Not In God's Name - Sacks 2
Extremism

'Not in God's Name' – Jonathan Sacks expounds the sanctity of 'the other'

 

There are some books about religion which you will never read: the cover says it all, and it looks very impressive on the bookshelf. And there are others for which the dust jacket is a beckoning finger; a divine seduction compelling you to turn it over and feed your soul on the essence of its wisdom. And you begin at the beginning, for sageness is a cumulative exposition.

Not in God’s Name by Rabbi Jonathan (Lord) Sacks is one such book. It delves into religious violence and the causes of religious violence. God weeps and says: ‘Not in my name.’

Well, up to a point. For there are those believers for whom violence is a divine exhortation; and those images of God which feed on the lives of apostates, non-believers and heretics like a demon drinks the blood of martyrs and burns babies in the fires of Gehenna. The God who weeps and says “Not in my Name” is the God of true mercy, compassion, love and justice. Yet there are apprehensions of divine mercy for which killing is an act of compassion, love and justice. Is it not better to pluck out an eye or chop off a hand than burn for eternity in hell?

The Rabbi is concerned with judicious scriptural exegesis; doctrinal relevance; the Sitz im Leben of the old paths and ancient precepts. Violence subverts compassion, but religion is not the cause of violence: that is the heart of man, which tends toward lust, pride, greed and power. When human debasement and the sins of the flesh are clothed in aspects of divinity, the solution can only be theological, for to wage war against those for whom violence is righteous is to sanctify their cruelty, barbarity and evil.

For the sake of humanity and the free world, the time has come for people of all faiths and none to stand together and declare: ‘Not in God’s Name.’ Lord Sacks explains:

Hardly a week, maybe hardly a day goes by without some terrible act of violence somewhere in the world. and so much of it is being done by religious people, seemingly in the name of God, and one of the reasons I wrote this book is to try and work out how can you actually do that? What makes people kill in the name of the God of life, or wage war in the name of the God of peace? What is it that connects religion with violence? Or between violence and monotheism? Or between violence and the Abrahamic monotheism – Judaism, Christianity and Islam?

To answer it I had to delve deep into the history of religion and religious conflict, as well as evolutionary biology, game theory, psychology and sociology. But I’ve tried not to keep it there: I’ve also tried to think our way through to a better future; to some new religious ideas for the 21st century that might pull us back from the abyss. Can we deliver a message as powerful as religious extremism, that leads away from violence and toward respect between the faiths, whether we’re Jews, Christians, Muslims or just secular humanists concerned about the future? I hope that people who are just interested in the politics of the 21st century, who are fascinated by this growing phenomenon of religious extremism, and who are asking, basically, is there anything we can do about it, I think they will find the book interesting. And whether they agree or not, I think they’ll find it a challenging read.

Not in God’s Name is essentially a plea for the non-violent love of enemies; to turn the other cheek, if you will. The covenant community of discipleship is not restricted to a single doctrine of God: it is the whole human family of faith. Don’t dismiss this wisdom as multifaith universalism. When Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers”, He decreed that they shall be called the children of God. All of them.

The Messiah subverted all expectations by refusing to wage war against Israel’s enemies: He never exerted force to gain social status or exert political power: at every turn He renounced violence as a strategy for promoting God’s kingdom. If you want to follow Him, you must become a servant, and be prepared to suffer. If you call down armies of angels to smite your enemies, you are no child of God. To be reconciled to Him, you must work for peace and reconciliation with your fellow man – whatever his corrupted apprehension of godhead, and however perverted his perception of the shadows of sanctity.   

  • sarky

    “He renounced violence as a strategy for promoting gods kingdom” – try telling that to the money lenders.

    There was an awful lot of god smiting enemies in the bible, is that now all ignored and forgotten? People have been playing ‘my god is better than yours’ since we first manufactured our deities, whilst we are blighted by religion nothing will change.

    • carl jacobs

      Sarky

      Your argument is dependent upon an implicit anthropomorphic transformation. You are not accounting for the fact that God is not man. Tell me. Which of the commandments apply to God? Why or why not?

      • sarky

        Arhh, so it’s a case of ‘do as I say and not as I do’.

        • dannybhoy

          Yup
          You sussed it Sarky.
          God bows His head in shame and marvels at Sarky’s needle sharp brain..

          • sarky

            So he should 🙂

        • carl jacobs

          In the first place, yes. There are all kinds of things God can do that I can’t. Because He is God and I am not. Because He is Creator and I am not. Because He is Holy and I am not. Because He is omniscient and I am not. Because He has authority and I do not. None of this should surprise you. We have no problem with analogs in our own lives. The judge sends a man to prison and I cannot. Does this offend?

          But more fundamentally, your (transparently evasive) answer reveals you are incapable of escaping the bounds of your error. You accuse God of hypocrisy. In doing so you assume that there must exist some standard of behavior by which God is bound. What is this standard and who would impose it upon God? This is why I asked you about the commandments. If you review them you will find that none of them bind God at all. How can He Covent when He lacks nothing? How can He worship another god when He knows there is none like Him? The law does not exist apart from God. It reflects God. It exists because He exists and it represents His nature.

          What you have done is transform God into a man by relating Him to the law as you would relate man to the law. You do not understand that what He does is by definition lawful. Why? Because the law reflects His essential nature and He cannot deny Himself. Everything He does reflects that nature. Niw you will say “He does evil.” According to who? You? You can’t condemn Him because you have neither standing nor authority to judge. You would not even know good from evil unless He told you.

          You create a being in your own image, and then you condemn Him for not behaving like you think a man should. That may make a nice parlour game for you and your atheist friends, but it has nothing to do with God and how He reveals Himself in Scripture. It therefore had nothing to do with us. You are attacking your own visions. You have to deal with God as He is – not God as you think He should be.

          • sarky

            I create a being in my own image? But are we not created in his? If that is the case then my judgement of him is justified because I can judge him as I would judge myself.

          • CliveM

            Sarky

            As you keep reminding everyone, you grew up in a Christian home, so I am going to credit you with enough theological understanding to know where all the holes in that statement are. In which case why make it?

            Even in secular terms it doesn’t make a lot of logic.

