Meditation and Reflection

Palm Sunday – Christians cry ‘Hosanna!’, but the world seeks another messiah

Christians find their voice today: ‘Hosanna!’ they cry; Zion’s king is coming. ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass‘ (Zech 9:9). Their arms are lifted and the palm leaves waved. ‘Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!’ The Lord’s name is exalted with hearts full of praise.

And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee (Mt 21:8-11)

It is the ecstasy of belief; an eschatological consummation fulfilled before the eyes. In this personal blessedness lies an eternity of hope. At last, God’s people can meet their Messiah. Now they can grow old and die, having shared the vision of the reign; knowing that it will soon be on earth as it is in heaven. The gospel will be preached, souls will be saved, people will be changed. The promise of eternal life is irresistible. Action for justice and peace draws them in.

On the other hand, nothing changes at all. It’s like a strange and bizarre children’s story. What kind of messiah rides a donkey? Can the donkey talk? Why on earth are you quoting Zechariah? What’s the Bible got to do with anything? Pray and praise away, if you want to, but it’s not for me. No, I’ve grown up. And it’s going to be hot and sunny today, and that calls for beer and a barbecue. Why should I bother going to church to hear some right-on vicar rail against Brexit and grammar schools when I’ve got the heat of the sun and a garden full of bluebells and daffodils; an Eden which sings to the glory of God? Sacred words have become slogans, and the church just shrouds them with Jesus. Today, it’s Jesus and a donkey. Children like that.

The world is sleeping in the dark, and the church is asleep in the light. Its doors aren’t closed to bodies, but they are locked shut to the life of power. We shall listen politely to one another, respecting each other’s choices. Inclusion, peace and tolerance is all. That’s nice.

The Messiah comes to conquer the powers of darkness; to judge the living and the dead.

Better just pop to Tesco to grab the beer and sausages.

  • Paul Greenwood

    Oh and I thought the Jews viewed Pessach as their temporal king come into Jerusalem which afflicted the Sadduccees as temple businessmen who held no belief in Afterlife and paid lip service to Scripture at the prospect of rebellion against their cosy relationship with secular Roman Overlords ? I thought the notion of raising the temple (body) after 3 days was to represent the Afterlife the Pharisees held to be truth and to focus the Jews on Scripture and the Spiritual Dimension rather than changing money in the Temple to sacrifice lambs and birds in money-making ritual.

    If I were correct in these assumptions I would have no problem in understanding the current world as representing the sifting of wheat from chaff under Luther Electionism

  • 1649again

    Excellent Your Grace.

    I have just returned from our Palm Sunday morning worship in my habitual church, a beautiful medieval country church in Devon, with lovely sincere kind Christians who’ve I’ve come to call friends, and from an inspiring message from a retired vicar on this very theme.

    The reading from Philippians, chapter 2 verses 5-8 touched my troubled heart deeply,

    “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”

    The perfect sacrifice to God is a broken and contrite heart. Let us who profess ourselves Christians on this place humble ourselves for at least this Holy Week, cast aside Pride, the original sin, which sows so much division as to who may be right or wrong on theological issues of little relevance to faith in Christ and His offer of salvation, let us unite in amity and acceptance that we are all members of His Holy Church if we do this and believe this. Let us face the World together united and willing to call one another, whatever their tradition, Brother and Sister in Christ.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Christ was forced to drag his own cross and be nailed to it. How many Christians in your church in Devon are prepared to go through that for Salvation ?

      • Sarky

        They had to go without tea and coffee one week, when doris came down with chilblains.

      • Manfarang

        You have to go to the Philippines for that sort of thing.

        • Paul Greenwood

          How many from your congregation watched Mel Gibson’s “Passion” ?

          • Manfarang

            Some Christian Churches and the Bible Society in Thailand worked to offer an explanation to the film as moviegoers entered the cinema. A Thai-language booklet introducing the meaning of the story behind the film was offered, containing email addresses and websites of Christian organizations.
            Out of the sixty-three million people in Thailand, Christians make up one percent of the population.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Yes but in England I mean where English is the primary language. Today Copts died on Palm Sunday but I do wonder if anyone in England cares when churches revere Easter eggs and banalities

          • Manfarang

            Some churches were damaged by bomb blasts in NI People died there because of terrorism and English is the primary language there.

          • Anton

            God’s purpose behind that film was outreach to Muslims, I believe. Apparently the row about it being anti-semitic attracted many Muslims – who disbelieve that Jesus died on the cross – to see it, and what did they see? Jesus dying about as graphically as it is possible to convey…

          • carl jacobs

            An awful movie covered stem to stern with Marian idolatry.

          • Inspector General

            There was no Marian idolatry, Carl. Jesus had an earthly mother who was around at the end, is all.

          • carl jacobs

            The movie presents the Passion as a Triangle with Jesus at the apex. Satan and Mary occupy the other two corners. The Son of Man goes forth to save the world while Mary struggles to aide him and Satan works to oppose him. Mary and Satan are thus presented as peers in the struggle.

            This is why Satan was presented as feminine and why there was the horrible image of Satan with Child. The movie juxtaposes Madonna with Anti-Madonna. One helps. The other hinders. Madonna defeats Anti Madonna and by her aid ensures that Christ can save the world. And that image of Mary being splattered with blood at the foot of the Cross was CoRedemtrix theology pure and simple. This is all crystal clear in the book from which the script was taken – “The Dolorous Passion” by Sister Anne Emmerich.

            There is so much Marian idolatry in that movie, it is unwatchable. I saw it and left the theater angry. I won’t watch it again. Reading the book only confirmed what I had seen with my eyes. It diminishes the Atonement by sticking Mary into the middle of it. The Lord Jesus needed no help from any mortal.

          • Inspector General

            Hmmm One will need to see the film again. Only seen it once, many years ago. any subtleties of the plot were completely drowned out by the Roman brutality. One has made a mental note to do that. Record it, and skip through the sheer inhumanity of the occupying power at the scourging.

            On a general note, you and other hard line protestants need to get your minds right about Mary. If it is to believed that her many appearances over time did happen, then she has achieved what no other deceased mortal has done to do that. To reappear and communicate . Truly then, she is held blessed above all other non divine things. ALL other, with no exceptions.

          • Arden Forester

            Marian idolatry, as you call it, may or may not be important but what was important is that Mary was no ordinary mother. In fact, unique in all time amongst women. The Virgin Birth and being the Mother of Jesus, whom we see as part of the Trinitarian God makes her blessed. “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” is a biblical matter which all Christians should find no problem with.

          • Inspector General

            What one finds astonishing, always have and always will, is that for hard line protestants, Mary is given a rank more suited to the Holy Family’s char woman, if char they had.

