nigel-farage-welby-should-go
Church of England

Nigel Farage says Archbishop of Canterbury “should go”

“It’s a great shame that the head of our established church is not actually prepared to stand up and fight for our Christian culture in this country,” Nigel Farage told Sky News. “He’s somebody else who should go, too.”

Justin Welby is not, of course, head of the Church of England: that’s Jesus. And the Queen is its Supreme Governor, so Dr Welby is shunted down a bit further. But that’s a minor quibble. The allegation made by Nigel Farage is that the Archbishop of Canterbury is  “not actually prepared to stand up and fight for our Christian culture”, which Sky extrapolates to: “failed to represent Christians”; “not prepared to ‘stand up for Christian values'”; and “failing to do his job properly”.

Is it the Archbishop of Canterbury’s job to fight for a “Christian culture”? Does his job specification involve resilience to ethnic (and so religious) pluralism? Is he tasked with a mission of resistance to sociological change, and repudiation of the self-spiritual motifs and cultural symbols of the new generation? Or is his task one of adaptation to the context and the accommodation of diversity? Is it to negotiate a way through the morass of competing convictions and to incarnate Christ in space and time, causing those who see or hear to wonder in awe and pursue a life of peace?

It surely isn’t Justin Welby’s job to force children to sing hymns in Sunday School or to make hardhearted adults fall to their knees and pray. It isn’t his place to rail against spiritual mobility and free choice, or to pour scorn on people’s post-associational weekend preferences. How does condemnation win hearts? How do harsh words of judgment change minds? How do you persuade non-Christians of Christian truth if the primary impulse is to batter them over the head for their lack of Christian virtue?

Nigel Farage says Justin Welby “should go”, and therein lies Nigel Farage’s negation of Christian character, for it is immensely unneighbourly, not to say profoundly un-Christian, to tell peace-loving people to “go”. Jesus sat down and talked to them, argued with them, corrected and guided them. Scripture is clear on how Christians should handle disputes and disagreements:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican
(Mt 18:15ff).

But Nigel Farage has leapt straight to treating Justin Welby as a heathen man and publican (or Islamist and immigrant with HIV, to posit Ukip’s modern equivalence). That might make a good Sky soundbite, but it’s a bitter song which can never forge fraternity. Nor does it persuade Anglican Remainers (or, indeed, non-Ukip Leavers) that there may be trust, truth, wisdom, discernment and virtue to be found in Ukip.

Our “Christian culture” has changed, and that change preceded this particular archbishop of Canterbury. Its causes are complex and contradictory: personal enlightenment trumps organised religion; individualism beats restrictive communalism; secularisation erodes public faith. There is disaffection, cynicism, consumerism and societal atomisation. That is the essence of our contemporary culture: the young have no care for the old ways. Nigel Farage may spy a straightforward trajectory of remedy, but Justin Welby is a man of deeper insight. You may think he “should go” for forsaking the Faith or for his failures of leadership, but he is there because God put him there (Rom 13:1), and the exhortation is to pray for him (1Tim 2:2).

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you‘ (1Cor 12:21).

The Church of England isn’t an idealised political party. The Archbishop of Canterbury isn’t a here-today-gone-tomorrow politician: he is the Lord’s anointed. Nigel Farage has gone. What a pity his last words were of shallow bitterness, pettiness and spite, rather than ringing the Bishops’ ears with the peel of his political victory and a chorus of national liberty.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Goodness!

    • dannybhoy

      Morning Mrs Proudie!

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Good morning dannybhoy, I hope all is well with you! I was quite startled by Mr. Farage’s comments on the Archbishop…

        • Anton

          You mean St Nigel of Brexit…

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Indeed I do, yes of course…canonised by the Anglican spirit of Albion

        • dannybhoy

          AFAIK m’lady, Nigel is not a committed Christian. He is a patriot, he is willing to stand up for what he believes, and he feels that the established Church is betraying our heritage. We have a few on this blog that think similarly.
          Danny himself is not a pacifist -and in fact he would be ashamed to be so; knowing that his fellow countrymen were laying down their lives so that he might continue to be a pacifist.
          There surely can only be one true Church, and that Church will include Anglicans, Catholics and the blessed non conformists :0). A denomination can become corrupted, can become dead wood,, can be become self satisfied
          Revelation and the seven Churches..
          I have nothing against Justin Welby, but he’s not half the man that Nigel is….

        • Anton

          I was quite startled by the Archbishop’s comments on Mr Farage!

  • dannybhoy

    “It’s a great shame that the head of our established church is not actually prepared to stand up and fight for our Christian culture in this country,”

    “Is it the Archbishop of Canterbury’s job to fight for a “Christian culture”?”

    “That might make a good Sky soundbite, but it’s a bitter song which can never forge fraternity.”

    It is the job of the leader of any major denomination, Anglican, Catholic, Baptist or Methodist, to proclaim what Christianity is, and what it isn’t. Both to their congregations and to the wider society.
    !st Corinthians 7>
    7 “If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?”
    It is the uncertainty of what Christianity stands for that is unable to stand up against for example, Islam the fastest growing faith in the UK.
    It is because Christian morality is now so vague and focuses mainly on squishy touchy-feely sentimentality, tolerance and compassion, when in this case devout Islam stands for obedience to the Islamic laws, for a harsh morality, no tolerance and the subjugation of women.
    I think Nigel is wrong to attack Justin Welby, but very very right to question why our estabkished Church seems to have abandoned Christian certainty and morality..

    • Merchantman

      Thanks dannybhoy. There are many who should go, but I dont think Welby is one. In a relevatist world the bugle call is not one that many still heed, many have left the battlefield and lots more are deaf. Jesus strained to get those that have ears to hear, to listen. Reaching out to people with the Gospel in the UK can be an uphill struggle.
      Small groups and bible study worked for me and I think Justin Welby’s start in that regard was very encouraging.
      Islam seems to have intimidated the establishment to such a degree it gets away with………er lots.

      • dannybhoy

        From experience and observation it seems to me that if you turn the other cheek to someone who is only concerned about intimidating and ultimately defeating you, your gesture is in vain. If a man truly believes in a system which does not recognise compassion or forgiveness, he is unlikely to be moved by your meekness.
        He will see it as weakness and he will walk all over you.
        We see this in the Islamic countries in the way they treat their minorities, especially Christians. Their submission and meekness to their Muslim neighbours does not result in reciprocation, rather it encourages further ill treatment, rape and murder such as we are seeing now. On the whole they are despised not respected.
        I’m not arguing for violent or militant Christianity, but I am saying that if Christians in the West don’t learn from the savagery being inflicted in Christian minorities, what makes is believe that we will be exempt?
        “All it takes for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”
        The very fact that few Western Christian leaders can speak out for the protection and support of Christian minorities in Islamic states and insist that our government tailor overseas aid accordingly speaks volumes for their pusillanimity.

