Salt & Light 2
European Union

Salt & Light: the gospel, the EU, and the misappropriation of God's word

 

Steve Thomas is the International Team Leader of Salt & Light – “an international family of churches together on mission“. Their core commitments are impeccably orthodox and undeniably evangelical, and they wisely distinguish between primary and secondary matters of theology, morality and ecclesiology: “We recognise significant differences of perspective in relation to matters of, for example, eschatology or the place of Israel in God’s future plans. We want to live in an atmosphere of respect, and do not want to take issue over such matters!”

But when it comes to the European Union, Steve Thomas isn’t so recognising of different perspectives (or if he is, he doesn’t acknowledge them). In his blog The Gospel, the EU and Me, he sets out his personal “random thoughts” about why he is voting to remain in the EU, explaining that he is doing so in response to a question posed to him by several people over the last few weeks: “So, is there a Biblical view of how we think about the European Union?” He says his biblical view “may or may not help anyone trying to decide how to vote”, but the fact that it may do so means that it merits a little light expository fisking, if only because this International Leader’s “biblical view” inculcates a particular political morality and undoubtedly influences his many church leaders and members into voting Remain, for ‘influence’ is what church leaders do. He writes:

I love Europe. God told the Salt & Light family prophetically to be involved with taking the message of the Kingdom.

Loving Europe (that is, the continent, culture, history, people) may be the necessary starting point of all Christians, whether they are in favour of leaving or remaining in the EU. But the next sentence is interesting. God told Salt & light “prophetically” to take “the message of the Kingdom” presumably to Europe, since that is the context and region made explicit in the first three words. How did God say this to Salt & Light? Is it not the calling of a Christians everywhere to take the message of the Kingdom? Is it not simply written down in Scripture? What is this special prophetic vocation and how was it confirmed?

The Great Commission (Mt 28:18ff) does not stop at Europe. Did God tell Salt & Light “prophetically” to stop at the borders of Europe? If so, where do they place these borders? From the Atlantic to the Urals? Does it include Turkey? Curiously, Salt & Light is “international“: they have churches in North America, New Zealand, Kenya, Uganda… all of which appear to have been possible to establish (and grow) without free movement of peoples and political union. But then we get:

I am not in love with the European Union! I don’t like large political conglomerates, which are largely unaccountable to the people they are influencing, and I perceive many humanistic agendas that run counter to Biblical ways of thinking. However, that is also true of many governments in many nations. I think that we have more chance of changing it from within than outside. I know there are some Christians who think that the EU is a manifestation of the Beast of Revelation 13, but that wouldn’t be my view. Any government that takes an atheistic anti-Christian position is Beastly, for sure, and will be defeated by the Kingdom of Christ in the end (Hallelujah!); the EU is more of a pragmatic co-operative union of nations.

Not being in love with the European Union also appears to be the starting point of all Christians, whether they are in favour of leaving or remaining. Leavers loathe its anti-democratic opacity and coercive bureaucracy, and Remainers opine vaguely that it is “isn’t perfect” and needs some sort of hazy reform. But Steve Thomas is persuaded: “I think that we have more chance of changing it from within than outside.”

The EU is irredeemably (and constitutionally) secular: its “humanistic agenda” is incompatible with the UK’s traditional and historic Christian polity: indeed, it has become distinctly anti-Christian and is becoming increasingly antithetical to freedom of religion. It is incredible (literally) how intelligent Christians can observe David Cameron’s manifest failure even to secure a trivial welfare reform and yet still insist that the EU behemoth is reformable. Lord Carey is persuaded that it is un-reformable: “The structures of the European Union are hardened against reform,” he writes. And what form should any reformation take? Which committee has to agree the programme? Is it then decided by unanimity or QMV? Steve Thomas’s observation is that the EU is “largely unaccountable to the people they are influencing”. How does he propose that the UK (with 3.5% of the vote in the Council of Ministers and 9% of the parliamentary vote) might influence the EU’s structures toward accountability (ie democracy)? How long should we give the collaborative diplomacy? A year? A decade? A century?

The ECSC/EEC was designed to be anti-democratic (and so unaccountable) at the outset. Every time the people are consulted on a matter in a referendum and the outcome doesn’t cohere with “ever closer union”, the result is conveniently ignored or circumvented, and the Commission carries on merrily with its teleological vision. But if Steve Thomas believes it is better to remain part of a deficient and corrupt organisation in order to effect change, why does he lead his own separate ministry? Why doesn’t he place his mission under the aegis of the Worldwide Anglican Communion or (better still) the Roman Catholic Church and its universal pastor? Or did God, by any chance, call Steve Thomas prophetically to his mission and anoint him for his apostolic role?

Perhaps the answer to that question is foregone. But if he believes “the EU is more of a pragmatic co-operative union of nations”, he needs to talk to a few more Greeks, Italians, Spanish and Portuguese about how that pragmatic cooperation is working for them. The EU is not a benign cultural pen of free-range chicks: it is an inhumane battery cage where ducklings and goslings are force-fed corn boiled with fat. Their welfare simply isn’t an issue compared with the imperative political objective.

Aren’t mass unemployment, poverty, despair, suicides and civil unrest matters of injustice crying out for relief and righteousness? The suffering and oppressed weep day and night: the aloof kings are indifferent. The people’s pain is apparently a price worth paying for the immutable doctrine of economic and monetary union, promulgated by an infallible oligarchy called the Commission who are co-charged with guardianship of the sacred scriptures known as the Treaties.

I don’t think the argument should be won or lost on whether the European Union benefits us economically. (Not that we seem to have any agreement on whether this is the case or not – it depends how you play the figures!) But that sounds like a largely selfish approach.