          • For only the 2nd (…or is it the 3rd?) time I find myself in profound disagreement with you. The “Passion” is an incredible film, and if you come away from it worshipping Mary rather than deeply grateful to Christ for His humility, courage, obedience & sacrifice – without a profound sense of the consequences of your own wretchedness – then I think you may have been watching the film with a rather distorted filter. Mary & Satan are just bit-part characters – and done extremely well IMHO

          • carl jacobs

            I would encourage you to read the book “The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” by Sister Anne Emmerich. She was a Catholic Nun who claimed to be a mystic stigmatic. It’s a short book and it will give you a clear understanding of the film’s intent. It is the source material for much of the movie. It is also the book that is seen opened at the beginning of the movie.

          • I shall see if I can find myself a copy. However, whatever you consider the film’s nefarious intent, the outcome for myself and many, many others was just as I have stated – a deeper appreciation of Christ’s love for me and the price He paid to demonstrate it. Maybe a case of Gen 50:20.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Thank you for the interpretation and message. I do believe this horrible mess we’re in is a sign that Christians should stop arguing with each other and, as you say, “unite in amity” – as we face the Beast and its heads.

      Must add though, I honestly can’t understand these new translations of the Word! Still, they do send me searching for meaning- in the KJV.

      • 1649again

        It was the original Revised Standard version! If I used the King James someone would have attacked me for being arcane!

    • len

      The last battle( between Christian denominations and secularists versus Christians ) will be over the Truth as Christ presented it.

      Now as in the past, how can any two walk together if they are not in step?.

  • len

    The World seeks ‘a Messiah ‘who will give them the things that they desire.This is where the real Jesus ‘failed’ this world system.Judas wanted wealth and power and saw this slipping away from him, so he betrayed his Messiah.
    The Jews wanted a leader to overthrow the hated Romans.When the Messiah did not offer anything they desired they wanted Him silenced. Many who went to the meetings Jesus held for the material food that He supplied them with with but left when the food ran out.
    Some disciples left when the teaching got difficult and they either did not understand it or desire to follow it.
    Jesus offered Love , Truth , and Integrity but the world rejected these values as it still does today.
    The world today waits for the same type of ‘Messiah’ today who will give them wealth,fame and popularity , but Jesus does not change He offers the same things today as He did then.
    When ‘a Messiah’ comes who offers all the things the world desires they will accept him only to find they have accepted the same Lie that San offered in the Garden to Adam and Eve .

    Christ will come to regain His Creation but not until all deception has been finally exposed.

  • Sarky

    Why should we seek your messiah, when a quarter of christians dont even believe.

    Resurrection did not happen, say quarter of Christians – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39153121

    • Manfarang

      The quote has it right, “And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee (Mt 21:8-11) The PROPHET.

    • The Explorer

      According to Paul, if they don’t believe it they are not Christians.

      • Sarky

        Don’t think you can afford to lose a quarter of very little.

        • len

          God can work through One Man.
          False ‘Christians’ are destroying the Faith , and leading others(like yourself) astray.

          • Sarky

            Nobody led me astray. I did it all by myself.

          • len

            You are proud of that?.

          • Sarky

            Proud that i made up my own mind about christianity without being coerced either way??
            Hell yeah!

          • len

            You haven’t even made a choice sarky.You are in the darkness and have decided that the darkness is your best option?.
            And you call that a choice???.

          • Sarky

            I HAVE made an informed choice. I am not in darkness at all, my life is full of light!!!

          • len

            Jesus is the Light of the world…all else is darkness.

          • Sarky

            No its not.

        • The Explorer

          Interesting point. ‘Romans’ says that when the “fullness of the gentiles have come in”, God will focus on the Jews. God is either thinking of a particular number of believers, or a particular date. Quality control seems to be the issue. God can afford to be choosy if he is drawing Christians from across time and across the globe.

          Don’t forget we are told to anticipate a mass apostasy. The Beast will wage war on the people of the Lamb, and will defeat them. We must expect Christianity to dwindle at some point in the future. if it isn’t happening now.

          • Sarky

            Isnt the church growing in africa/china??
            Or does the end times only happen in europe?

          • The Explorer

            I imagine the focus of the End Times will be the Middle East. I also imagine It won’t happen yet because the Jews have not yet turned to Christ, and that won’t happen until the Gospel has been preached everywhere. The point is not that everywhere will accept the Gospel (it won’t), but that the Gospel will be preached everywhere (which it hasn’t been as yet).

            Christianity will therefore expand for a while in places like Africa and China, but I suppose there will be persecution at some point (think Islamic expansion in Nigeria, for example) and many will fall away.

    • len

      Why would the disciples all die for something they believed to be a lie?.
      Don`t let cultural christians influence you.

      • Sarky

        Why do people drive trucks into crowds for a lie?
        That arguments falls down on so many levels

        • Holger

          Exactly.

          If zealotry is any gauge of truth, Islam must be the one true religion.

          Don’t see many Christian suicide bombers about, do you? Although in saying that, I walked past Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet just as Mass was getting out this morning, and considering the number of pairs of jeans I saw with razor-sharp creases ironed into them, it was clear that a collective act of fashion suicide had just been committed. Blood was running in the gutters…

          • Sarky

            The jeans also tend to be slightly scared of the ankles, thus showing a hint of white sock!

          • len

            Very fashionable…..once.

          • Sarky

            Never!!

          • Manfarang

            The Tamil Tigers invented the suicide vest and used female suicide bombers. Many of the top leaders of the Tigers were Christians.

          • len

            Followers of Christ do not kill.
            So who were these ‘christian top leaders’ following?.

          • Manfarang

            One theory is Prabhakaran, in reality, was a conspirator in, and the chief executor of a large international Christian design for creating an anti-Indian territory to the south of India in Sri Lanka, and for expanding in future such hostile territory to the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. What else could fuel such a subversion-scheme than fanning Tamil chauvinism? Hence LTTE’s Tamil face as a mask for Christian guns and grenades. Every sincere fighter of the LTTE was being used as a cat’s paw by this crooked leader of Church-sponsored terrorism. Most of the other top leaders of the outfit were also Christians by faith, mainly Protestant, some of them hiding Christian identity with Hindu names, as Prabhakaran himself was doing.

          • len

            No Christian kills.So these people were not followers of Christ or his teachings.

          • Manfarang

            Christians, “by divine edict, have no choice but to subject themselves to their political masters and [should] seek to ensure that they execute their war-fighting duty as justly as possible.”

          • len

            Do not know where that comes from?

          • Manfarang

            Augustine of Hippo

          • len

            just some bloke then?.

          • Manfarang

            A former Manichean.

          • Sarky

            Christian soldiers???

          • len

            Who are they?.

          • Sarky

            Soldiers that are christian???

          • len

            When did Jesus send out soldiers?.

          • Sarky

            You said “no christian kills”.
            Im just pointing out, what about if a christian happened to be a soldier?? (Its not difficult)

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Some years ago, and Indian friend told me of the story of Rama Setu, also known as Adam’s Bridge.

            . . . a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.
            . . .
            The bridge was first mentioned in the ancient Indian Sanskrit epic Ramayana of Valmiki. The name Rama’s Bridge or Rama Setu (Sanskrit; setu: bridge) refers to the bridge built by the Vanara (ape men) army of Rama in Hindu theology with instructions from Nala, which he used to reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita from the Rakshasa king, Ravana.