          • carl jacobs

            You see, sarky, it’s a matter of respect. If you are going to tell me I am wrong about something, you should at least respect me enough to accurately represent what I am saying. You can’t impose an incorrect understanding on me and then criticize me on the basis of your error. If you can’t represent my position, you can’t critique it. Your participation on this thread has demonstrated conclusively that you don’t understand Christian theology. Why then are you making statements about it?

          • sarky

            Sorry carl, but the ‘god can do what he wants because he is god and we can never understand it, because he is god’ is the biggest cop out. It allows god to act with impunity with no recourse to his actions. I was commenting with Sam on an earlier thread and his perspective was that god is like a close friend who can be stood up to and can be questioned and by not doing so you are failing.
            An unquestioning acceptance of god and his actions does not sound like a healthy relationship to me and my understanding is that christianity is all about the personal relationship with god.

    • magnolia

      You haven’t studied commentaries on the passage of Jesus chasing the moneylenders out of the Temple, and so are commenting on a remembrance of a text without the necessary background knowledge, nor are you weighing up the different interpretations. This will sometimes unfortunately make your comments a bit trite, especially as you haven’t experienced these texts from the inside, aka living as a believing Christian. The only text which mentions the whip of cords mentions cattle and sheep as well. It is human perversity which imagines these used on sensitive human skin, rather than wooly or furry beasts!

      • sarky

        Sorry I forgot that christians have magic powers that allow them to see meaning where others don’t.
        Christs behaviour in the temple was violent, whether or not anyone was hurt. Why he did it is irrelevant. You cannot say christ wasn’t violent when your book clearly says he was. (Some of the gnostic texts have him committing murder as a child)

        • dannybhoy

          What Christ did is quite consistent with God’s attitude towards evil doers, as you or someone pointed out in the OT.
          Frankly I don’t know where anyone gets the idea that Jesus is this meek and mild milksop kind of guy. It’s not there in the New Testament.
          When Jesus comes back to the earth, He isn’t going to have a kind of Woodstock style Counselling session with all those who rejected Him. He’s coming back to judge, not try to get understood by the anti Christian hippy community and fellow travellers..
          Grief..

          • sarky

            Kind of like a supernatural Simon Cowell.

          • dannybhoy

            Sarky you have every right to joke around, but I do believe that God as much as He loves you, He listens too. I don’t want to be responsible for encouraging you to treat these things as unimportant. They certainly are to me, so I won’t respond.

          • Anton

            Simon Cowell will be judged too.

          • magnolia

            That puts “judge not that you be not judged” into a new perspective!

            Do you reckon he will get the Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid treatment?

            I begin to feel quite sorry for him!

        • magnolia

          No, he was not violent. You cannot build a case for violence on a whip of cords!! This is not the same as the type of whip used in hunting, and would not have cut or bruised the flesh as far as I can see. Are you familiar with different sorts of whips and their uses? This would presumably have been one that the cattle herders had lying around.

          A decent commentary is not “magic powers” but a necessary tool for understanding the text properly. Like any area of study you need to put in time and effort according to your ability! NT criticism often requires that you read various commentaries. I can’t see the problem there!!

          Isn’t the “your book clearly says he was” just the question? What makes you think that analysing the text and probing it, and understanding it in context is an inappropriate academic happening?

          The example he gave upon the cross, and beforehand in healing Malchus’ ear was precisely not to “return evil for evil” but in to “love your enemies, and do good to those who despitefully use you” ! “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” was his dying attitude. And no, often we find ourselves incapable of following; doesn’t mean we shouldn’t, though it takes a lot of learning, and trying, and failing, and returning wiser, and relying on God’s grace to learn how to do.

          • sarky

            The whip is irrelevant, it’s the behavior of the hand that held it.

          • magnolia

            a) You gone all American on us? Behaviour, please!!
            b) Your sentiment sounds better than the sense it makes, which is not noteworthy! A hand going through the air with a pretend swoosh? Wouldn’t people just have laughed?

          • sarky

            A gun on its own is not dangerous, it’s the hand that wields it. Thats all I meant, it’s not difficult.

          • magnolia

            Yes, but that is not what was at issue, is it?

            And you are going all American on us. You watching “Gunfight at the OK Corral” or something?

            A small amount of physical message to indicate that an animal should move is OK. It is not violent. If you need to get over a stile and a horse has its rear end wedged right up against it, what do you do? A snake charming act? Impale yourself on a bit of barbed wire further along or electrocute yourself on an electric fence instead? As most people would give it a firm, but not hurtful slap on the buttocks. At which the horse cheerfully gets the message and shifts its posterior obligingly. What makes you think Jesus did anything more than that?

          • sarky

            Turning over tables!!! If I walked into your house and started turning over the furniture, would you be scared? Would you call the police?

          • magnolia

            I think the point is that it was a communal place of worship, aka God’s house. Jesus calls it his Father’s house, so the parallel might be someone going into his father’s house, and discovering other siblings smoking pot, selling the family silver and finding the place strewn with dirty plates, take away containers, overflowing ashtrays, and a gang of feral cats, come over from the Inspector’s joint! Of course no parallel is flawless, here.

          • Anna055

            Personally I think Sarky has a point about violence in the Bible….even though I can see how it might have been justified (i.e. the people killed were out to destroy the Israelites) it still does feel a bit of a problem. The nearest explanation I can come to at the moment is that “God is Love” implies something slightly different from “God is loving”……Love isn’t always soft and sometimes burns things like a fire does. On the Jesus and the moneylenders question though I have no problem…..the moneylenders were taking from the poor by sharp business practice – I’m all for standing up to bullies!

    • Anton

      Magnolia has commented on the issue of the moneychangers, none of whom received lasting physical damage even if he did aim a lash or two at them. Ask yourself, moreover, why money needed to be changed; it is commonly understood that there was a special currency in which the Temple people demanded payment, and a rip-off exchange rate to get it. As for the smiting in the Old Testament, God was in the business of running a nation and nations cannot survive without armies. In the New Testament the Jesus movement is, by contrast, a volunteer movement which has renounced violence in its own furtherance (although its members remain members of their own tribes and may – and sometimes should – join their armies in national self-defence).

  • Watchman

    I stand confused by terminology. If asked on a questionnaire if I am religious I am genuinely uncertain as to what to answer: in my eyes, although I have, through the Blood of Jesus, a relationship with my Creator, I am not religious about this relationship. The difficulty is that the world interprets the importance of that relationship to me as a religion. What does Rabbi Sacks call a religion? Does he describe himself as a religious man or is the carrying out of the rites and rituals of Judaism part of that human-Devine relationship – or is that religion?