        • Merchantman

          I understand your frustration but the C of E has a problem being the Established Church. The way freedom of speech has been infringed is absolutely hindering a response to Islam. You would only have to burp as ABC and the MSM would immediately call you an Islamophobe (who isn’t if they embrace the Gospel) or the police would give you a hard time as we have seen with various street preachers.
          The only person I see qualified to speak out was Bishop Ali of Rochester. He should have been ABC in my opinion but was ruled out probably for his very outspokenness on the subject or for some other reason like his ethnicity.

          • dannybhoy

            I agree with you. he didn’t get anywhere because he knew where the problem lay, but the politically correct quislings didn’t want to listen.

        • But Danny, turning the other cheek is not merely a gesture. We don’t do it so that others will be moved by it but because that is the way of the kingdom, the way of Christ, the way of the cross.

          We should clarify by pointing out too that the ethics of the sermon on the mount are personal ethics for Christian living they are not intended to necessarily be those of the State or of its officers.

          To clarify, if I am punched on the face I should not retaliate, nor seek vengeance. I should leave that to God. In due time God will right all wrongs. However, the State is God’s servant to execute his vengeance on evil doers. It can use violence (the sword) in pursuit of justice. Thus as an individual I will not act aggressively but as a policeman or soldier I may be required to do so; my office confers powers that as an individual I neither have nor wish to have.

          Paul will not personally retaliate but he will claim his rights as a Roman citizen when necessary.

          • dannybhoy

            Not sure about your first para; I do agree about turning the other cheek, but sometimes a hostile needs to know why you are choosing to turn the other cheek.
            Second para I agree with.
            Third paragraph only if I am being abused for being a Christian, and no other reason. If a bloke breaks into my house and starts with violence towards my family, I will do whatever it takes to stop him. Even if there’s only me in the house I would do that. If however I’m being attacked because I’m a Christian, that’s another matter.
            We have to take into account why our Lord got angry and expressed anger. He was not meek and mild, he really did get angry with people. There is such a thing as righteous anger. Our Lord didn’t resist because He had a mission to fulfil, the goal was the Cross, and He submitted to men because He knew He had to die.
            St Paul too berated congregations where necessary. Of course he didn’t whack ’em, but he made it clear that he was angry.
            Otherwise we agree upon the distinction between the citizen and the State.

      • Martin

        MM

        The sinner will never listen to the gospel, it takes an act of God, such as the one that stopped Saul outside Damascus, to save. But that does not mean we should not proclaim the good news. I’m not convinced that Welby knows the good news.

  • Sigfridiii

    Nigel is right, as he usually is. It is what millions of disenfranchised Anglicans, and indeed Christians of other denominations, are saying. They don’t go to church any longer because when they do, they struggle to identify it as Christian. What is the use of any Christian minister who is not prepared to contend for the Christian faith? The churches are emptying because they look to the Church of England for leadership. And all they get is the latest pronouncement from an expensive spin machine, explaining the latest deal struck with post-Christian politicians to compromise the Christian faith just a little bit more, just a little bit more, just a little bit more….

  • Nigel Farage says Justin Welby “should go”, and therein lies Nigel Farage’s negation of Christian character, for it is immensely unneighbourly, not to say profoundly un-Christian, to tell peace-loving people to “go”. Jesus sat down and talked to them, argued with them, corrected and guided them. Scripture is clear on how Christians should handle disputes and disagreements:

    Hmmm. Our Lord was always kind to sinners and folk in trouble, but He wasn’t always kind to religious leaders. At least Nigel Farage didn’t say, “Serpents! Brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” Interesting question: how will the large majority of the bishops of the C of E escape the condemnation of hell?

    I don’t know what would be gained by Justin Welby going. Whom can we think of who would be any better?

  • Inspector General

    A good counter from you, Cranmer. Very good it is. And of course we know it would be pointless anyway as there are far worse officeholders than Welby in waiting.

    It does however present the church with the opportunity to reflect. Reflect on the truth that there is a rival faith in the country which is growing and is the antithesis of Christianity. And that deep thought needs to be given to its relationship with this entity. There will never be a coming together, and frankly, they should not be welcomed in (our) God’s house.

    • Martin

      IG

      Perhaps the CoE should get rid of the worse in waiting as well.

  • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

    We have sadly reached the point where Bishops are treating those who believe in the Bible as Jesus did (which is hard to do) with total contempt and Welby is part of this.

    Eli Wiesel, a holocaust survivor and professor in the USA, said:
    “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”

    So Bishops have started labelling those who believe in Scripture as Jesus did as “traditionalists” as a means of characterising them wrongly as hateful when they are nothing of the sort.

    Eli Wiesel said in the same quote:
    “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.”

    So indifference is both the OPPOSITE of love, i.e. against the basic teaching of Jesus Christ, and indifference is the OPPOSITE of faith …. and this is all coming from all levels of Bishops in the Church of England right up to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Bishops want people to read their Bible and believe in Jesus Christ but then treat those who do with contempt.

  • Farage is thinking about the long-term consequences for British Christians of a rapidly growing Muslim population, aware that Christians in majority Muslim countries are at best second-class citizens and at worst subjected to violence.

    Welby is thinking about the best way to get through his term of office without provoking Muslims, and he has concluded, like his predecessors and like everyone in authority, that appeasement ad infinitum is the best way forward.

    In the most depressing sentence I have read in a long time, Your Grace asks whether church leaders should be fighting for a Christian culture. If Christianity does not stand and fight, it will go under.

    • Coniston

      The police seem determined not to upset muslims. See:
      http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/kathy-gyngell-bobbies-in-burkas-is-the-mad-child-of-macphersons-racist-verdict-on-the-police/
      and especially the 2nd of the best comments.

    • Watchman

      Perhaps Mr Welby should read 1 Kings 18 and get some tips from Elijah on how to deal with Islam.

    • Where is the NT church given a mandate to fight to establish/defend a Christian culture? How could he best fight for such a thing; by living and preaching the gospel.

      • @ John Thomson—Where is the NT church given a mandate to fight to establish/defend a Christian culture?

        My knowledge of the Bible has improved little since Sunday School. We could perhaps let 1 Tim 5:8 out for a run: ‘But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’

        How could he best fight for such a thing; by living and preaching the gospel

        If living and preaching the Gospel includes shrinking in horror at the thought of living in a Christian country, Welby cannot be faulted: ‘Archbishop Justin told his audience that diversity was a “gift not a threat” and he did not want to live in a “monocultural” society.’