            (Wikipedia)

            This intrigued me very much, because it reminds me of the Giant’s Causeway, which is said to have built by an Irish giant in order to cross over to Scotland to do battle with a Scottish giant.

            However, since then I read that some people were wanting to dredge Rama Setu in order to allow passage for large ships through the seas between India and Sri Lanka. Devout Hindus were very upset at this proposal, and because of the similarity with the Irish legend, I am very much in sympathy with them.

            However, some chap, retired from the Indian Air Force and living in the USA, wrote a letter to the Times of India claiming that this was a plot by the “Christian” Sonia Ghandi. Now she may or may not have been involved in the money bags aspect, but Christianity would have had nothing to do with it.

            So, with regard to the theory you have quoted, I would suggest it is more likely that Prabhakaran was a shape-shifting Lizard.

          • Manfarang

            By all accounts Prabhakaran was a practicing Christian.

          • len

            Not a subject to be joking about
            Especially in light of recent events?.

        • len

          The disciples were with Jesus .
          Terrorists aren`t.

          • Manfarang

            Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

          • Sarky

            And you seem to have missed the point that people die for causes all the time. It proves nothing.

          • len

            You are making no sense at all. Please re read the comments.

        • William Lewis

          The disciples were put to death for their beliefs. The truck driver put people to death for his beliefs. Will you rearrange your moral relativism to discern the difference? Or is your hatred of Christ more important?

          • Sarky

            You’re missing the point, as i said before, people die for causes all the time. It doesn’t prove anything.
            (P.S. how can you hate something v you don’t believe in?)

          • William Lewis

            It’s certainly possible to hate something you don’t believe in – ideas have an effect. For instance, I hate atheism for its destructive effect on those who adhere to its consequences but I don’t believe it.

    • IanCad

      Sarky, I really wish you hadn’t posted that link. How very depressing; no idea it was so bad. We are a post-Christian country.

      “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8

      • Holger

        What, you mean you’ve just realised you’re living in a secular society?

        The Christian capacity for willful self-deception never ceases to amaze me.

        • IanCad

          Hope, I would prefer to call it.

      • carl jacobs

        Why should it depress you? The Lord Jesus will not lose even one of those He has been given. God is still in His heaven.

        What then has changed? We live among a faithless people and so we must now carry the stigma of following the Lord. Did He not say “A servant is not greater than his master”? For generations we lived in cultures that respected what we proclaim. Now they despise what we believe. We don’t like that turn of events very much, but so what? Is God overthrown? Has the End of days been moved? Nothing has changed except that we no longer live with privilege.That’s is a very temporal problem.

        Let the mockers mock and the fools chase after the wind. At the foot of the cross, men called out “He saved others. Let him save himself.” Three days later the Tomb was still empty. The words of men are vain but the Word of God stands forever.

        Today He rides a colt, the foal of a donkey. Tomorrow He rides a horse of war, carrying a rod of iron and wearing a robe dipped in blood. Then there will be no time for mockery and no respite for the foolish presumptions of men. What shall be heard but the plaintive wails of “Mountain, fall on me. Earth, cover me up.” Don’t look around you. Look up. From out of Zion’s hills He comes.

        • IanCad

          Depressing Carl, in that in this land there are few places one can travel without seeing monuments to the living faith so many had, and so few years ago. Every village has its church. Larger ones several. Whatever we think of their theology – some would even question their motivation – a living faith was written on our landscape, and that faith came from within the hearts of believers.
          Yes! The culmination of our journey as Christians is to be with Him in the Kingdom. That dreadful times will precede His coming we know; and in that hope we should welcome the winding down of our age as scripture so teaches.
          It is just that I didn’t realise how few people in the UK have any kind of faith apart from the TV coming on every night. Compared to the US we are a nation of unbelievers – we have fallen fast, far and wide. I did not realise quite how bad it is.

    • Anton

      The BBC can write that 1/4 of Christians disbelieve in the resurrection of Jesus, but the definition of a Christian is somebody who believes it, so the statement is nonsense.

      • Sarky

        Prehaps the definition of Christianity has changed.

  • The Messiah comes to conquer the powers of darkness

    The powers of darkness, with the enthusiastic assistance of Western governments, have turned the tables. The Christian population of Europe is falling while her Muslim population rises (Pew) and the Patriarch of the Syriac-Orthodox Church warns that if ‘the international attempt to enforce “regime change” in Syria’ is successful it ‘will be the end of Christianity’ in Syria. As regime change is once again in fashion, it appears that ‘the end of Christianity’ is exactly what Western governments have in mind.

    Syrian Christianity’s last hope is President Putin but where is European Christianity’s last hope? Not Europe’s Christians, for sure, who continue to elect governments committed to Islamization. It seems that Europe’s Christians have abandoned all hope, along with whatever basic sense they were born with.

    • The Explorer

      How to account for the rise of Islam in Europe.

      1. God is dead, or asleep, or never existed in the first place.

      2. Islam is part of the endgame.

      .

      • Sarky

        My money is on 1.

        • Holger

          Winning won’t make you rich. Everybody’s money is on 1. The odds are even.

        • len

          Number 1, your own logic?.

        • William Lewis

          That’s a poor return. You need to hedge.

      • @ The Explorer—Or perhaps God is alive and kicking and has given Man free will. Some people, depending on their DNA and the teachings of their religion, will be very much better than others at exploiting that free will.

        DNA: groups who are strongly ethnocentric have the advantage over people who are weakly ethnocentric. Religion: faiths which restrict the Golden Rule to their own followers have the advantage over faiths which apply it universally.

        As whites are the least ethnocentric race and Christianity applies the Rule universally, white Christian nations are uniquely ill-equipped to survive multiculturalism.

        The anti-Christian endgame is of Man’s making, not God’s.

        • The Explorer

          If God does not exist, then, agreed, Christianity is suicidal for its adherents.

          If God does exist, then Islam (assuming it to be the Beast of ‘Revelation’) will bring about the end of the world and then be destroyed.

          Take the evolutionary explanation, and Islam is with us. Take the biblical explanation, and Islam is with us. Even if we do like medieval Spain, and manage to expel it from Europe, it’ll still be around in the world. It’s like a mother-in-law: you can’t get rid of it.

          • @ The Explorer—Islam is only with us because it was deliberately brought to the West; Islam had neither the ability nor the power nor the influence to bring itself. Focus your attention on who had the ability, power and influence to bring it, knowing how destructive it would be. Yes, Islam would still be around if it were expelled from Europe but, confined to its part of the world and starved of Western technology, any threat it posed would be manageable.

            Try leaving God out of it for the time being and, instead, analyse these events in human terms.

          • The Explorer

            Accounting for Islam in a godless world is easy: your explicit and implicit reasons make the case well. Accounting for Islam if God exists is far harder.

            God explains somewhere why he kept the Jews in Egypt for as long as he did. He wanted to use them to destroy the Canaanites, but the Canaanites weren’t yet bad enough to be eliminated. So the Jews had to stay in Egypt until the Canaanites had reached the fullness of their abomination, and were depraved enough to deserve extinction.