    When men carry out violence in the name of religion they do so in the name of a mistaken man made construct which they have interpreted as a representation of the godhead which worship. All religion is man made and represents only man and his search for God and in his religion he thinks he has found him when the God that I know tells me to love my enemies and pray for those who abuse me.

    “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” ( James 1)

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    ‘What makes people kill in the name of the God of life, or wage war in the name of the God of peace? What is it that connects religion with violence?’—Sacks

    ‘When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them’—Deuteronomy 7:1-2

    • Inspector General

      Not so loud, Johnny. That’s the OT you have there. The Christian churches very own ‘mad granny confined to the attic’.

  • Ivan M

    God, if He wants somebody dead can always arrange to take his breath away given His omnipotence. These Muslim bounders are basically fools.

    • sarky

      Why hasn’t he then??? There’s alot of beheaded christians who would have appreciated the intervention.

      • Anton

        They’ll be back. So will He.

      • Ivan M

        I do not know. Just pointing out that jihad is superfluous since such an entity is capable of infinitely greater destruction than mere idiots with scimitars, AK-47s and even the atom bomb,

  • ZX10

    Nice sentiment but for many the world over not one you can practice in real life as when they come to your town or village to kill you and your family they will not care if you turn the other cheek or love them despite their evil you will still be dead and will have just made their work much easier !

    • CliveM

      I don’t think the intention is to stop self defence, rather to de-legitimise the use of murder for religious purposes.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    ‘What makes people kill in the name of the God of life, or wage war in the name of the God of peace? What is it that connects religion with violence?’—Sacks

    ‘thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye’—Exodus 21:23-24

    ‘He also called on the Jewish people to remember its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis and exact revenge on Germany, now a staunch ally of Israel. When the Messiah comes, [Chen] Ben-Eliyahu wrote, Israel will reverse the Final Solution. “Twenty, thirty atomic bombs on Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dresden, Dortmund and so on to assure the job gets done.”’—The Times of Israel

    • dannybhoy

      The guys a crackpot and probably has the pipe to go with it..

      No one except the enemies or self haters of Israel could take this seriously

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/op-ed-calls-on-israel-to-nuke-germany-iran/

      and you will find as much support for these views in Israel as you will the BNP in the UK.
      It’s nuts.
      Dr Jonathan Sacks has shown himself to be a devoutly moral, intelligent and educated man, a man of deep compassion and dignity who would I think do a darn fine job as ArchBishop: should he decide to convert.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ dannybhoy—The intelligent and educated rabbi is having sleepless nights trying to understand the connexion between violence and religion. Being a helpful sort, I’m gently steering him towards the answer.

        • dannybhoy

          Towards your answer you mean!
          Any religion that advocates kindness and tolerance can only be hijacked by those with another selfish, proud evil anti human agenda Johnny.
          People of true faith do not want to harm those who reject their beliefs, and will only reluctantly take up arms against a threat to destroy freedom.

    • Hi
      As we’re quoting Torah , here’s another:

      “I remember my covenant with Jacob; I will remember also my covenant with Isaac and also my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land… Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not spurn them, or abhor them so as to destroy them utterly and break my covenant with them; for I am the L-rd their G-d; I will remember in their favour the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, to be their G-d: I am the L-rd”.
      Leviticus 26: 42-45

      Though you will never love Jews , yes I know Jesus was a good white Anglo Saxon bnp voter, who clearly was not a Jew (otherwise you’d give us some sude intellectual argument against Christianity ) and for that I’m sad.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ Hannah Out Loud—It’s just God saying he won’t spurn, abhor or utterly destroy the Jews when the Jews are ‘in the land of their enemies’. Very nice of Him, but no more than you would expect of a deity.

        I was sympathetic to Jews until last year, when I discovered that Jews see Christians as the enemy. ‘For a Jew to become a Christian is to go over to the enemy’—Hugh Montefiore

        There’s no debate about whether Jesus was a Jew. The debate is whether He resented being a Jew, Galilee being an area of forced conversion to Judaism.

    • dannybhoy

      You’re still talking garbage. Are you one of those “pull my string and I talk” dolls by any chance?

  • preacher

    The heart of man is full of full of lust, greed,pride & power, plus a lot more besides.
    We kill & steal, grasping what we can as if our lives depended on it. But the fact is that eventually we all die. We were born naked & without a penny to call our own, & we die the same.
    All the money & possessions that we’ve accrued are valueless at the end of life, in fact, if our earthly riches are due to evil acts, they could become a curse when we are judged.

    Now many will say they don’t believe in God & life after death & so on, which they feel gives them Carte Blanche to act & do as they please. If that’s what they truly believe in their heart of hearts then that is their choice & the consequences if they are wrong or seeking excuses for their ambitions & desires are on their own heads.
    The same applies to those that use religion as their excuse – No one is absolved from the results of their sins if they commit them knowing that they are wrong.

    Sin is a self perpetuating Cancer that kills the soul, no matter what the reason or the religion.
    Sin kills but leaves it’s victims in an agony of hatred, anger & the desire for revenge. Which ultimately leads to it’s self perpetuation & Mankind’s descent into the Abyss, unless it is rejected.

    • sarky

      I dont believe in god, but I dont do as I please. I live by the same rules that govern society that you do. Its a big misnomer that atheists just run around sh###ing, drinking and doing what they want. We live normal good lives the same as you. Just without god 🙂

      • DanJ0

        And Sundays off!

      • len

        So everything is OK with the world then?.

        • sarky

          Yes it is!!!!!

      • preacher

        Yep Brother. If you read my post again, I think you’ll find that I said sin was common to all. The Religious as well as the non believers.
        The question arises, what do you call normal & by who’s standard,
        God’s, Stalin’s, Hitler’s ?.
        You do what you want, I don’t judge you, I’m not in that position & don’t want to be.
        You were once a Churchgoer & I was probably a more amoral, nasty selfish violent person than you’ll ever be.
        But as the Bible says ” The Sun shines on the righteous & the unrighteous alike, & the rain falls on them both too “.
        Neither of us will know for sure who was right, Who’s rule book was the true one. I put my trust in God, whereas you trust in yourself, just one question. Have you ever got a choice wrong or messed up big time ? If you are perfect then why are you wasting your time here ? You surely are capable of doing great things in society or at least predicting the winning lottery numbers, even if it’s only to donate the winnings to the poor !.