        • JR

          Not sure where 1Tim 5:8 supports fighting for a Christian culture. It is simply underlining the duty of providing for the welfare of family.

          In many ways diversity is a gift not a threat though of course not in the area of faith and belief.

          • @ John Thomson—fighting for a Christian culture

            As Christians refuse to lift a finger in defence of the West, it will be up to the rest of us.

            diversity is a gift not a threat

            So… the fewer English there are in England, the better. Christianity gets more repulsive by the minute.

  • Martin

    For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

    For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.
    (Titus 1:7-11 [ESV])

    “Justin Welby is not, of course, head of the Church of England: that’s Jesus.”

    So why does Welby not obey his head?

    Not one of the CoE bishops, the only Christians in Parliament by right of being Christians, voted against the ‘gay’ marriage bill. They let down every Christian in the country who looked to them for support and leadership. My MP did better than them!

    Heresy is rife in the CoE, but not one word of rebuke do we hear from Welby. Not one word of correction of those who pretend homosexuality is a normal condition of man and not a sin. Welby failed to condemn the TEC and ended up with a woolly call to repentance. Somehow I think Paul might have mentioned a certain animal in this respect.

    Not, of course, that Welby is alone in his failure to act, it seems that for the CoE, unity with each other is more important than unity with Christ.

    • TropicalAnglican

      “Not one of the CoE bishops, the only Christians in Parliament by right of being Christians, voted against the ‘gay’ marriage bill.”–Surely there must be at least some believing bishops, but that no one voted against this unbiblical bill is quite unbelievable!

    • Having had to play the political game of endless compromise to become a bishop/archbishop in the first place what chance is there that the leopard will then change its spots.

      The gospel does not flourish through powerful establishment figures (or rarely does for not many of such are chosen) but God has chosen the weak and foolish to confound the strong and wise.

  • Dreadnaught

    Of all the religions extant in the UK, Anglicanism was by far in the way best represented within the Establishment, to shore up it’s foundations that have beein undermined to the point of imminent collapse. If it was a PLC the Chairman and BoD would have been given their P45s long ago for lack of passion and ambition to deliver. Complacent in the extreme, it is the author of its own demise. If it wasn’t for Remembrance Sunday or Opening of Parliament, you wouldn’t know it existed at all.
    It is an ex-parrot no longer pining for Fjords.

    • dannybhoy

      Indeed Dreadders. There’s nothing worse than Christians proclaiming freedom and tolerance to those who understand neither..

  • Anton

    I don’t know about the role of Christ in this, but Nigel Farage clearly understands the notion of an Established church better than Justin Welby. And Farage is an atheist.

  • CliveM

    I would wonder if it’s the job of a “here today, gone tomorrow ” politician to tell AofC what his job is.

    Frankly I’ve more time for the AofC and I’m sure he’ll show the respect due the request. Which isn’t much.

  • Anton

    Nigel Farage knows what it is to cry in the wilderness for a decade for a just cause. The words of such a man deserve to be taken seriously.

    • CliveM

      It was hardly in the wilderness and I’m not entirely convinced that fighting to leave the eu, makes you an expert on the role of the AofC.

      • dannybhoy

        But it does show that you have convictions Clive..
        Just tell me what in the last thrity years the established Church has said and done in support of our history, our armed services and our British culture…

      • Anton

        In UKIP’s early years he was very much in the wilderness, and I’m not convinced that being an Archbishop makes you an expert on Brexit either.

        • CliveM

          Who said it does.

          • Anton

            Just responding to rhetoric with the same, Clive, as Farage did to Welby.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I have to say that I am not sure what the office of Archbishop of Cantebury is supposed to involve, unless it is largely Come kind of administrative post. Nigel Farage is of course correct when he says that Justin Welby does not stand up for Christians in this country. When people lose their jobs or are disciplined, ridiculed or demoted because of their Christian beliefs then Justin Welby can be relied upon to stay silent. When the influence of Islam creeps into manifold aspects of British society, side-lining those of Christian belief, Justin Welby can be relied upon to stay silent. Forget evangelising the Gospel; Welby doesn’t even speak up for those who hang on to their faith when pressurised to abandon it. I suspect that these are the issues Mr Farage is alluding to. Should Welby go? My view is that if there is somebody who will boldly speak the truth on the spiriitual state of the nation, without relying on circumspect waffle, then maybe it would be better to replace him. If that requires some amendments to the job specification for Archbishop, then so be it.

    • Anton

      Well said.

  • len

    ‘For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.'(2 Timothy 4:3)

    Christians need to be told the Truth as revealed by the Word of God without fear or reservation. The Archbishop of Canterbury is not doing that.
    ‘Genteel good manners’will not save the lost. Compromising Gods Word is to hold ‘the fear of disapproval by men’ over honouring God.
    It is time to warn Gods people to get right with God and to check themselves to see if they are in the faith or are they following some politically correct agenda devised by man which dishonours God.

  • carl jacobs

    If you get rid of Justin Welby, you will get a replacement just like him. Welby is a corporate man. The corporation is the CoE and it only produces corporate men. The system produces men with a vested interest in preserving a broad inoffensive culturally complaint church.

    There is no Hezekiah waiting in the wings to restore the CoE.

    • Anton

      Hezekiah was son of, and brought up by, a king who worshipped idols; but God laid hold of him. God can lay hold of some timeserving bishop too, and give him a tongue of fire. Will He? Neither of us knows that.

      • carl jacobs

        Hezekiah was a king with the power to act. There is no bishop in the CoE with the power to effect broad transformation. For the better part of two decades the Office of the AoC has sought to protect TEC from the consequences of its drift into post-Christian religion. Why? Because the CoE is following the same path. To defend TEC is to implicitly defend the integrity of the CoE, and the integrity of the CoE has always be the overriding priority. The simple fact is that a huge percentage of the CoE leadership would not follow your hypothetical bishop back to orthodoxy.

        Now, you could say that God could produce another Great Awakening. Fair enough. What I see instead is judgment. That noise you hear is the waterfall up ahead. And we are all going over the precipice.

        • Anton

          Without God’s intervention, that is exactly what will happen. What you are saying with certainty is that he won’t intervene. I am preaching exactly the same as you, merely saying that you can’t be 100% certain.

          • carl jacobs

            Not with certainty. With sufficiency.

          • Anton

            I’m tempted to ask Sufficient for what, but we agree on too much to quibble.

        • Inspector General

          If the 14 priests who denied Welby’s authority remain, then yes, it’s all over for the Church of England. It’s just a question of what the emerging feminist-humanist-pro Marxist movement that has been calling the shots for some years calls itself afterwards…Any ideas?