            It’s a very different god from the slushy deity of liberalism, but a God that must be accounted for if Christianity is true. Such a God might well have Islam as a part of his plan: to be turned loose on the West when the West has reached the fullness of its abominations.

          • @ The Explorer—To a sceptical outsider, it looks like the Jews, being rather fond of smiting their enemies, put the required rationalization in Jehovah’s mouth. Kevin MacDonald takes a more scholarly approach in Chapter 3 of A People That Shall Dwell Alone, ‘Evolutionary Aspects of the Tanakh’.

          • bluedog

            ‘Islam is only with us because it was deliberately brought to the West;’ Pure fantasy. Islam came to the West out of complete ignorance and disbelief that it could ever be a problem. Western leaders in the 1950s and 60s wanted cheap workers and Islamic countries supplied them. What you imply of course, as usual, is that the Jews wanted Islam in the West ‘cos it would undermine Christianity. You dog-whistle this thought in the sentence, ‘Try leaving God out of it for the time being and, instead, analyse these events in human terms.’

            But this line of thinking is surely defeated by the fact that almost all Jewish populations in the Middle East have either been slaughtered or forced to emigrate, either to Israel or to the West. Why would Jews in the West encourage the immigration to the West of their persecutors? It’s completely illogical, and bearing in mind that the Charlie Hebdo gang targeted a Jewish supermarket, clearly wrong. Yet you persist with ideas that cannot be sustained by the facts.

          • @ bluedog—I base my reasoning on Jews’ words and deeds. If you have an enquiring mind, Kevin MacDonald’s article, ‘Jewish Fear and Loathing of Christianity’, may be a good place to start your journey of discovery. Not that you have any intention of making the journey. If you did, however, you would then be able to answer your question, ‘Why would Jews in the West encourage the immigration to the West of their persecutors?’ The answer is obvious when you look at Christianity from the Jewish point of view.

          • bluedog

            Well I read through Kevin McDonald’s endless opinions and really emerged none the wiser. It’s all supposition and doesn’t address the flaw in your argument; if the Jews are behind Muslim immigration, why are anti-Jewish attacks sky-rocketing? Oh wait. You’ll say the Jews are telling the Muslims to kill them by way of a cover story, while they themselves seek the destruction of Christianity. Seems like the race is on!

          • Lucius

            “If God does not exist, then, agreed, Christianity is suicidal for its adherents.”
            Why? Curious.

          • The Explorer

            To quote Johnny, “As whites are the least ethnocentric race and Christianity applies the Rule universally, white Christian nations are uniquely ill-equipped to survive multiculturalism.”

            Loving your neighbour because you love God is one thing. Without God, it becomes an ethicist that loves your neighbour because of self-loathing. From that, it dwindles into liberalism.

            But the actual suicide of nations arises from the failure to breed, and the forces driving non-breeding are overwhelmingly secular. So, yes, I overstated the case.inadvertantly.

      • len

        Islam is ‘a type’ of the Babylonians.(Habakkuk 1)
        God doesn`t have to send ‘the Babylonians’ but only to lift His Hand of restraint on them (which is what the world demanded when they banished God from society and elsewhere.)

      • Anton

        Islam is impending divine judgement for the sins of secular humanism. There are sins which the West has never before committed on the postwar scale if you look at the family breakdown stats. Don’t blame Muslims for administering the coup de grace.

        • The Explorer

          Agree absolutely.

        • Lucius

          From the Islamic State’s most recent publication of Dabiq, its magazine:

          We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you.

          Thus, even if you were to stop fighting us, your best-case scenario in a state of war would be that we would suspend our attacks against you – if we deemed it necessary – in order to focus on the closer and more immediate threats, before eventually resuming our campaigns against you … So in the end, you cannot bring an indefinite halt to our war against you. At most, you could only delay it temporarily. “And fight them until there is no fitnah [paganism] and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (Al-Baqarah 193).

          • Martin

            And thus they continue the misunderstanding of the writer of the Qur’an, who thought that Christians worshipped three gods, one of whom seems to be Mary from some passages. Pretty good evidence that said writer had no knowledge of the New Testament.

          • Lucius

            Concur. But I suspect they will not be open to peaceful discussion.

          • Martin

            There are examples of debates online with Muslims.

          • Lucius

            Thank you for the link!

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I agree with everything you say JR except about Christians abandoning hope. Many have of course, but not all. For many of them, it is when things look impossible that God starts to move the mountain.

    • len

      The powers of darkness only have the power that we give them.
      Christ is the only One who stands against the Powers of Darkness and look what the ‘civilised world’ has done to Him?.

      All secularists and followers of false religion are those who empower the forces of darkness.

    • carl jacobs

      Or maybe the cup of judgment has at long last been set before the nations of the West, filled to the brim and overflowing. And now they must drink it, every drop.

      • IanCad

        “They” is “We.” Of course, I know you knew that; but there’s no reason to write like the English do. We beat about the bush; something you Americans tend not to do. This blog is having a strong influence on you.

        • carl jacobs

          Nah. The word “nations” demanded the pronoun “they”. In fact I originally wrote “the nations of Europe” but changed it “the nations of the West” for the reason you state. ☺

    • Dominic Stockford

      Yes and no. Many of us Christians DON’T vote for such parties.

    • David

      Many of “Europe’s Christians” have fallen for the lie of multiculturalism and that all faiths have their place. They have been deceived by the political and cultural elite.

      • Manfarang

        As opposed to Aryan Christianity.

      • @ David—Many of ‘Europe’s Christians’ have fallen for the lie of multiculturalism…They have been deceived by the political and cultural elite

        To which I would add ‘the religious elite’. The House of Bishops uses scripture to spread the lie of multiculturalism (my italics):

        ‘2 According to Scripture the existence of the different nations of the world is part of God’s providential ordering of human history and the nations will enjoy and contribute the riches of their diversities to the life of God’s eternal kingdom. However, this biblical teaching does not support the idea that any nation is superior to any other, or a notion of separate development involving the segregation of people belonging to different tribes, nations or religions.’—Affirming Our Common Humanity

        • David

          Agreed ! The bishops have a secularist- materialist – humanist lens through which they misread Scripture. The Bible teaches that God expects us to live in separate nations, but the multi-culti lie eschews this.

          • Manfarang

            Separate tribes if the Bible is strictly followed.

          • chefofsinners

            Does our ownership of Gibraltar eschew God’s expectation?

          • David

            That’s a bit left field, so I’ll just dodge, weave and duck, saying :-
            No more than the Spanish ownership of their North African “bases”.
            And it’s “good night” from him too… Chief !

    • bluedog

      ‘Not Europe’s Christians, for sure, who continue to elect governments committed to Islamization.’ Mrs May doesn’t talk in those terms, she speaks of faith in Christ. Neither does President Trump, who’s comments about the gassing of Syrian children were full of references to God, not allah. It’s possible your paranoia is misplaced.