        Good fortune my friend & Blessings. P.

        • sarky

          ‘Sarcasm is the lowest firm of wit’

          • preacher

            ?????????????? Where? – Is that it bro’ ?.

            Blessings ! .

          • sarky

            Your last paragraph is a tad ‘sarky’.

          • preacher

            LOL, by name & by nature perhaps ? I’m sure you’d do good & also enjoy yourself. Just be careful that you don’t kill yourself in your new Lambo’.

          • sarky

            Nah, got to be a ’67 GT500 Shelby Mustang!!

          • preacher

            Then you’ll need a ‘rollover’ win to keep it on the road. Have a good weekend & don’t get too wet on your bike while you’re waiting for the Shelby !.

  • len

    Christians are as lambs to the slaughter for the ravenous wolves who rip and tear their way into the flock….
    It is the same spirit that energises these’ wolves’ that has opposed God since He created man that tries to destroy all those God has redeemed through his Son…

  • john in cheshire

    muslims will never accept any compromise with what the koran tells them to do. With them everything is take, no give; no forgiveness and no compassion. Anyone who seriously believes they worship the same God as we do is quite mistaken. allah is as far as I can understand, a moon god; ie the devil.

    • Anton

      The moon god stuff is based on the crescent atop mosques, which was not a feature of early Islam, and the Islamic lunar calendar (which is shared by Judaism). Before asking “Who is Allah?” it is necessary to clarify whether the question is intended to imply that a volitional spirit being called “Allah” exists having characteristics defined in the Quran, or whether the question refers to human understanding of the divine. As a Christian I find it clearest to say that there can be only one Creator of the universe and that Muslims and Jews differ over his personality and actions, as described in the Old Testament and the Quran, while Muslims and Christians differ also over whether He has a divine Son.

    • John Thomas

      Right John! Anyone who has looked even a little into the concepts of “God” in Islam and Judeo-Christianity knows that there are two different concepts here, and the fact that they happen to be monotheistic, and possibly have a link back to Abraham, means nothing.

      • dannybhoy

        The Biblical concept of God is of a Creator, a morally perfect and compassionate being who wants communion with man and can be reasoned with.
        The Islamic concept of God is of a being who is answerable to no one and can behave as he wishes because he is God.

        • Linus

          God is answerable to someone?

          Nom de Zeus, the bombshells just keep falling, don’t they?

          So to whom does God answer? To the Jews of Auschwitz who put him on trial? To the Pope? What about to the victims of painful hereditary conditions? Or to the barren woman desperate to have children? Or even to the gay Christians condemned to a lifetime of unwanted celibacy by his arbitrary command?

          Because yes, despite the oxymoronic nature of the phrase “gay Christian”, there are some of us so obnubilated by the vision of brushing My Little Pony’s mane and tail in heaven, they’re willing to make eunuchs of themselves for whatever technicolor treats they think Christ has in store for them.

          They’re generally overweight, which is another grief they can blame on God too. The empty hole that compulsory celibacy leaves inside is a bottomless pit, and it doesn’t matter how many pizzas and burgers and rolls of hobnobs you slam down it, it never fills up. It all turns to fat of course, and when these unfortunate gay Christians look at themselves in the glass, whoever they were when they came to God, their reflection soon turns into Jabba the Hut.

          I’m told that face stuffing as a distraction ploy to avoid committing a more serious sin is an acceptable tactic in the Christian struggle for salvation. If I understand it correctly, gluttony is exalted when being used as a weapon to ward off dirty carnal lusts. So the fat gay Christian is to be commended, and one assumes that Courage meetings employ the kind of “reward and reinforcement” tactics used to train seals and walruses. In one’s mind’s eye, one imagines that praise is accompanied by a chocolate hobnob hurled into a capacious maw to the sound of much braying and flipper clapping from the avid audience… But that might not be exactly how it happens.

          In any case, I digress. My point is: will God have to answer to gay Christians, or when they dare to hold him to account for his treatment of them, will he just smite them in divine outrage? One imagines that if he does, the mess they’ll leave behind will be enough to keep the heavenly scrubbers at work for all eternity, but as expiation for their sins, perhaps this is part of the divine plan too.

          So is that it? Do gay Christians fulfill the same role in relation to heaven that bumble bees fill in relation to windscreens? Splat fodder designed to harden in three seconds flat into something resembling concrete set in superglue, which you then spend the rest of your eternal existence trying to scrape off?

          • dannybhoy

            Linus dear chap, I didn’t say that God is answerable to us.
            God’s moral character is perfect, He responds to the decisons we make, as in when the individual or group repent, He does not bring judgement.
            There are natural disasters and accidents as one would expect in a cause and effect world, but most evil comes from the thoughts and actions of people. They of course will be answerable to God for the evil that they have done. At some point.
            I don’t believe that God creates anybody anything. We are the product of our parents, yet we are also ‘one offs’ except for twins etc.

            I don’t know why some people are born gay, but it’s an orientation that goes way way back in our biological history, and God says the practice of sodomy is a sin.

          • dannybhoy

            (Got interrupted))
            Like most people I accord gay people as much respect as I would anyone else. It’s not my business what they do. I would not be scandalised if two gays lived next door, and would try to be a good neighbour. I prefer civil partnerships and oppose gay marriage. I would be happy to see gay people coming to church and would make them welcome.
            I recognise as you say that all people seek to love and be loved, and gays are no different.
            I reserve the right to stand by what my faith teaches, but I’m hardly going to burn your house down and string you up for being gay. It’s not my job.

          • DanJ0

            We’d probably be good neighbours on that basis as it all sounds very benevolent and reasonable. I wouldn’t be expecting a type-written note on my door complaining about my “relentlessly gay” multicoloured solar lanterns, and I wouldn’t be shouting “okily dokily” in an excessively cheerful voice over the hedge every morning for a laugh. All good! 🙂

          • dannybhoy

            Multicoloured solar lanterns?
            I don’t know about that. There are limits to my tolerance.
            (I bought four last week from Maplins)
            My point is that as a Christian I look for opportunities to share my faith. If people ask me questions I answer them. I tell them that the Bible says we are all sinners and the wages of sin is death, if we don’t accept God’s offer of salvation we are condemned, under God’s anger against sin.
            But having done these things I don’t then reject people. I try to build a positive relationship without compromising my beliefs. We had a gay neighbour some years ago. He was a dressmaker, a nice bloke.
            (My wife says my voice dropped an octave when I first started talking to him..) I didn’t reject him because he was gay. Why should I?