          • carl jacobs

            Stop giving money to the CoE. The whole edifice will fall in short order because a bankrupt church cannot employ heterodox priests and bishops.

          • Anton

            It gets a load of money from its extensive land holdings and investments. That and its historic buildings are what the faithful find it hard to walk away from. I did. Let others follow their consciences.

          • carl jacobs

            Then why did the AoC go hat in hand to the Americans to fund the deficit of Lambeth 2008?

          • Anton

            These are good questions, but why you are directing them to me I have no idea. I quit the CoE years before that.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I can provide some light on this as I attended one such church at the time. It is because liberal churches don’t tithe. Simple as really.

            Orwell Ian is correct to say that the CofE has formidable investments but it has also been pursuing an increasingly aggressive policy of demanding sizeable increases in the parish share (the money tithed to central command). I don’t know the state of her books overall but I’d say the CofE is very much unevenly sustainable.

            Ultimately some of the “shadow” institutions currently being set up in the CofE by conservatives have the look and feel of being crafted to support legal challenges as to who the continuity CofE really is. Personally I think it’s a fool’s errand. Better to just leave the whore her baubles.

          • carl jacobs

            Interesting. My perception has been that the CoE was rich in non-liquid assets like land and buildings. One must wonder about the state of its investments. That is money that would have been available to fund Lambeth. And yet they went with begging bowl to TEC. Those two facts aren’t consistent.

          • Orwell Ian

            The CofE has assets of billions its annual income from investments beats that of McDonalds or Starbucks. Even allowing for the huge expense of maintaining old buildings it won’t go bust anytime soon but all this loot won’t stop spiritual collapse. Rich in goods but poor in soul it seems.

        • Martin

          Carl

          Nothing prevents the AoC from saying what is right. He may not be able to sack some but he doesn’t have to appoint those who are unbiblical in their beliefs.

    • TropicalAnglican

      Think you meant “compliant”?

      • carl jacobs

        OK, so … that was Jack’s fault. The only question is “How?”

    • Watchman

      More of an Ezekiel 37 scenario, I would have thought!

    • David

      Well there are brave, wise, energetic and committed Christian leaders that would do better than Archbishop Welby, like Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali for example. But they will never become A of C because the establishment wants wishy-washy leadership – just like them !
      There is good work, bringing many to faith, in the C of E, but despite the leadership. However I believe that for large scale revival to come, the Holy Spirit may well choose to work outside the established Church, as in Wesley’s time. But ultimately it is for God to decide and guide.

  • Mungling

    I don’t live in the UK, and I’m not a part of the CoE, but Welby has always struck me as a good, kind-hearted man. Nevertheless, I can’t help but worry that the CoE seems to have lost confidence in its mission. In Canada, you can see a rough, albeit far more progressive, equivalent in the form of the United Church of Canada. A very kind place, very welcoming to seekers, and very invested in not condemning any sort of behavior which may diverge from traditional Christianity. Unfortunately they appear to have zero confidence in Christinaity and the Gospel and act as such. Consequently they are the fastest shrinking denomination in Canada (which given the state of organized religion here is an accomplishment). I can’t help but contrast that with the Atheists and Feminists who are extrordinarily proud of who they are, who are confident in their superiority as way to live, and will aggressively proclaim that fact in the public sphere. Perhaps the CoE approach will win out in the end, but for the moment it wpuld seem the brashness of the Atheists and the Feminists appears to be gaining the most fruit.

  • chefofsinners

    So long as the CoE is established, then it is very much Justin Welby’s job to fight for our Christian culture.
    In order to stand against a malevolent, insurgent counter-culture the nation must have a banner around which it unites, a core set of beliefs. England is a Christian nation. Welby is the standard bearer in chief.
    When an atheist such as Farage reaches that conclusion, it gives hope that a significant part of our nation can be persuaded to forsake moral relativism and return to God’s truth. Courageous leadership in that direction could achieve a great deal. Go on Justin, purify the church. Caste aside those blind leaders and false shepherds. The truly faithful will love you for it and be inspired to serve like they have never served before. What if, like Gideon, you are left with only the 300? A sword for the Lord!

    • Dreadnaught

      When an atheist such as Farage
      Even atheist Brits such as myself see that the constitutional link between CoE and the State should be viably maintained until constitutional reform dictates otherwise. The fragile state of this Nation in the face of the realities of the age, requires that the former should at make more of an effort to be seen as at least relevant, if only in that role.
      The ‘bosses’ are permanently asleep at the wheel and have been for some time. They are in fact sleepwalking towards oblivion, which impacts far more widely on the future shape of this Country, than whether or not this faction of Christianity deserves the place in society it has so long held.

      • chefofsinners

        Yes, you atheists like the practical benefits of Christianty without actually being Christians. Little Red Hen syndrome.

        • Dreadnaught

          Not at all; it is what it is. I hold no affection for a collaboration of a Church and the State.

        • Inspector General

          Damn unfair, sir! If Dredders cannot find it in him to believe, that’s his business. But let’s give the fellow some credit in knowing that if the established church falls, the spiritual void resulting will be filled by something else. Our treacherous politicians will see to that…

          • chefofsinners

            “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
            There is no other credit worth having.

          • Inspector General

            You need to cut a bit of slack, Chef. Not Dredders, but yourself…

      • David

        Your sense of perspective shows a maturity of thought usually absent, I find, in the “modern” aggressive atheists. They suffer from tunnel vision. In their aggressive campaign against, usually just Christianity, they are endangering the survival of our whole country, as a relatively free society.
        I have no problem with atheists that reach that position after a careful weighing of the mystery of Creation (Universe to you), and conclude that there is no guiding hand. The broadcaster David Attenborough is of that ilk; if pressed he will say that we cannot be sure that there is no deity. That is reasonable.
        Of course I think that they have reached the wrong conclusion and would urge them to rethink the matter.

        • Dreadnaught

          I have a problem accepting the present culture of labelling people for holding certain views. Of course there are many insecure people who actively seek the shelter of a ‘label’ that gives them access to one particular herd or another.
          I have long argued here that words and vocabulary are important if we wish to transmit our thoughts by the written or spoken word.
          Every religion hold forth the opinion that it is the ultimate path to truth so logically the others are wrong or misguided. What they don’t do is label non-believers of their faith as necessarily atheist; yet people who are atheist by their own standards of reasoning must [for the convenience of others] accept the slings and arrows released in the direction of this imaginary body of people, united in a single aim of being anti-religion; anti-faith and anti the followers of such beliefs.
          No such body that unites people in prima face orthodox atheism exists.
          I think therefore I am is the only default position I hold. After that, I judge people or their comments on face value and after reflection adopt, accept or reject those opinions.
          Aggressive atheists I suggest are at street level, more attention seeking and looking for that herd into which they feel will give them succour and a comfortable degree of anonymity.
          I also think that there is a deal of difference in being

          • David

            Fair comment.

