnobs in Barchester ?

          • Uncle Brian

            They are as numerous as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.

          • chefofsinners

            Is the Pope a Catholic? Oh, no, hang on…

      • carl jacobs

        A biscuit? Really?

        Oh, you mean a cookie.

        • dannybhoy

          A cookie is one who is eccentric or indulges in bizarre behaviour.
          A biscuit puts weight on.

      • Dreadnaught

        That would be a Nice biscuit then I take it, … (too soon?)

        • chefofsinners

          Kaffir cakes.

          • Dreadnaught

            chuckle!

          • dannybhoy

            Very clever.

        • James M

          No-one is going to call the jihadis Naughtie but Nice. Humour is a good way to cope with horror – especially horrors like these.

      • dannybhoy

        Try diluting the squash…

        • chefofsinners

          A refreshing alternative to the usual suggestion, which is ‘try diluting the gospel’.

  • Inspector General

    Well, here we are. Fear and loathing stalks this site tonight, and who can defy or condemn the attitude. When a senior policeman warns that’s it not a matter of when not if in England, then we brace ourselves, best we can.

    The only positive one can think of is that being up against it brings out the best in us. We resist such degeneracy as we have seen of late, such as the re-definition of marriage, and find ourselves leaner and fitter for the task ahead.

    Goodnight, fellows.

  • Uncle Brian

    A priest in Belgium was stabbed, after letting an asylum seeker into his home to use his shower, according to reports.
    Fr Jos Vanderlee, 65, who has been named locally as the victim of the attack, was rushed to hospital following the attack, which happened at around 2.40pm local time. His condition is not thought to be critical.
    Prosecutors have said the attack, which occurred in Lanaken, is not related to terrorism and police are looking for witnesses.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/08/01/catholic-priest-stabbed-in-belgium/

    • The Explorer

      The attack may not be related to terrorism, but it is related to immigration. Terrorism is not the only problem arising from asylum seeking.

  • Dreadnaught

    So far this year Police have arrested 900 ‘Syrians’ in England and Wales for crimes including rape and child abuse.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/695066/Police-arrest-900-Syrians-in-England-and-Wales-for-rape-death-threats-and-child-abuse

  • Surely we are having these conversations 30, 40, 50 years too late?

    The evil of Mohammedanism was clear when it was mainly confined to Dar al Islam. The mistake we made as I discovered in researching for my book Magna Carta R.I.P? was to turn a blind eye when the pernicious ideology, sham religion began to migrate via large numbers, many forming ghettos and the devout never integrating. How could they, unless they were to desert their prophet and false god?

    It was a slow fuse bomb, a festering wound and a planting of fifth columnists egged on by sentimental, fuzzy-minded intellectuals. When the politicians and the corporate mass media made Enoch Powell persona non grata the die was cast. Without proper debate back then government abdicated its primary obligation – to keep its citizens safe. No nation has ever survived allowing the enemy in its midst. Unfortunately, neither will we defy the odds.

    This is an avowedly Christian site but where is the application of Daniel and Revelation which many watchmen who seek to understand the signs of the times have been warning may be imminent?

    Clifford Hill put it this way on ProphecyToday.uk: http://prophecytoday.uk/comment/editorial/item/457-when-will-the-west-wake-up.html

    I would go further as the darkness closes in on us, particularly from Erdogan, with his advance towards the Caliphate which is bringing many of the final threads together. He is a much, much more likely Caliph than the pretender Baghdadi.
    Will he even claim to be the Mahdi? Some, although I fail to see why, even identify him as The Anti-Christ. He’s hardly the angel of light from Revelation!

    Europe is waking up far too late in attempting to back-track on its 6 billion aid and easy visas while the Erdogan tail wags the EU dog. The BBC and most of the media have been deceived by the big bad E’s very likely false flag coup. The Daily Express nailed it on the day after and this from the Jerusalem Post has lots of food for thought. And prayer.

    http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/middle-east/israel-and-the-middle-east/analysis-who-is-truly-behind-the-recent-coup-attempt-in-turkey-22404

    The original report from the Express of 15 July has eluded all my attempts to find the link. I wonder why?

    We are being fast overtaken by events of monumental destiny – known only by the one true God and our Lord and Saviour Jesus – he tells us not only the end-game but exhorts us to read the signs of the times and to watch and pray.

    • Anton

      On August 9th Erdogan is scheduled to meet Putin in St Petersburg. Will they cut a deal that aligns Turkey with Russia and knocks it out of NATO, now that EU membership is unlikely following the repression of democracy in Turkey in the days after the attempted coup? That would be in return for Erdogan accepting Assad in Syria.

  • James M

    Is the description of the icon as “blasphemous” the sentiment of His Grace, fresh from his exertions during the reign of the Young Josiah; or is His Grace speaking in persona Maometi ? The answer is of no great importance, but given His Grace’s curriculum vitae, curiosity on the point is perhaps not unnatural.

    STM the rites described belong to the worship of Tashlan, not of Aslan.

  • ISIS has come out and publicly rejected Pope Francis’ claims that the war being waged by Islamic terrorists is not religious. They have assured the Pope that their sole motivation is religious and is sanctioned by Allah in the Qur’an.

    In the most recent issue of Dabiq, ISIS criticizes Pope Francis for his naïveté in clinging to the conviction that Muslims want peace and that acts of Islamic terror are economically motivated.

    “This is a divinely-warranted war between the Muslim nation and the nations of disbelief,” the authors state in an article titled “By the Sword.”

    The Islamic State directly attacks Francis for claiming that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence,” saying that by doing this, “Francis continues to hide behind a deceptive veil of ‘good will,’ covering his actual intentions of pacifying the Muslim nation.”

    Pope Francis “has struggled against reality” in his efforts to portray Islam as a religion of peace, the article states and urges all Muslims to take up the sword of jihad, the “greatest obligation” of a true Muslim.

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/08/02/islamic-state-answers-pope-francis-religious-war/

  • Uncle Brian

    I’m watching on cable Outpost in Morocco, a 1940s Foreign Legion adventure starring George Raft. I wonder whether they still show films of this kind on cable in the U.S. and Europe? The story line could almost be a western, with not much more than the costumes and makeup to transform the Iroquois or Sioux into Arab tribesmen.

  • DP111

    The Hadith, collected by Bukhari (4.52.220) goes as follows:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror
    (cast in the hearts of the enemy),

    or Koran 8:12

    When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make
    those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those
    who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.

    Clearly Mohammed was not a true Muslim.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Taqiyya.