          • Pubcrawler
          • dannybhoy

            That happened in Amurkha. It’s different over there.
            My Maplin lights aren’t gay, and goodness knows what would happen if my neighbours knew that in these warm(ish) early mornings I sometimes walk around the garden in the buff.
            Of course, the penstemons are offended, but who cares what they think anyway….

          • Pubcrawler

            It’s the nettles you don’t want to be rubbing up the wrong way…

          • Ivan M

            Those “gay” Christians who are fat or obese, get that way because they overeat and do not exercise. Same thing happens to normal people.

  • grutchyngfysch

    I’m not sure I am much persuaded by this. I accept Christ’s death as taking my place and my penalty, which I deserved and He did not, but He took so that I need not. Theologically the punishment was just, though praise God mercy was greater.

    But the Cross is indeed a place of weakness, abuse and suffering. It’s never just one thing, but I think there is something truly incredible about a God who would set aside everything for the sake of the undeserving. That’s Grace. But it’s also a lesson that God, even when utterly stripped of power, even when cast into the power of the World, even when shorn of the Father and burdened by the weight of sin, bowed down into death *still overcame the World*.

    That’s reason to laugh with joy in the face of the World: “Where O death is your victory, where O death is your sting?” Jesus triumphed even when He had nothing. That’s Glory.

  • grutchyngfysch

    Cranmer,

    You wrote: “The covenant community of discipleship is not restricted to a single doctrine of God: it is the whole human family of faith. Don’t dismiss this wisdom as multifaith universalism.

    Could I trouble you to explain what you see as the difference between the former and the latter? I’ve tried reading it through several times, but I must be being dense, as it isn’t coming to me.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector is convinced that we are here to amuse our creator. So what’s a bit of death and destruction here and there. Yes, we should prevent it, and we largely do, even attempting to disarm barking mad Islam in the desert – ironically, through the tried and tested and effective method of death and destruction. Such is humanity, and the way we are designed to operate. If we ever do achieve world peace, and that would clearly only be possible by the total suppression of the Religion of Peace and the killing that will involve, we will be doing it for OUR benefit, not the Almighty’s.

    For the many who disagree with the Inspector’s position on why we exist at all, try contemplating our God as anything but a benevolent old man who wishes us all as a collective only the best. He / She / Whatever is obviously NOT human, so don’t expect human compassion to shine through. You might then start to get an inkling into what is and where we stand in the glory of existence over nothingness. The stark reality of it all – if you dare!!

    • Dreadnaught

      What kind of warped mind finds amusement in what the world is facing up to (or not) this day?

      • Inspector General

        Warped? Bit strong, isn’t it? We have been all but abandoned on earth to get on with it. That’s exactly what is happening, be it good or bad, WE are responsible.

        • Dreadnaught

          IG, you know my position on this god malarky; what could be ‘stronger’ than declaring your god is amusing himself with the suffering that’s going on today. I am truly speechless!

          • Inspector General

            Can’t see the problem. If you want to achieve a theory of everything that is humanity, without any loose threads, then we are obliged to think the unthinkable. Yes it goes against much that man has constructed, but before that construct we were fearful of him and worshipped him. We make deals with him now, or at least we like to think we do…

          • Dreadnaught

            No doubt he was splitting his sides during the Holocaust.

          • Inspector General

            We might never know what the Almighty contributed to the defeat of the Nazis…

          • By your abominable ‘theory’, the ‘god’ you are constructing would have gained some sort of sick pleasure from the Holocaust.

          • Inspector General

            Thinking the unthinkable Jack? How awful for you. That’s awful in its proper sense, of course. Inspiring awe. The fear resulting when cherished beliefs are questioned by none other than you yourself…

          • sarky

            Actually if there was a god then ig’s description of him/her would explain alot.

          • Linus

            lf God exists and is the ultimate source of everything, then the existence of evil must be part of his design for the universe. So to speak of him as benevolent is inaccurate, or at least incomplete.

            Considering the prevalence of evil in the world, any benevolence God possesses must surely be counterbalanced by an equal amount of malevolence, to the point where, if you average his behaviour out, you end up with an utterly indifferent deity.

            Now that’s a logical explanation for why we never see him. Perhaps he’s so catatonically neutral that he’s completely lost interest in us, and is leaving us to sink or swim as best we can because he just can’t be bovvered…

            Who knows, maybe he’ll have a fit of benevolence at some point in the future, and appear as a magic lion to banish this eternal winter-without-Christmas and kill the White Witch … oops, sorry, wrong myth. ☺️

            Ah yes, now I’ve got it … No lions! The Christian messiah will appear as a beardy and slightly hippy-trippy cross between Jared Leto and a porcelain doll dressed in a white frock with a big shiny red heart on the outside. It’s a pity his mother and primary male non-biologically related caregiver didn’t flee to France for his birth, because our national health service would have dealt with such a serious birth defect right away, and all he’d have to show for it would be a tiny little scar!

            But no matter, I suppose a non-traditional morphology is no barrier to miracle working, so one assumes that, visible heart or no visible heart, he’ll rapturate (is that the right verb?) all true believers into a drugged-up My Little Pony paradise, where St. Peter leads the eternal foxtrot suitably opposite-sex partnered with Lucy Pevensie, while Frodo Baggins and Cinderella get all jiggy wit’ Mr Tumnus and Dawn French … sorry, Mrs Beaver … and poor old Susan sulks in a corner.

            And they all lived happily ever after in cloud cuckoo land…

          • sarky

            Brilliant!!!!

          • CliveM

            Hmmm at heart you’re a bit of a crawler aren’t you!

          • Pubcrawler

            I thought he was being sarcastic…

          • CliveM

            Of course, how stupid of me and there was I worried that he was going to offer to have Linus’s babies next………..,

          • sarky

            Not at all. Just found that really funny 🙂

          • Phil R

            What do you think evil actually is?

          • Anton

            “lf God exists and is the ultimate source of everything, then the existence of evil must be part of his design for the universe.”