    • Royinsouthwest

      How do you know that Farage is an atheist? The Spectator does not agree.

      Nigel Farage does ‘do God’ – and has the Bible to prove it
      http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2014/10/nigel-farage-may-not-do-policy-very-well-but-he-does-do-god/

      I suspect that Farage’s views on Christianity are a bit vague, perhaps like David Cameron’s. That does not mean that he is insincere, nor, although I am somewhat reluctant to admit it, it does not mean that Cameron’s are insincere either. It is nice to have certainty – but only if you are right! I am suspicious of those Christians who have an answer for everything. I certainly don’t because I only “see in part.” How much certainty do you need to follow the path that Micah pointed to in the verse below?

      Micah 6:8
      He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

      • chefofsinners

        New birth is what we need.

    • David

      He’s no atheist but a Christian. For proof see my piece above.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I have spoken to some conservative Protestant Christians who know Nigel personally and closely. They do not claim he is a dyed in the wool, outspoken Christian, but he is certainly not an atheist.

  • Albert

    As Archbishops of Canterbury go, I think this one is rather strong. Farage’s comment however appears to be a response to Welby suggesting Farage was legitimising racism (last June). At the time, Dr C came out rather in favour of Farage and seemed somewhat disappointed in Welby:

    http://archbishopcranmer.com/eu-immigration-farage-and-welby-clash-over-legitimising-racism/

    My guess is that Farage is letting off steam because at the time, as leader of UKIP and in advance of the referendum as he put it, I’m not going to stand and attack the Archbishop of Canterbury, but he would have done better to read what I actually said.

  • Don Benson

    Because of his equivocation (or silence) on issues confronting Christians in particular and the nation’s Christian heritage in general, it is impossible to know what Justin Welby truly believes.

    I suspect he is pulled in 3 directions simultaneously: his spiritual background (evangelical), a desire for the survival of the (broad church) Church of England as an organisation, and his Eton-inspired identification with the establishment and his own destiny to sit at the top table. Coupled with that he seems to suffer from a need to be loved.

    And that is why his pronouncements on the one hand and silences on the other are so frustrating; one minute he is energetic and spot-on, the next he is all over the place and cannot or will not say what his church and our nation needs to hear.

    In contrast Nigel Farage, who occupies the very different world of secular politics, betrays no need to be loved, speaks with a fearless focus on the facts and so proves a very effective communicator. For this reason he enjoys huge respect from those who appreciate his brand of abrasive honesty (I do) and probably a good measure of grudging respect from all fair-minded people, even when they don’t like him. However, if he ever thought leading UKIP was like trying to herd cats, he should try leading the CofE.

    • Inspector General

      One thinks Farage is taking care of outstanding business. And has been pointed out here, he does have that with Welby.

      As for Farage himself, if you’ve seen him in action at a rally, you’d follow him into battle…

      • David

        Yes exactly.
        Relieved of the burden of leadership he is settling, as he sees it, a recent unfair criticism from Welby. At the time, I think I recall, he looked confounded by the Archbishop’s remarks, as if to say, “why is the Christian leader of the C of E attacking me, and not defending our Christian culture?”. So he didn’t answer the accusation saying something like, “well I don’t want to get into a argument with the A of C”, and then he parked it, until now !
        For the life of me I can’t remember the exact topic that sparked the criticism from Welby, but I vaguely remember it was concerning the scale of Muslim in-migration.

    • David

      Well said Sir.

    • Dominic Stockford

      He isn’t an evangelical as Cranmer or Ridley would recognise one.
      He is an evanjellycube as Ian Paisley would recognise one.

  • David

    I would love to know exactly what it is that precipitated Farage’s remarks, as only then can we fully understand what is being said. However the article doesn’t tell me, so I can’t go there. However I can shed some light on the overall context to his remarks.
    Some below claim that Nigel Farage is an atheist. Whilst I do not know what is in his heart, as only God knows that, I do know that he is a member of the C of E and that he attends services in his parish church several times a year. I believe that previous articles on this site have noted his membership of the C of E. On this basis I would say that Farage appears to be a practicing Christian, if not a very observant one – only God could disprove my conclusion.
    Also I know that, on several occasions, Farage has spoken out characteristically plainly, which is of course seen as counter-cultural in this age of doubt, regarding the pressing need for the political establishment to speak, and act to defend, what he rightly describes as our Judaeo-Christian based culture. Furthermore I know that he understands the immense, overwhelmingly positive influence that our religious heritage has had, and is still having, on all aspects of our national life, especially our traditional English Common Law, with its respect for all individuals, and its emphasis on telling the truth and honouring ones agreements.

    So like many of us, patriotic Christians, that is those that have not been worn down or cowed by decades of fashionable cultural relativism, he strongly dislikes the erosion of our Christian culture. He believes that more should be done by the establishment to uphold it. Moreover when a significant and influential political leader loudly proclaims his belief in our Christian based culture, then that should very much be welcomed by all who support Christianity, even if only in a broad cultural sense.

    After that much then turns on how you view the role of the A of C. It is my clear view that as the lead Archbishop of our established church, that it is indeed his job to assert loudly and clearly that : –
    “I am the way, the truth and the life……….”
    In so far that the A of C does this he receives my applause. But my perception of the whole of our establishment, of which the A of C is undoubtedly a part, is that they lack conviction and courage.

    • chefofsinners

      ‘Only God could disprove my conclusion’.
      That falls some way short of you proving your conclusion.

      • David

        You are quick !

    • Anton

      What precipitated Farage’s comment was simply his quitting as leader of UKIP; he wanted, reasonably in my view, to make a parting shot.

      • David

        Not quite. That explains the timing not the cause of the small verbal exposition or the fuse.

    • Dominic Stockford

      When Nigel Farage was interviewed for Songs of Praise prominent to those who might have recognised the logo on the spine, on a bookshelf, in his house, right behind him, was a copy of the Bible – clearly thumbed.

      • David

        Interesting – thank you.

  • David

    I’ll add this.
    As a Ukip activist I have found Farage to be a superb, prescient, courageous, self-sacrificing political leader. You would follow that man into battle and win !

    As a conservative Anglican Lay Minister ( an unpaid volunteer) I find that, with a few honourable exceptions, the Bishops, including Archbishop Welby, lack the firm conviction and clarity that is desperately needed by our national Church. Doubt and dithering impress few outside certain areas of academia.

    • chefofsinners

      Would you have any reservations if Nigel Farage were appointed the next Archbishop of Canterbury?