      • @ bluedog—May describes Islam as ‘a great faith’, weasel words that would stick in the craw of any honest-to-God Christian. It’s a pity Trump didn’t call Peter Hitchens, who could have explained to him the sheer stupidity of thinking that Assad ordered the gassing.

        • bluedog

          So it was all an Israeli plot after all?

          • @ bluedog—It’s known that Israel provided false intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war (see page 36 of this PDF, a review of Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy) so it’s possible. We may know one day, one way or the other. James Petras writes here about the malign influence of the Israel Lobby; scroll down for ‘Foreign Policy’.

  • Manfarang

    “it’s going to be hot and sunny today”
    Hot? It was a little on the cool side for me this afternoon-93F.
    Still in a few days the hill station.

    • len

      Just an appearance of the sun here (near Liverpool)is enough for everyone to put their summer clothes on regardless of the heat.

      • Dominic Stockford

        23c here.

        • betteroffoutofit

          67F here.

        • Martin

          73.2 here, far to hot for me.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Cameron Highlands?

      • Manfarang

        Darjeeling

  • Richard Hill

    The Palm Sunday sermon in our church was a beauty.
    The preacher said Jesus was being a clown, mocking Pilate.
    Pilate has come from his home on the coast to demonstrate
    Roman power. to the Jews on their high holy days.
    “Just like a dictator arriving in a strretched limo with
    motor cycle escorts, guys in dark glasses running alongside”.
    At the same time his opponent came in on a donkey.
    Todays equivalent would be to mock Pilate’s stretched limo
    by riding a bike or a skateboard!.
    Does the preacher get full marks for originality?

    • Sarky

      No. Heard that plenty of times and i haven’t been in a church for about 30 years.

    • IanCad

      You need to get a new preacher. For my money it’s a shocking trivialisation of The Greatest Story Ever Told.

    • David

      I’d wager he/she’s a liberal theologically. You wouldn’t get a traditionalist, High or Low, trivialising the opening sequence of the most important week that the world has ever seen, and will ever see. Liberals reduce everything until it is almost a parody of the real meaning.

    • len

      No.He/She needs to look for another job.

  • Lain

    I haven’t posted here before, but thank you for this article. I’ve been thinking about the sad news about all those Christians who were killed at Palm Sunday masses in Egypt today. I think we’re in danger of forgetting what the Passion really means in the West, sometimes.

    • Dominic Stockford

      crucify begets excruciating – but we forget.

  • David

    Well I have just returned from an excellent traditional C of E evangelical church service. The place was full of sincere Christians many of who are often busy with voluntary work in the town, such as Town Pastors, and caring for the elderly. The sermon, given by a retired vicar, was excellent and showed how the Matthew passage (21: 1 -11) reflected the great hymns of the OT, sung in the Temple, and fulfilled prophecy. After the service we met to hear how the £ six figure bequest received recently is to be used, to employ a full-time outreach worker to children and young people, especially in the schools. The church is alive, flourishing and growing.
    With Easter approaching we all look forward to many different services throughout the town, including an ecumenical March of Witness. I consider it an honour to be preaching at two of the lesser services including Sunday’s Dawn Service. Now that Christian worship is purely voluntary, not needed as in previous decades to be respectable, the remaining worshippers truly are faithful, sincere people. We have much to be grateful for despite the efforts of the secularists to destroy the faith.

  • IanCad

    Quite the sardine sermon today YG. A tremendous amount of meat in a small space.

    “The world is sleeping in the dark, and the church is asleep in the light.” And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true!

  • Inspector General

    Oh yes. There will be the smell of barbecued beast in the air today. No doubt about that. As we don’t eat ass, and the Italians no longer use donkey for salami (an expedient solution from the 39 45 war when the Germans rounded up all the pigs, and anything that looked like a pig, to feed it’s army therein) it would have been more appropriate for Christ to ride in on a cow.

    You see, traditionally important days such as this were designated feast days. In the old religion, that is. Fun and laughter on this day of celebration. The protestants would protest, by sitting po faced in the shade, sipping well water, and cursing those that did. Lamenting that after 6 months of nordic weather gloom, the sun saw itself able to once again shine on the land…

    • Anton

      Protestants invented cricket.

      • Inspector General

        Englishmen invented cricket. Anyway, your point being…

        • Anton

          …to refute your slander against protestants, of course, and to do it in a style matching your own.

          • Inspector General

            Slander, no. But the cap will fit some.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “the world seeks another Messiah”

    I don’t think it does. I think it thinks that it has found one, man believes he can save himself from anything.

    [Add female pronouns if you so wish]

    • David

      The secularist-materialist west does anyway.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Yes. I was using ‘world’ in the derogatory Johannine version.

        • David

          Understood.
          I ask because of course, beyond the west, the Church is growing strongly, even in Islamic areas with many being converted through dreams.

    • len

      That illusion (that man can save himself)must surely be wearing a bit thin now as man seems unable to even control himself let alone the environment ?.Well amongst the more discerning people at least?.

    • len

      The worlds ‘messiah'( when he comes) will be anything but the true Messiah.This false Messiah will be ‘all things to all people’ but will only be interested in carrying out his own agenda which is to replace Christ.This mission of the false messiah has been his one purpose throughout history and he has accomplished much with false religion or no religion at all.
      The world awaits his unveiling.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Something like the euSSR and the NWO, then.

        • len

          The false Messiah will come to bring peace and prosperity to all.(allegedly)
          Tony Blair would be a perfect example.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Tony Blair had serious mental issues but the public is gullible for sociopaths and the plausible. There is a profound inability in Westerners to discern deception and duplicity

          • magnolia

            Too right! It has struck me recently how people “turn off” their instinctive ability to discern a bad face. New atheists, mostly men, though mixed with some strikingly non-tender females, excel at this inability, hence the odd hero- worship of some dark, brooding, attitudinal, sulky and aggressive types.

            Children, dogs, and horses, even some cats, tend to know fast who not to trust. But adults, (Hartlepool a past notorious example), even elect them. Odd indeed.

          • bluedog

            Look no further than Cameron. Seemed to be the conservative from central casting, but was ruthlessly and deceitfully progressive.

        • David

          That’s the sort of ticket that the megalomaniacs and lovers of Big State have in mind ! Those who have rejected God and His laws never tire of trying to impose their own sick substitute for godly rule onto us.
          Watch out as they try to ram the EU’s agenda down our throats, by stealth, as Mrs Maybe May continues the pretence of being “Conservative”.

      • worrywort

        For those who have an interest in the supernatural, May I invite you to look into the writings about a being called “Ahriman.” Search the web and the best references are from Rudolf Steiner.

    • Anton

      Dominic, on another topic, your phrase “high-drama liturgy” several days ago was striking, and I have been pondering it. God is both transcendent and immanent and it is not clear to me how to convey both of those things at the same time in corporate worship. I am also amazed at the diversity of temperaments of genuinely committed Christians. Since you coined the phrase, I’d welcome your further comments; I have no agenda.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Dear Anton, I’ll try to put this well.

        1. There are two ways to make liturgy (communal worship of God) ‘high drama’. Firstly there is the human way, secondly there is a more godly way.