            Not quite; freedom is part of his design for the universe, and evil is parasitic on freedom; it’s not freedom if it is impossible to do evil. In Isaiah 45:7 God does say “I create evil” although the word for create is a lesser one than in the three great acts of creation in Genesis of matter, life and man; while Isaiah’s word for “evil” might also be translated “calamity”.

    • Anton

      The Bible is very clear that this is not “the way we are designed to operate”. We and the universe were created “very good” but we abused God’s greatest gift to us, part of the imago Dei, namely freedom to choose between good and evil – and in doing so we lost it. Now we prefer evil, which is why the world is in such a bloody mess. As far as the world is concerned, god will not permit this state of affairs to continue indefinitely. As far the the individual is concerned, there is only one way to recover that freedom and you read about it in the gospel.

      • Inspector General

        ‘The way we are designed to operate’ refers to the actuality of free will. All our troubles stem from that. And no, ‘we’ have not lost it, but many have. As for this state of affairs continuing indefinitely, one believes the bible in that it will not. It will be replaced by a new understanding that maybe none of us can comprehend this moment in time as much as the medieval peasant could never have imagined he and his descendants would ever be more than tenants on their land.

        • Anton

          How do you discern which of us you believe have lost free will and which of us haven’t?

          • Inspector General

            Understood you when you said ‘lost it’ to mean we’ve lost the overall plot of how to live and thrive, as is expected of us, if we are to remain loyal to our creators original plan of seeing if we can live down the ages without destroying ourselves, whether physically or spiritually….

          • Anton

            I meant “lost that freedom”, not “lost the plot” although that is true as well.

          • Inspector General

            Who said anything about losing our free will. It will decide which of us are binned on death and which are saved.

          • Anton

            By what criteria, please?

          • Inspector General

            Are you being deliberately obtuse, Anton?

          • Anton

            No. Please answer my question.

          • Inspector General

            Instead of manoeuvring this man into your firing line of sight, Anton, why don’t you just come out and make your point. Then we can all go home.

          • Anton

            Non posse non peccare.

          • Inspector General

            Keep going…

          • Anton

            We have lost our freedom not to sin and any sin suffices to keep us out of heaven. How then does our supposed free will decide our ultimate fate?

          • Inspector General

            The idea of sinning against God is plain ridiculous. We sin against other mortals, especially our nearest and dearest. Sin is forgiven, we are assured, if followed by repentance. We don’t have to sin, but we choose to do so, if it is a conscious decision. However, if you are of the opinion that merely being alive is a sin, good night to you.

          • CliveM

            Your theology seems to becoming more individual by the day Inspector! I’m not necessarily criticising. What’s your definition of sin? What is sin? Why is it ridiculous to suggest you can sin against God?

            Also is this all new understanding or have you always thought this?

          • magnolia

            “I’m not necessarily criticising”? Why not? As you see a new weird heresy unfold before your eyes? For a cat owner, this is barking!!

            Isn’t Psalm 51 enough? Aren’t Jesus words on the cross “Father forgive them…” sufficient? Or the “Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector” or the Ten COmmandments which make it clear where we can most sin against God. Worshipping the golden calf not a sin against God? By the time you had taken out all the passages of the Bible about the possibility of sinning against God you would be left with a limp papery rag useful for nothing!!

          • CliveM

            Because at this stage I’m simply trying to understand.

          • Inspector General

            Be off with you woman. One cares nothing for your whining…

          • magnolia

            Which of my questions did you most dislike, out of interest?

          • Inspector General

            Forgive this man last night, Magnolia. His dander was up. You see, we have this world of ours, and we have this somewhat cosy God who is only good and has his plan. When it’s pointed out that said plan appears to involve the brutality of mankind consuming itself, and that questions regarding the nature of our creator need to be addressed, the faithful turn on this bringer of unsettling thought.

          • dannybhoy

            I applaud your honesty Inspector. You vause us all to reflect on what we believe and what that then implies.
            (You have that in common with Linus… :0) )

          • Inspector General

            Linus is a wrecker. He has succumbed to despair. One does not appreciate comparisons to him. Even from you, Danny.

          • dannybhoy

            Well it was meant as a bit of a josh, not to upset old chap.
            Has he given in to despair?
            I don’t think so. He has his doubts as you do, but his (I think anyway) involves his being homosexual and not being blessed and accepted as a gay man.
            I think he raises some valid points, and while we offer (Christian) strictures and solutions, they aren’t very comforting..
            As I said before a heterosexual has options. Gays not so much..

          • Inspector General

            Danny, it’s his choice to be identified as a homosexual. Still can’t understand why they do that. It’s not exactly an endearing quality…

          • dannybhoy

            Well I preferred the old days of innocence, when most folk were quite ignorant on the subject. But I could never agree with the bullying or trying to change people through ‘treatment.’
            The Bible makes it clear that homosexuality goes way back, and it doesn’t advocate killing them. Unless of course they were Amalekite as well..
            (That was a joke.)

          • Anton

            I have no problem with robust discussion including last night’s, but the gospel stands or falls as a whole; we cannot pick and choose which bits of it we like.

          • Inspector General

            The gospel fall? Of course it won’t. It is the most robust of things. By the way, have you sold your worldly yet and given the proceeds to the poor. If not, why not?

          • magnolia

            Well I think we can rely on the government to ensure that we will all die suitably impoverished so that we can enter through the eye of the needle! Failing that the offspring or relations will help! 😉

          • Anton

            That was Jesus speaking specifically to a rich man whose wealth was his impediment to his entering the kingdom of heaven. I take as lesson from that to always look for my inner idols and put them to death.

          • magnolia

            That’s OK; I think I should have put it more gently myself! Also tired after some long journeys!

            Do any of us have many of the answers to the problem of suffering? Do any of us even always know who the scoundrels are? I was shocked by George Thomas stuff this week. Feels like a different fake “good” person being uncovered a month sometimes.

          • Jack trusts you will share these delusions with your local priest next time you go to Confession, Inspector. Jackk would advise early attendance too. By thinking and stating such odd opinions in the eyes of the Catholic Church you have become a material and manifest heretic. A grave situation to be in.