      • David

        I was rather hoping that you would do the job – the hat almost fits.
        Go on now, don’t be modest !

        • chefofsinners

          I have in my mind the image of Nigel officiating at the next coronation. Pint in one hand, holy oil in the other, trying hard to remember which is which. “Fancy a fag break, Camilla?”

          • David

            Oh I must be confused… dear me..
            Because I though that good beer was holy oil !

      • Anton

        I suggest that:

        1. Farage is as sincere a believer (or otherwise) in Jesus Christ as one or two incumbents of Canterbury in our lifetimes;

        2. Farage would say little about theology but systematically appoint conservative evangelicals to bishoprics.

        Would not the outcome be better than under yet another church liberal?

    • Watchman

      Is it conviction or courage?

      • David

        Probably both, as I said towards the end of the longer of my two comments found below.

        • Watchman

          Sorry, I missed your comment below. I think we would do well to reflect on how, in the early church, they were willing to lay down their lives for the sake of the gospel. Apart from John, it seems, all the disciples died violent deaths for telling the truth about man’s need for redemption from sin. Mr Welby has little to fear except the approbation of pagan man but in heaven the applause of angels.

  • bluedog

    It interesting to recall that Michael Nazir-Ali was one of the two short-listed candidates for the office of AB of C before the appointment of the progressive, Rowan Williams, by Tony Blair. Which of the two men would Margaret Thatcher have appointed, one asks? The answer is almost certainly Bishop Michael.

    Fast forward to the mercifully brief but intensely destructive regime of the heir to Blair, David Cameron. One imagines that Cameron would have had conversations with Rowan Williams prior to the selection of his replacement. Nazir-Ali had already resigned as a bishop by this time, so he would not have been considered by Cameron, quite apart from any doctrinal impediments. One can imagine that Justin Welby’s background makes him someone with whom Cameron would have immediately felt comfortable, and we don’t know to what extent Welby was Williams preference. Everything one sees and hears about Welby’s ministry suggests that he is flexible, accomodating and transactional rather than doctrinaire and inflexible. But how far does this process go before Christianity is compromised out of existence within the CofE?

    Perhaps Farage with his remarkable political gifts has zeroed in once again on an inconvenient truth. Perhaps the vicar’s daughter, Mrs May, will find herself forced to draw yet another line in the sand.

    • David

      Bishop Michael Nazir – Ali would have made a most successful, wise Christian leader. He has a deep understanding of the cultures of many different cultures. He has my full respect as a Christian bishop – one of the few ! But he is far too much his own man, and doesn’t bend to accommodate the cultural pressures, so the establishment ruled him out.

      • Anton

        Any idea how that ruling-out happened, in further detail? I’d be interested.

        • David

          Interested ? So would I !
          The inner workings whereby Bishops are selected, especially of the Archbishop type, are a complete mystery even to Anglicans. I suspect that it is the telephone calls not the written words that shape events.

          • layreader

            Not only Bishops. Anyone with a mind of their own is unlikely to be accepted into the Anglican ministry in any shape or form. And they are ordaining the over-65s, even, that’s how desperate they are for ordained clergy.
            Brexit was a wonderful tonic to the political institutions of this country. When else have we ever had the opportunity to say no to the narrow political establishment, other than by not voting in a General Election, a practice deemed as apathy. Finally the people who brought you Gay Marriage, ‘hate crime’, the end of free speech, and government by small minorities found out what people really thought of them. And wasn’t it fun!

  • wisestreligion

    The leaders of the CofE should decide which religion they wish to promote. Should they follow their followers in following Christ? Or should they promote the alternative religion of Liberal Atheism? If they choose the latter, through their inability to stand up to the Liberal pantheon of Progressiveness and Equality etc, they will find they are redundant because the most powerful institution in the land, The BBC, is already the High Priest of that religion.

    • Mike Stallard

      The church that marriage the spirit of the age ends up a widow in the next.

  • There has been lots of pressure put on the Government with regards to the plight of Muslim refugees by the Church, but not a word from the Church about the mass killing of the remaining Christians throughout the Middle East. Hardly a word about the Coptic Christians in Egypt or of the mass killings in Iraq and Syria. Or even the plight of Christians in Pakistan and as far away as Indonesia. They may not be Anglicans, but surely the Archbishop owes some duty to the Christian community world wide. Regrettably I can’t remember him saying a single word or even issuing a statement on the subject.
    And incidentally, the early Church sent out missionaries to convert the heathen; does the Church no longer consider this part of their duty?

  • Alison Bailey Castellina

    I’m thinking of leaving The Church of England and I went to Geneva over the summer to find new inspiration in the chapel of The Marian exiles. I wasn’t considering this before the EU referendum. It came out of the vast majority of CofE Bishops taking a clear stand in the Referendum as if anyone who voted otherwise could not be led by the Holy Spirit and lacked all discernment. I seem to remember some comments by the ABC about this issue – but I may be wrong. LSE research, already published, suggested that lay Anglicans were leaning in favour of Brexit (unlike Christians in some other churches). Yet the Bishops went for the opposite choice (Remain) and then banged on about it, opening up a possibly incurable chasm between CofE’s leadership and membership,. This chasm is also apparent in many increasingly ineffective European churches. Suddenly, I wanted to belong to a church in which the leadership reflects its members, or at least respects them at some level. This can only happen when a church membership metaphorically lays hands on its leaders as in the New Testament and this clearly does not happen in relation to Bishops in the CofE….

    • Mike Stallard

      I do hope that you manage to resolve your quest. Me? I became a Catholic – worldwide church, impressive record abroad, not dying quite as fast as the CoE in this country, and it holds the possibility of incredible surprises – even miracles – it really does.

      • Alison Bailey Castellina

        Thanks – many Catholics are very devoted to doing good but I could never worship Mary, or hang on the words of any Pope.

        • Inspector General

          No Catholic worships Mary, madam. She is venerated, as so would you be if you were singled out by our Creator for his requirement…

          The Pope. Nice chap. means well…

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            Pope said recently that everyone goes to heaven. The “Sheep and goats” teaching out of the window. Nice chap, means well – very muddled on crucial issues.

          • len

            This Pope is even more heretical than the rest.Even Catholics are believing this now.