        2. The human way. All different types of churchmanship are capable of ‘creating’ highly dramatic liturgy. This is man deliberately doing things to create an emotional response in those present – a bit like a show, to be honest.

        The High Church (of whatever denomination, and there are ‘low church’ RC’s!) tends to do it as a matter of course. An example would a service I remember in Plymouth. A packed cathedral. A blast from a row of Royal Marine trumpeters, followed by a grand hymn accompanied by an organ on full throttle and an entrance procession of all clergy in matching finery with thuribles and smoke, crucifer and assistant, and concluding with the Bishop in his regalia, followed by two serving boys who get to carry his bits and pieces. I don’t remember on this occasion – but its always best if it moves in so slowly that the procession is still going on when the hymn finishes so that the organ can segue into thunderous blasts whilst the censing of the ‘altar’ takes place……. and so on.

        Charismatics can ‘create’ high drama too. Loud music and exhortations of the congregation, tweaking on their emotions; added in to by emotional testimony of how wonderful God has made their lives – either about or from an individual (and in the US style churches, a nice bit of ‘healing’ as well); all topped off with some note perfect band and choir singing songs about how ‘I’ do or feel something or another.

        Taize services with their music (the style of which is very cleverly put together) and almost folk pageantry can also create such a sense of drama.

        The BCP bunch can do it by the methods frequently seen in cathedrals – with the singing of psalms and hymns by a perfectly judged cathedral choir with the ubiquitous organ to accompany it. The word perfect presentation of the BCP service (as heard on Radio 3) and suitable introits and exeants, all using the admitted poetic beauty of the AV.

        Those of us in the Reformed mob rarely do liturgy in quite the same way – which is a surprise, given that Calvin had a liturgical service that was used in Geneva. And although some are now entering into the slightly shameless rock band era, which does at least create emotional high drama during the thumping (for some people), I have not been to a service which had high drama ‘created’.

        3. A more godly way. Where the service is done not for show, but to worship and to pray and to hear God’s Word read and broken open. If it becomes highly dramatic it is not the intention of those leading the service that it should be.

        This can be seen in any denomination, when show is put aside and something simple is done. When the hymns have been well chosen; when the words of the service are simple and Biblical, and the congregation is led through them in way that is neither ‘over-meaningful’ nor overly ‘precise’; when God’s Word is read by someone to whom it clearly has meaning, and who allows its meaning to come through; and when the Gospel is preached accurately and with passion by someone through whom the Holy Spirit is clearly speaking that day. But this depends on the spiritual preparedness of the congregation, and their willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to guide their minds as they take part (not their hands and their feet!).

        Sometimes I get to the end of such a service and sense that something has taken place that is beyond the human, but it was nothing that I did, and I am surprised when people say they felt it too – this kind of God-induced high drama cannot be created.

        Any help?

        • Anton

          Yes, a great help. I wish to ponder further and thank you.

  • David

    Is Mrs Proudie on holiday ?
    If so I do hope that the good lady is keeping herself safe.

  • Paul Greenwood

    Coptic Christians die on Palm Sunday and none in England cares

    • Inspector General

      Is that the best you can do…

      Their evil killing is not a gift for the likes of you to make capital out of.

      • Paul Greenwood

        I did nothing but observe what others have done. I did not hear Boris Johnson nor Fallon nor anyone comment, nor did you save to excoriate me

        • David

          What rubbish !
          The regular contributors to this blog, which includes those of other and no faith, are always very aware of the extent, scale and frequency of such atrocities. Because The Inspector hasn’t written a book on it, can’t be taken to mean that he, or anyone else, doesn’t care !

        • Thomson’s Hankey

          Sounds like you should have been in a church rather than listening to fatuous politicians

        • James60498 .

          No one in England cares?

          Or the politicians that we have saddled ourselves with don’t care?

          There is a big difference.

          You can of course criticise all of us for our failure to produce better politicians. For our failure to work together to destroy the hold that the secularists have over power. Even most of those who attend Church treat it as of secondary importance to their parties.

          Condemn us for allowing our relatively minor differences to get in the way of a strong Christian presence in politics.
          But don’t say that no one cares.

    • David

      Not true !
      What’s your game ?
      Churches the length and breadth of the UK, and elsewhere, will have mentioned them in their prayers. They were mentioned at both services I attended today, the 10.45 am Morning Service and then the 6.30 Evensong.

    • DP111

      More Christians killed by the misunderstanders of the RoP.

      This is on top of the continuous persecution of Christians in Islamic countries.

    • Dominic Stockford

      These events were mentioned and responded to in this thread four hours before you brought it up.

  • chefofsinners

    The choice in Jerusalem two millennia ago was Jesus or Barabbas. The choice today is Jesus or barbecue.
    Those who are barbecuing today will barbecue for all eternity unless we do something about it.
    “As He died to make men holy let us die to make men free, while God is marching on.”

    • Sarky

      Don’t you just love a good old threat of hell.

      • Martin

        Sarky

        It’s what we all deserve.

        • Sarky

          Speak for yourself!

          • Anton

            Sarky,

            I could read you a list of laws that you agree were good, and you would find that you had broken plenty of them.

            If you want to know how sinful you really were, ask the people who knew you best about your faults are – if you dare. (Don’t do it, because it might wreck a good relationship, but do ask yourself why you might feel resistance to doing it.) Today, thanks to modern media and travel, it is easy to see that people all over the world have a lot in common, and that differences of race or nationality are much less deep than the things we all have in common. That is a good thing, but people don’t take the logic far enough. If we are all the same, we cannot say that WE are good and THEY are bad. That goes for divisions between nations, races, political parties or anything else. So, are humans all basically good or basically bad? Our culture takes the view that “Hey, nobody’s perfect, but unless you are a serial killer or a paedophile then basically you’re OK.” Is that true? Human history is written in blood – it is a tale of warfare. That doesn’t look good. Zooming into people’s lives, couples freely get married because they are crazy about each other, but 10 years on many couples just put up with each other, or nowadays not even that; they get divorced. I hope you have a happy marriage, but dare you say that you are fundamentally different from others who don’t? Some people commit worse crimes than others, too, but we are all the same inside – and the evidence is that we are all bad inside.

            If you break any single one of the laws of the land, the State punishes you. Why should God be different?

          • Sarky

            I don’t believe in god.

          • Anton

            Why do you have a conscience?

          • Sarky

            Evolution.

          • Anton

            I do not dispute that evolution provided the human body. But the human conscience? Please explain how.

          • Sarky

            Empathy towards eachother gives us evolutionary advantage. Working together makes us stronger, the conscience, or the awareness of doing wrong, has helped bond us with common ideals and goals. Just think about our evolved morality, ‘the percieved rules’, they ensure that anyone who strays out of line is punished for doing so therefore ensuring that the whole remains stronger. (Or something like that)

          • Anton

            But that’s the view from the outside. Whence the view from the inside?

          • Sarky

            Come again?