          • dannybhoy

            Jack,

            What you mean is that our Inspector should go to someone in his church who could listen and go through the Inspector’s thoughts with him and hopefully bring him to a place of reaffirmed faith.
            Personally, dangling the words ‘material and manifest heretic’ would put my back right up…

          • No, Jack meant exactly what he wrote. If the Inspector is a Catholic, as he claims, then Confession is the place for him. And whether you like it or not, there is such a thing as heresy.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh I didn’t say there was no such a thing as heresy. Of course there is, but when a man shares his doubts and thoughts as the Inspector did, it’s hardly heresy.
            It’s doubt.

          • Inspector General

            Over the course of a lifetime, Clive. One holds a particular disgust of original sin, stemming from the allegory of man’s creation. The purest soul in the universe is a new born child. Uncorrupted by man’s ways. To consider it wrapped in sin for being born is the stuff of mental derangement.

          • Anton

            They are able to emotionally manipulate their parents very quickly and ruthlessly. And behave like politicians towards each other as soon as you put them together once they are capable of locomotion. Is it more likely that they were born that way or that they went wrong within a few days, and if the latter then how?

            Jesus loves people despite all this, and we are to do the same. God has made this easiest with our own children.

          • carl jacobs

            That “pure soul” would kill you for a Popsicle if it could act on that untrained will. Don’t confuse helplessness and lack of guile for innocence. There is a reason that children are born helpless.

            Any parent will tell you. “You don’t have to teach a child how to do wrong. He comes by it naturally.”

          • Inspector General

            You raise a good point Carl. A child born of, shall we call them the lesser achieving races, will itself be as a member of the race. It’s default behaviour pattern, stemming from its inherited brain structure, would thus be not as we would ideally want it. One therefore withdraws the statement that a new born is the purest thing. Could it be that such an unfortunate congenital really is the original sin so highly prized in devout circles…

          • carl jacobs

            Could it be that such an unfortunate congenital really is the original sin so highly prized in devout circles…

            1. No.

            2. You really shouldn’t say such things about we Americans. You’ll give us a complex.

          • Powerdaddy

            The only “brain structure” you should worry about is that of the religious.
            If original sin seems too disgusting to swallow just wash it down with a glass of racism.

            p.s. Jesus didn’t preach to white faces.

          • Inspector General

            This answer you are going to get is always met with disappointment, and alas, one senses you will be no exception…

            The observance of the self evident racial traits of the different races no more makes this man a racist than opposing gay marriage makes him a homophobe.

          • dannybhoy

            A baby will go on to develop into a sentient being who will want to get their own way, justify their own actions whilst condemning yours, but can be taught by instruction and example to be aware of the needs of others and become a decent human being.
            They will still need to acknowledge their sinfulness and accept salvation, but there are morally upright and decent people in the world..

            17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
            18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’’
            20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
            21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross,and follow Me.”

            22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

          • Anton

            All sins are ultimately against God, for they befoul his world.

            Look inside yourself and be horrified. If you do not sincerely believe after doing that, that you deserve hell, then you won’t be very grateful and joyful toward to Jesus Christ for saving you from it. Your nearest and dearest will see your sinful nature the most clearly. There are no exceptions to this rule but Christ himself.

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector has a sinful nature, does he? Ask him how many men he’s slain. How many men he’s lied to, how many he has cheated. How many women he’s raped.

            Then ask yourself this. Are you yourself not of the opinion that by merely breathing, we are filth in God’s eyes?

          • Anton

            Jesus had the most trouble explaining this point to those who lived respectable lives.

            You are no exception. I am no exception.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, Jesus really had it in for the good…

          • Anton

            I am not presenting anything other than the gospel.

          • Inspector General

            You sanctimonious blighter. You are presenting YOUR thoughts. Be honest about that, at least…

          • Anton

            Where do I deviate from the gospel?

          • Inspector General

            Yes, you are only obeying orders.
            This really is goodnight now, rest calls…

          • Anton

            Better than disobeying them. Bless you.

          • carl jacobs

            You did a good job on this subthread, Anton.

          • Anton

            Thank you!

          • magnolia

            Yes he rather did you know….The Good Samaritan and all that..The Tax collector who went away forgiven…Ironic that 😉

          • Anton

            He said “call no man good but God” – Mark 10:18.

          • DanJ0

            Coincidentally, I’ve recently been arguing about this on a previous thread. The good there means instrinsically good i.e. sinless, does it not? There are undoubtedly people who are better or worse in terms of good. Colloquially, there are good and bad people even though no-one but Jesus (and formerly Adam and Eve) are or were sinless by nature. The process of sanctification, admittedly an argued about thing in Christianity, tends people more to the good if one accepts the truth of it.

          • Anton

            I am reduced to repeating some of my words above: “Look inside yourself and be horrified. If you do not sincerely believe, after doing that, that you deserve hell, then you won’t be very grateful and joyful toward to Jesus Christ for saving you from it. Your nearest and dearest will see your sinful nature the most clearly. There are no exceptions to this rule but Christ himself.”

          • len

            Gods Law could be likened to a ‘ sheet of glass’ you break one part of it and you have broken the whole ‘sheet of glass’ (God’s entire Law.)
            IF you have told one lie, stolen one item (however small) blasphemed once then you are pronounced guilty under God`s Law…( this doesn`t even cover the sins you are unaware of committing)

            You have to be perfect to be justified under God`s Law.(that is why’ good people’ do not go to Heaven because there is only One on Earth who ever was perfect…. Christ Himself.

            So what`s the answer because none of us are perfect(not even me 😉
            IF Jesus Christ is our Saviour then His perfection wipes our slate clean and God will not hold our sins against us.(This is the ‘good news’ of the Gospel!)
            So we rely on Christ not our own ‘goodness’ which is not worth anything in God`s eyes.
            This in’ a nutshell’ is the Gospel of Jesus Christ…..

      • DanJ0

        Surely the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thing is about following your god’s commandments? Adam breaking that commandment caused his death and that of all his offspring. So it seems to me that the gift was actually self-awareness from which followed moral sense, rather than the freedom itself to choose to go against one’s own nature knowing the consequences would be so bad. It’s a curious thing because if the moral sense was functioning correctly then one would not be internally free to act even in the absense of external constraint.

        • Anton

          Deep issues. I’m not sure that we are self-aware when we are operating as God meant.

    • len

      God`s ways are not our ways I agree with you on that Inspector but you seem to see God as some remote unattached figure(probably because of your religious system) but if anyone want to see the perfect representation of God then look no further than Jesus Christ. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, and finally suffered the shame and the indignity of being falsely accused ,beaten, His beard pulled out and finally suffered the agonising death of crucifixion.
      hardly the’ god’ you seem to know?.