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            Benedict was much more a theologian, than Francis. Having said that Catholicism, like most of the world today mixes truths with rubble, without the discernment that Christians must source only from the Bible and divine grace. Last year Francis attended a Waldensian service in Turin to apologise to the Old Waldensians for centuries of bloody persecutions, totally unwarranted. The Old Waldensians had simply wanted the right to freedom of religion. That was a good step by Francis, but two days latter, he celebrated of the life of one of the Waldensians’ main persecutors! That’s post modernity which has no discernment, no sense of right and wrong, no inner coherence – it’s moral chaos. So we nickname Francis “the postmodern Pope”. I have nothing against him personally, as he seems a humble well- meaning man, but there is more to being a religious leader than blessing everyone, as if they all go to heaven. They don’t. First, one person has actually told me they don’t want to go, presumably to be with ‘boring Christians’ and God (who some regard as a kind of fascist dictator). Will they be forced to go? No – and Francis should not suggest they shall. Second, a place where Hitler and the others remain unrepentant would not be Heaven (but more like earth in World War Two). Third, Jesus is the Judge of Mankind and on the basis of acceptance of His death on the Cross, separates the sheep from the goats, on the Last Day. Full stop. As for my husband, he feels he has the true reformed Catholic faith, so there is no ‘fold’ to return, in Catholicism. He actually has a sticker saying: “This is a No Pope Zone”…. Thanks for the encouragement – but ‘no thanks’, I seek truth, not half truths….

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            I know there is tension in the Catholic Church about it. See my reply just above to “Happy Jack”.

          • Mike Stallard

            I wonder if you have read any of Pope Benedict’s XVI’s theological works?

          • Inspector General

            A bit of wishful thinking from Frank, perhaps. Anyway, the main thing is we know better…

          • Popes come and go – good one’s; poor ones; and even heretical ones. What matters is the Deposit of Faith which cannot be changed.

            When and where did Pope Francis say everyone gets to heaven? If you mean this:

            “The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.

            Instead, the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil.

            The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.

            Doing good is not a matter of faith. It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always.”

            Hardly saying everyone gets to heaven.

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            Pope Francis said at the Chapel of Domus Santa Marta in 2013:

            “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class. We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all. And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: We will meet one another there.”

            My husband says that Catholicism tries to hold together many contradictions. So does postmodernism. Hence Francis is suited to be “the postmodern Pope”. The invented doctrine of ‘Purgatory,’ which seems to aim to save the unrepentant – like Mariology, it has no basis in Scripture and indeed contradicts the specific teaching of Christ, in various places. These doctrines are part of the ‘rubble’ laid on top of the Truth, which characterises and chokes much Catholicism inspite of its right and strong emphasis on “doing good”…..

          • Yes, we are all redeemed by Christ – but not all of us are saved. Again, you show an ignorance of Catholic teaching about this.
            You can’t just assert the doctrines on Purgatory (which purifies the saved, not the unrepentant damned) and on Mary are false. First, you have to show you understand them and then demonstrate why you believe this to be so. You’ve done neither.

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            Yes, Jack, I am certainly not schooled in the sophisticated refinements and inner contradictions of Catholic doctrine. That’s because I’m only interested in grappling with the pure teachings of Christ and His Apostles, free from centuries of doctrinal ‘rubble’ and in some cases, human wishful thinking. I started this thread saying I’m having difficulties with Anglican Bishops and we ended up with Catholic leadership but the principle is similar. Leadership is in trouble in almost all areas of postmodernism, but without credible Christian leadership, true to the Gospels, the centre cannot hold for long those of the laity who know better and whose real teacher is Jesus Christ.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Muddled? Nicely understated.

          • len

            Not like you to split hairs inspector?.

          • Anton

            Inspector, who is this passage about?

            “…always has delivered the Christian people from their greatest calamities and from the snares and assaults of all their enemies, ever rescuing them from ruin… The foundation of all Our confidence… is found in *****. For God has committed to ***** the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through ***** are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through ****.”

            Christ, you might expect? No, the missing word is “Mary”, and the quote is from Pius IX’s encyclical Ubi Primum referring to Mary’s “immaculate conception” (not Christ’s!) This goes far beyond veneration, wouldn’t you say, Inspector?

          • Inspector General

            One couldn’t agree more with you, Anton. Well uncalled for, that passage. A fine example of erroneous Roman Catholic teaching but only from recent times. The whole package needs revoking. Immaculate Conception and Assumption included. Everything of that over the top ilk. Everything that stops us understanding that Mary was a simple Jewish girl who eventually died like we all must.

            Now, must go, or rather flee. Jack will pick up on this shortly…

          • You are no faithful Roman Catholic, Sir.

          • Inspector General

            It’s difficult to imagine a time when the faithful were thrown new dogma and devoured it gratefully and without question.

          • Those passages in a consultative document do not constitute infallible teaching. It was the 1854 bull Ineffabilis Deus which defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

            The infallible statement is this:

            “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”

          • Anton

            So all encyclicals can be ignored?

          • No but one is not bound by all the contents of every encyclical.

          • Anton

            Which parts of which encyclicals are not binding on Catholics, and why?

          • That will vary. The conclusions of encyclicals that confirm and/or clarify Church teaching will be binding.

          • Anton

            And how is it made clear to the faithful which conclusions of which encyclicals confirm and/or clarify Church teaching?

          • One reads them and listens to and participates in the debates that ensue. Generally speaking,

          • Anton

            Thank you Jack. We may agree that that speaks for itself.

          • It’s how the Church develops and has always done. Good examples are encyclicals concerning the ordination of women and artificial contraception. One must accept their conclusions as indefectible teaching but not necessarily all of the arguments that leads to them as being complete. It’s been going on for two thousand years and will continue as long as the Church exists.

          • Anton

            Put another way, Catholics have to sign up to doctrine that hasn’t been written yet.

          • Here’s what he actually wrote:

            “Great indeed is Our trust in Mary. The resplendent glory of her merits, far exceeding all the choirs of angels, elevates her to the very steps of the throne of God.[1] Her foot has crushed the head of Satan. Set up between Christ and His Church,[2] Mary, ever lovable and full of grace, always has delivered the Christian people from their greatest calamities and from the snares and assaults of all their enemies, ever rescuing them from ruin.

            5. And likewise in our own day, Mary, with the ever merciful affection so characteristic of her maternal heart, wishes, through her efficacious intercession with God, to deliver her children from the sad and grief-laden troubles, from the tribulations, the anxiety, the difficulties, and the punishments of God’s anger which afflict the world because of the sins of men. Wishing to restrain and to dispel the violent hurricane of evils which, as We lament from the bottom of Our heart, are everywhere afflicting the Church, Mary desires to transform Our sadness into joy. The foundation of all Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through Mary.[3]”

          • Anton

            Thank you Jack. Despite your attempt to imply that I quoted it inaccurately, I merely cut parts for brevity without changing the meaning. The reader may readily verify that for himself, by comparison.

          • The significant part you missed was Mary’s intercession on our behalf. This altered the meaning in a critical way.

          • Anton

            The aim is to get our prayers and pleas to God. The NT is perfectly clear that to do that we pray through Jesus.