          • Anton

            You’re giving an explanation that an observer of humans might give. How do you reconcile that with how our interactions are perceived by ourselves?

          • Sarky

            Nurture….we are conditioned from birth to comply with the norms of the society we live in.

          • Anton

            Yes we are, but that is just behaviorism. We still have notions of good and bad.

          • Sarky

            We’re not born with that though are we. Read an article about young children kidnapped by isis, they were conditioned to kill, maim and behead and they did it with no feeling. We are products of our environment nothing more. Good and bad is subjective.

          • Anton

            Why then, when they are set free and shown love, do they break down in tears about what they did?

          • Sarky

            If what you’re saying is that people are basically born a certain way i.e. nature rather than nurture, then the bad person cannot change and vice versa, which as you know is rubbish (except in cases of mental illness)

          • chefofsinners

            Such a conscience is of no value unless the ‘perceived rules’ are actually advantageous. A morality that is functional must embody a higher wisdom than that possessed by the individual, or indeed the group think. Where might it come from, this wisdom?

          • Sarky

            That’s the whole point. The rules are advantageous. Why does morality need a higher power? Morality is basically an evolved set of rules that ensure the whole is stronger than the individual…nothing more.

          • carl jacobs

            I do not dispute that evolution provided the human body.

            And you just lost the argument, Anton. That concession reduces your position to scrap metal because what you are saying “I admit evolution provides that which you can see, but it doesn’t provide that which you can’t see?” The obvious unanswerable rejoinder is “Why?”

          • Anton

            Let’s see how the argument with Sarky goes, shall we?

            I’ve no wish to dispute what I’m about to say with Sarky, but I’l gladly do it with another believer. I reckon that when God blew the NESHAMAH of life into Adam’s body that this included the image of God, and part of it was the conscience. That is a miracle, meaning that without direct divine intervention it would not have happened. But the body that God blew the NESHAMAH into, formed from the dust of the ground – how did that get there? This is where you might be making eisegetical assumptions without realising it; assumptions which I would question.

          • carl jacobs

            We know God creates ex nihilo. Why should we limit special creation to the immaterial?

            You can see from sarky’s response exactly how Evolution is used. It’s the answer to the question “Why am I here?” He begins in unbelief and justifies it with Evolution. Once you concede its reality you have justified his major contention – that God is not the necessary cause of his existence. He views your immaterial claims as superstition. You have already given him leave to assert that conscience is part and parsel of the material universe. He has no further need to argue.

            That the material is also an act of special creation is not an expendible contention.God does not hide His glory behind random processes that can be used to deny his existence.

          • Anton

            To God there is no such thing as a random process. Meetings between humans appear random but may lead to conversion or marriage; we should not apply similarly faulty logic to interactions between organisms and their environment.

          • carl jacobs

            The non-existence of randomness is a (very true) theological claim. Yet I can mathematically describe random processes. To the perception of man, they most certainly do exist. The point of the Testimony of Creation is that it precludes all other origins. That includes allegedly immanent origins like evolution. The unbeliever sees those random processes and says “That explains my existence without having to appeal to God.” Your claim of divine guidance does not change his explanation. He is not compelled to acknowledge the power and glory of God because theistic evolution does not change the mechanism of evolution at all. You have simply glued God onto the side of evolution. How does this glorify God?

          • Sarky

            I’m sorry Carl, but the answer ‘god did it’ just doesnt cut it in the face of evidence. Its to simplistic and just a cop out.

          • carl jacobs

            Evidence. Why don’t you show me the scientific evidence that explains why time, space, energy, and matter exist? Can you do that – you who are permanently locked within the realm of time and space and energy and matter? If TSEM are all that exist, then what is the causal force behind the existence of TSEM? Something cannot exist before it exists. That’s axiomatic. So there must be something outside of TSEM that can bring TSEM into existence. Unless you want to say the TSEM are self-existent. Do you want to go there?

            Bertrand Russell (no theist, he) called this hypothetical entity the “singularity” and he was happy to label it anything but God. He was fine with metaphysics (because only metaphysics can answer this question) but only if there was no Creator involved. Because of course a Creator implies moral accountability, and moral accountability means that man is not a sovereign god over his own life.

            You approach this subject and you say “I don’t care what the answer is. I care what the answer is not. The answer is not God.” You begin with unbelief and proceed from there. The answer stares you in face and you willfully close your eyes to it.

          • Sarky

            Carl, you are no different. You begin with belief and go from there.
            Ive looked at both sides and made an informed decision.
            You’re right, we don’t know what happened at the exact point the universe came into existence, but does that mean we wont??
            Scientists are already close to creating life from nothing in a lab, which will have massive consequences for those with belief.
            You are being backed further and further into a corner and the get outs are disappearing fast!!

          • carl jacobs

            You’re right, we don’t know what happened at the exact point the universe came into existence, but does that mean we wont??

            No, sarky. I didn’t talk about what happened. I talked about why it happened. And, yes, that does mean man cannot (as in “is fundamentally incapable of”) ever find the answer on his own. It is impossible for man to determine that cause by his own hand because he can never escape the realm of TSEM. He can only speculate. Or he can be told.

            Do you know what men typically do with this question? They postulate something that has the creative power of God yet without the moral nature of God. It’s an interesting piece of metaphysical legerdemaine.

            It’s nice to see you admit your own faith system for once.

            Scientists are already close to creating life from nothing in a lab

            Oh! Will they finally make cold fusion work as well?

          • CliveM

            Creating life from nothing? Really? Have you not got this a bit muddled?

          • Sarky
          • Some intelligent, sentient beings purposefully putting some chemicals together in carefully controlled environment, using a pre-existing biological template and then implanting it into some other pre-existing biological container …. sounds an awful like “intelligent design” to me!! Or as you say, “creating” life.

          • Sarky

            Except we’re not gods.

          • Exactly. So what exactly was the point of you linking to an article about people “creating artificial life” … using pre-existing chemicals, in pre-existing containers, in pre-existing, carefully controlled environments, as a result of pre-existing, intelligent designers? Presumably it was to prove we don’t need God to explain the existence of life? In which case you failed spectacularly.

          • Sarky

            Except we don’t need god to explain the existence of life.

          • And yet, somehow, when you try to explain the existence of life without God (as presumably that link to the creation of ‘artificial life’ was meant to do) you seem to fail catastrophically. Go figure.

          • CliveM

            No I had seen that. It’s what I thought you were referring to. Just wanted to check.

            We live in a material world, therefore once you understand the building blocks, the material aspects of it are replicateable. I don’t see that as ‘disproving’ God.

          • Sarky

            Because only god can make life.

          • Anton

            I don’t agree that I have “glued God onto the side of evolution”. If evolution takes place then it takes place in God’s world.

            There is an argument going on inside evolutionary biology between the ‘convergers’ and the ‘divergers’. The latter reckon that at least one of the biological steps which they say brought the human body into being is incredibly unlikely. In that case, it glorifies God that He saw to it that something incredibly unlikely actually came to pass. The convergers say that, given the conditions on the earth, multicellular life was always likely to evolve over a long enough time, and that those conditions are what is rare among the planets of the universe. In that case God is glorified that He saw to it such a planet exists and that the laws of chemistry point towards life in such an environment.