      • Inspector General

        You’d be surprised what this man ‘knows’….

        • Linus

          Cows? Horses? Poultry, dead or alive?

          Strictly in the biblical sense, of course.

          • Inspector General

            That comment is unassailable proof of the corruption that can break a man and send him to the depths of depravity. One wonders if you were ever decent, even as a child, you wicked old poof.

          • Ivan M

            See Linus you could have kept your mouth shut, instead of being easy meat for the IG.

    • dannybhoy

      “The Inspector is convinced that we are here to amuse our creator. So what’s a bit of death and destruction here and there. “

      You’re winding us all up, surely!

      • Inspector General

        Certainly not. Invitations are now issued for a theory of why we are here at all.

        • Anton

          Assuming you accept that God created us, your question is why did he create the universe and man. He doesn’t tell us that, although one possibility I have heard is that he enjoyed being a family so much (the Trinity) that he decided to extend it.

          • Inspector General

            Any theory considered Anton.

        • dannybhoy

          “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. ”
          Westminster Shorter Catechism

          “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
          1 Corinthians 10:31.

          ” For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
          Romans 11:36.

          “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly”
          John 10:10

          As you well know there is great joy in life as well as pain. You can’t have one without the other, you can’t appreciate one without the other.
          We have the offer of walking through the life with God and the promise of eternal life afterwards.
          Terms and Conditions Apply.

          • Inspector General

            Another example of “We don’t know” in this case man’s purpose not being good enough…

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t know why God created the universe and us in particular, but I accept it.
            I can’t/couldn’t change it.
            I can understand someone feeling ‘trapped’ by their existence and what they perceive as the unfairnesses or incongruities.
            But I trust Jesus as Lord and Saviour that His version of reality is the right one.

  • Dreadnaught

    For the sake of humanity and the free world, the time has come for people of all faiths and none to stand together and declare: ‘Not in God’s Name.’ Lord Sacks.

    ‘God – For the sake of humanity destroy Islam’ would be a better prayer: If He responded, I would most certainly renounce atheism, become a Jew and Testify! Take to the roads in goatskins and Testify I say.
    I want to Testify, but the chances are as likely as being able to eat my own head.
    Sacks sucks – he should be grateful for the IDF and the realism of the State of Israel and glad he doesn’t have to live there today.

    • len

      You cannot destroy the spirit that is behind Islam the bible makes that perfectly clear. Only God himself can deal with the demonic spirit behind Islam..
      And we have removed God from within our society and given this demonic spirit a free hand to steal , kill, and destroy…..We are beginning (only beginning ) to reap what we have sown….

      • Dreadnaught

        Maybe your right but we can pin Islam back to its roots if we had the balls to kick it and its dupes out of Europe and the UK in particular. Stop all the wasted aid money on basket case countries the like of Pakistan, Somalia Gaza and the WB etc.

        • Linus

          Kick Islam out of the UK?

          How exactly do you propose to do that?

          There are millions of Muslims in the UK. What are you going to do: round them all up, put them in camps and ship them … where, exactly? And who will round them up? And what happens when the justice system collapses under the weight of deportation cases? Will you suspend civil liberties to get the job done? No right of appeal?

          Turning the clock back to the 1930s will create many more problems than it solves. Be careful what you wish for. You might be part of the next minority the totalitarian regime you’re advocating chooses to get rid of after it’s dealt with the Muslims.

          • Dreadnaught

            I’d turn the clock back far beyond the 1930s.
            It wouldn’t start with a crude round up but with a ratchet approach starting with an end to accepting muslim immigrants.

          • Linus

            Ratchet as in machine-gunning everyone you don’t like?

            Who’ll bury the bodies if all your enemies are lying in a pool of blood? Think of the danger of epidemics if you just leave them all to rot. There’ll be a lot of them, and you’d better hope they don’t have machine-guns too…

          • Dreadnaught

            Machine gun? Ratchet means to increase direction of travel by increment or degree.

        • len

          I agree with the need to restrain the spread of radical Islam which seems to be contagious with other Muslims ( no one seems interested with dealing with radical Islam apart from a few’ militias’ with only a token amount of support from the West.)

  • John Waller

    “When Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers”, He decreed that they shall be called the children of God. All of them.”

    No, absolutely not. He was speaking of His own followers who are the only true peacemakers.

  • Phil R

    There is a lot of injustice in this world. Slavery, forced prostitution, child exploitation, murder you name it.

    So what is God’s plan to deal with it? Eh? Come on now God, what is your plan to deal with all of this injustice?

    When they fed the 5000 Andrew had his answer. God could have used Manna but instead he showed his disciples that the answer to this impossible problem was them.

    God’s plan is for ending injustice is us.

    Force may be part of it.

    Always has been an option for Christians.

  • CliveM

    Without endorsing JR, Hugh Montifiore did refuse to marry his wife unless she converted.

    I suspect JT’s quote is completely out of context, I’m going to check.

    • Hi

      You mean unless she converted to Christianity:Hugh Montifiore being a Jewish convert to Christianity. Hence why he makes that remark in his autobiography . Indeed ask yourself how you’d feel if your son converted to Islam from Christianity. Johnny has this ability to pluck quotes from sources and use them for his own purposes. To wit, Jews hate the Christians and this justifies such a narrative, which one finds often in far right circles (Christian in this meaning is white Anglo Saxon people ).

      But what do you think of this :

      “The debate is whether He resented being a Jew, Galilee being an area of forced conversion to Judaism.”

      • dannybhoy

        Surely you have to look at the source book rather than how it’s interpreted and practiced?
        A goy or the child of a true Christian family who converted to devout or ‘kosher’ Judaism would cause me less concern than a child who converted to Islam.
        Firstly because as a reasonably rational being I would struggle making any real sense of Islam, especially that I couldn’t debate/analyse or criticise it in any way.
        Whereas with Judaism (and leaving out all the various cultural add ons and expressions,) I could still understand the logic behind Torah and the writings and conclude that this is essentially the same God I believe in.

      • CliveM

        JR talks rubbish, Jesus was a proud Jew.

        As I said I got my montifiores mixed up, doh!!

      • CliveM

        I hate my son to convert to Islam.

  • dannybhoy

    Shabbat Shalom Hannah