            Furthermore, quite apart from the fact that we don’t actually know that Mary intercedes on our behalf in heaven, it is grossly misleading to call the conveyor of a request the fulfiller of that request.

          • Catholics believe in the Communion of Saints and in the power of intercessionary prayer by the Church Triumphant.

          • Anton

            That statement is not even wrong. The aim is to get our prayers and pleas to God. The NT is perfectly clear that to do that we pray through Jesus.

          • The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ – the saints – for their intercession dates to the earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the other Eastern Christians, and even some Anglicans.

            Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” The saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us. It is clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven actively intercede for us. The incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints. In other words, they are interceding.

            Asking one person to pray for you in no way violates Christ’s mediatorship. First, Christ is a unique mediator between man and God because he is the only person who is both God and man. He is the only bridge between the two, the only God-man. But that role as mediator is not compromised in the least by the fact that others intercede for us.

            The intercession of fellow Christians – which is what the saints in heaven are – also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship. As Paul says, Christians should interceed: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is “good and pleasing to God,” and does not infring on Christ’s role as mediator.

            One should pray directly to Jesus but this does not mean it is not also a good thing to ask others to pray for one too. Praying for each other is simply part of what Christians do. In 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul strongly encouraged Christians to intercede for many different things. Elsewhere he directly asks others to pray for him (Rom. 15:30–32, Eph. 6:18–20, Col. 4:3, 1 Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1), and he assured them that he was praying for them as well (2 Thess. 1:11). Most fundamentally, Jesus himself required us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked us to do so (Matt. 5:44).

            Since the practice of asking others to pray for us is highly recommended in Scripture. The New Testament would not recommend it if there were not benefits coming from it. One such benefit is that the faith and devotion of the saints can support our own weaknesses and supply what is lacking in our own faith and devotion. Jesus regularly supplied for one person based on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55). And those in heaven, being free of the body and the distractions of this life, have even greater confidence and devotion to God than anyone on earth.

            God answers the prayers of the righteous. James declares: “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit” (Jas. 5:16–18). Christians in heaven are more righteous, since they have been made perfect to stand in God’s presence (Heb. 12:22-23), than anyone on earth. Their prayers would be even more efficacious.

          • Anton

            “The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ – the saints – for their intercession dates to the earliest days of Christianity”

            The earliest days of Christianity are recorded in Acts of the Apostles in which this practice is notable by its absence.

            Catholics say that they pray through Mary, but their prayers are not phrased like those addressed to God through Him whom St Paul calls the sole mediator between God and man, and therefore the only person through whom we should pray – Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).

          • ukfred

            There is one intercessor between God and man, the man Jesus Christ.

        • Catholics are devoted to Christ, not “doing good”. And we don’t “worship” Mary; nor do we “hang on the words of any pope.”

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            Thanks – my husband is a former devout Catholic altar boy and aged 18 thought something was missing and found the Bible and he has ‘reformed’ his Catholic faith in line with it – but a Catholic priest encouraged his search. He says Catholicism has put a lot of rubble of tradition and man-made teachings on top of the Biblical faith and he would know far better than me. He says Mariology is real too.

          • len

            Mary in the RCC isn`t jesus`s mother she is a pagan goddess.

          • Inspector General

            You just read these slurs and repeat them verbatim. No attempt at analysis by you. For example, were they originally coined by enemies of Roman Catholicism, or even Christianity. You see, you give us a dullards response…of no interest, really…

          • An apostate and heretic, if he gave your husband that advice. Would you turn to Judas for advice about Christ’s Kingdom? At aged 18 years, Jack also rebelled against the Church. We all have our “Prodigal Son” phase. Your husband should take time to properly consider actual Catholic teaching rather than rely on the unreliable comments of dissident. After over 30 years back in the fold, Jack is still learning.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Your husband is right – though he ought to have nothing to do with Romanism whatsoever.

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            He does not have anything to do with it, but he does monitor it from afar (he is the one of the leading Italian reformers). See my reply below or above to “Happy Jack”

          • Dominic Stockford

            As chairman of the Protestant Truth Society here in the UK I also seek to be a reformer. Well done him, in far more difficult circumstances.

          • len

            Jack, do you know that the word ‘gullible’ isn’t in the dictionary?

        • len

          Nooooooooooooooo don`t go there .Catholicism is paganism with a Christian veneer.

        • James60498 .

          Worship Mary?

          Whatever gave you that idea?

          Nonsense.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Well said.

  • Mike Stallard

    Clever but no cigar.
    In our village, the once full church now stands locked and empty. The Vicarage is sold to people who never come near the services. The Church School attends a carol service once a year. There is no visiting. No jumble sales. The Parish Hall is up for sale and has been for five years. Few weekly services if any. About ten people on Sundays. I do not know what the Diocesan demands are. Meanwhile what was once a friendly village where people did things together has turned into a dormitory suburb where nobody knows – or cares – about their neighbours.
    Mr Farage – as ever – is on to something important here.

    • len

      The decline of Christianity IMO is an indicator of a society that has turned full circle and is going into decline.When people turn from God they become selfish and self obsessed.
      The age of ‘the selfie’ seems somehow to highlight this problem.

  • len

    Farage is not afraid to speak the truth that no one else dares speak.
    This makes him a marked man for the’ politically correct brigade’.
    We need men who will speak like the great preachers of the past’ CH Spurgeon’ for instance would get thrown out of most Churches today….

  • Anton

    Now that Nigel Farage no longer leads UKIP he has the time to act as our lead negotiator for Brexit… that would be a just response to Guy Verhofstadt as the EU’s negotiator, whom he savages here:

  • jsampson45

    I would not presume to say what the (real) Archbishop of Canterbury’s job is, but you can’t have both a head and a supreme governor. It is not logical.

    • Dominic Stockford

      It is, surely, to preach the Gospel without fear or favour, in season and out of season?

      • jsampson45

        I would have thought that if he saw it that way he would not have been appointed.

  • If I could proffer an opinion that is based on a cursory glance at the general facts and not a specific looking at what Farage may have said.
    In the referendum Justin Welby spoke out in favour of Remain. Expressing a personal opinion is one thing, but ++Justin did so in a manner that suggested that anyone voting against the EU might want to reconsider their vote if they call themselves Christian. He did so very clearly in the role of Archbishop of Canterbury, thus throwing the weight of the CofE behind the opinion he voiced. As such, this could be very easily seen as a cause for Farage to say that ++Justin abandoned British Christians and abused them, as to suggest that a true believer who votes for Brexit is racist is certainly not good pastoral work! Now I may be wrong on what Farage is saying, but if I am I would still say that part of what Farage is getting at comes from this particular part of the referendum campaign