            In either case, creation is a contingent act and God did not have to arrange it the way He did. That we exist, regardless of how, is an amazing fact. The Creation owes it to its Creator to glorify him.

          • carl jacobs

            You say you don’t glue God onto evolution but this post is a prime example of exactly that. These evolutionary biologists are discussing probabilities. They are not discussing God. Nothing about low probability compels them to acknowledge a Creator. They are simply discussing probability density functions. You are the one who pushes God into the mix. An atheist has no reason to go there. He has no reason to see anything other than mechanics.

            Is there in fact any mechanical difference between your understanding of evolution and an atheist’s understanding of evolution? Other than the claims you make about the immaterial, I mean. Because I don’t see any difference between the two.

          • carl jacobs

            What an excellent admission of your belief system, sadly. You haven’t a clue what conscience is and yet you know it is a simple manifestation of chemistry. What else could it be since there is no ghost in the shell. If only you could see it in human biology. But alas there is no “conscience gland”.

            Here is all you have said. “There is no god. Therefore all things must be explainable by immanent cause. Therefore conscience is explainable by immanent cause. We’ll just called it evolution because as good a word as any.”

            You should try explaining consciousness next.

          • John

            Why is there something rather than nothing? How could nobody create everything from nothing? Why are the scientific constants necessary for matter to exist so extraordinarily and perfectly finely-tuned? How did living things emerge from non-living things? If the universe is random and meaningless why are people so obsessed with finding purpose in life? Why are we all incapable of living perfect lives? How did an obscure labourer from the armpit of the Roman Empire, who lived rough and wrote no books, who died young and about whom only about three years Of his life are known, become easily the most followed, quoted and influential figure in human history? How do we explain Jesus’ empty tomb? How can we account for the explosive growth of early Christianity, propagated by people who knew they risked the death penalty, if it was based on a known lie? The failure of atheism to satisfactorily answer these, and other, questions is why I can never be one again.

          • Sarky

            Sorry, but alot of those can be satisfactorily answered. (Not going in to it here, but the info is all out there)

          • Martin

            Sarky

            I am, as you should have noticed, and you.

      • chefofsinners

        The comment is intended to motivate Christians, not threaten.
        If the cap happens to fit certain middle aged men barbecuing their way to an early death through heart attack, carcinogens or salmonella then so be it.

      • IanCad

        The dogma of an eternally burning Hell in which the unsaved will suffer for ever has done more harm to Christianity than any other false doctrine. Many Christians no longer embrace that highly profitable medieval falsehood; most notably the CofE.

      • It’s no more of a threat than the health warning on a cigarette packet: “Smoking Kills”; “Sin Damns”. The fact that many people choose to ignore them both – preferring short term gratification over their long-term welfare – is no indictment on the messenger. It’s good old carrots & sticks.

  • len

    Another Jesus, who would that be?.
    Words of Jesus; ‘I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him’.(John 5:43)
    Many false prophets and false messiahs have come and gone, and many have been accepted and even started worldwide religions, also political movements and philosophies, most to the detriment of mankind.
    The West is now embracing paganism[again] in the hope of finding ‘spiritual enlightenment ‘ which will only bring about a greater darkness and deception.
    The Light of the Gospel shines forth but who can perceive it?.

  • Thoughtful Palm Sunday homily from Rev’d Dr Ashenden here.

    • Lucius

      Thanks Marie.

    • David

      Thank you Marie for that link.
      He is such a wise priest, an Anglican leader whose words I would take heed of.
      The visual imagery of the background, vine terraces I think, was also apt.

  • Mike Stallard

    In our (Catholic) Church we had Palm Sunday done correctly with the palms blessed outside the Church and all. Then all the right hymns. (Our priest is a convert from very high Church Anglicanism).
    The congregation is tumbling. Great gaps where once there were many people.
    The problem? No joy. No feeling of achievement. No smiles. Lots of criticism and harsh words. People getting angry. Going elsewhere. Hurt.
    No banners. No incense. No priest throwing a laughing child into the air at the end of the service. No Poles saying “Na zdrovnia” and laughing…

  • CliveM

    On Palm Sunday we remember Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. The cheers of the crowds contrasting with the jeers of his execution on the Cross. Then from this we go to the triumph and victory of the resurrection.

    Reading some of the comments here you would think we were in a life or death battle with atheism, or materialism or Islam. We aren’t. The battle has been won. Islam isn’t going to have victory over the risen Christ. It lost 2000 years ago. Sarky and Linus’s taunts and jeers in truth amount to nothing. In reality they are the groans of dying men.

    So let’s remember the Passion of Christ. On Sunday let’s celebrate the victory. Our God has won and because of this we are saved.

    ISIL don’t hate because they are winning, they hate because they know they have lost. Linus taunts, not because God doesn’t matter, but because he does.

    Personally I’m going to take the Inspectors advice. On Sunday after Church, I’m going to have a celebration meal.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Yes, we have already won in Christ. But many people seem to think that they need to present it as if they are living it all once again – which gives rise to to the danger that people end up thinking that without going through the correct liturgical hoops ‘it isn’t Easter’. But Easter has happened. Christ HAS died. Christ IS Risen. Alleluia every day of the year!

  • Luke 19:41. ‘Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”‘
    No more do we know in our day.

  • Arden Forester

    The World may seek another messiah but for many I suspect they are not much bothered. One thing Christians concern themselves too much about is the spiritual well-being of those outside the Church. Jesus told us to make disciples of all nations but not be concerned if they do not listen. Let all grow until the harvest. Fret not thyself over the ungodly. Many are called but few are chosen. We should strive to follow the Faith but not to condemn or judge others’ souls. That belongs to God. Some Christians find it hard to accept but there will be for many in this World the dreadful words “I know you not” when they come to the Day of Judgement.

    • Anton

      If Syria escalates (and see Isaiah 17:1) then people will flock to church.

      • Ivan M

        That’s a Catch-22.

        • Anton

          I hope it will catch many more than 22!

  • DP111

    The New Stockholm Syndrome

  • DP111

    One Greek community leader, Rev George Capsis, has gone so far as to warn Christians not to wear overt religious symbols when they are travelling though Muslim enclaves of southwestern Sydney.

    But last Tuesday afternoon, 30-year-old Greek Orthodox Christian, Mike, discovered too late the risks of wearing a large cross outside his clothing while travelling on the train from Campsie to Bankstown with his girlfriend.

    He says he was minding his own business talking on his mobile phone, when four young men of Middle Eastern appearance allegedly violently ripped the crucifix off his neck, and stomped on it while swearing “F*** Jesus” and referring to “Allah”.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/we-rush-to-condemn-islamophobia-what-about-antichristian-attacks/news-story/2bb6f9a158146e963355a6da3adbe70a

    It seems the vast majority of Muslims misunderstand the RoP. How can this be?

  • chefofsinners

    Ah yes, the tastiest atheist healthiest range.