It is indeed “selfish” to make a leave/remain decision on the basis of national GDP (notwithstanding that personal monetary matters are invariably preeminent in any election). But there is no economic event – positive or negative; known or unknown – which is worth the permanent surrender of democracy and the dissipation of national sovereignty, not least because economic success (and so societal benefit) is inextricably linked to freedom. It is primarily the free-trading democracies of the free world which bestow $billions in overseas aid and lift the poor out of poverty. Dictatorships and fascist empires tend not to be so altruistic and virtuous.

But let us be less insular and more catholic, and ask whether the Brexit argument shouldn’t be won or lost on whether the EU benefits the poorer nations of southern Europe. Are we not exhorted to love our brothers and sisters in Greece, where pensioners are searching for food in dustbins; mothers are abandoning their children in the streets, unable to feed or clothe them; and husbands are killing themselves, out of shame and desperation? Do they not all struggle for justice and freedom against a coercive, bullying political power? Remember, they voted against the economic ‘austerity’ now imposed upon them. What should be the prophetic response to this? Might not our departure from the EU offer a glimmer of hope that the whole political vanity project might fall like the Tower of Babel, and the peoples might once again become sovereign and free in their own nations?

I don’t think immigration or fear of immigrant “takeover” should be a criterion for making a decision either. God’s word tells us to have a heart for the homeless and the aliens amongst us. The history of Israel is the story of a whole people group who were homeless slaves in Egypt, whom God gave a home to in their own land. Having God’s heart is a requirement for God’s people.

God’s word does indeed tell us “to have a heart for the homeless and the aliens amongst us”. But it doesn’t exhort uncontrollable mass immigration, not least because God appears to be cognisant of the associated problems of inculturation, adaptation and idolatry (Ex 12:48; Ezek 14:7). It is impotrant to consider the Sitz im Leben, but if Steve Thomas wants to be biblically literal about this, there is a specific exhortation to defend aliens, widows and orphans, principally because they had no advocate or easy access to justice. That simply isn’t the case with EU free movement of persons, each one of whom is fully protected by an entire corpus of European human rights legislation (which transcends the EU). EU economic migrants are not refugees escaping the war zones of Syria and Iraq. They are not “homeless slaves”, but free peoples who voluntarily choose to leave Poland, Romania, Bulgaria (etc.) and make their homes in the UK, often attracted by a minimum wage and the generous welfare regime. It isn’t necessarily the fear of “takeover” which concerns people (though it may justifiably be), but the practical questions of housing shortages, GP appointments, dentist waiting lists, the lack of school places, shortages of teachers and LSAs, A&E waiting times… God’s word encourages believers to have a heart for the poor and homeless, so we should give generously and show them hospitality. God’s word does not encourage nations to exacerbate poverty and facilitate homelessness by enacting policies which worsen both. Does Steve Thomas really believe that the UK should feed, house and heal the entire world? If the world is our neighbour, why not?

I do think that the endless petty rules that come from the EU are tiresome and unnecessary. But again, bureaucracy cannot be tackled from outside, but from inside. We need a few sensible (Christian?) European MPs and movers and shakers who can challenge silliness and help to establish righteousness.

The rules are by no means all “petty”: ask the 96% of UK businesses who do no trade at all with the EU and yet are obliged by statute to ensure adherence to and compliance with the jot and tittle of every EU directive, often at enormous cost. And there are hundreds of Christian MEPs, many of whom would believe the EU to be the temporal design of God and fully in accordance with the kingdom pursuit of peace and reconciliation. One wonders where Salt & Light might be if Luther had taken the view that clericalism and doctrinal error cannot be tackled from the outside. There comes a point where reformation is only possible by schism and separation. Every point that Steve Thomas makes for remaining in the EU applies a fortiori to Church unity. He calls for (Christian) “movers and shakers” to enter the fray, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the UK’s most formidable handbag-swinging mover and shaker patently failed to reform the EU’s institutions toward greater transparency and accountability. Her charges of EU “silliness” were met with contempt, which ultimately led to her demise. And it is worth noting that EU-dissonant “movers and shakers” (such as those in Ukip) tend not to have much support from Christian leaders.

My overwhelming desire, as a Christian, is to see the gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus run freely throughout the nations, and to proclaim Christ where Christ is not known. I have a right to do that across Europe now. I can go and live as a Christian in any of the participating nations.

Having distinguished between Europe and the EU at the outset, it’s a pity that the two now become conflated. Is having to produce a passport (or apply for a visa [which probably wouldn’t be a requirement]) such an insurmountable hurdle to the Great Commission? How on earth did British Christian missionaries ever manage to evangelise Europe before 1973?

I want to maintain that right and opportunity. I might have to be careful. There may be local sensibilities. But I have the right to do it, and this right is backed by the full weight of the European Union. This is an incredible opportunity, and I want to maintain it as long as possible. That’s why I’m voting to stay in!

The “right” to preach the gospel across the EU would not be hindered by Brexit: Europe is not the EU, and the EU is not Christendom. Our vocation of fellowship and sharing with other Europeans extends to compassion and mutual support through servanthood. But it is error to conflate a man-made political union with the redeemed community of Christ. To be ‘one in Christ Jesus‘ (Gal 3:28) is not a command to be one in temporal-cultural construct. Disunity in the Church is contrary to the word of the cross (1Cor 1:18-2:5). If Salt & Light tolerate and justify such separation on categorical soteriological grounds, it is bemusing that its International Leader advocates that we ought not to divide from that where God’s Spirit does not dwell, for the sake of the kingdom.

  • Anton

    One wonders where Salt & Light might be if Luther had taken the view that clericalism and doctrinal error cannot be tackled from the outside.

    A fine comment, your Grace; Luther took the step that Erasmus would not.

    Perhaps we see not only a gap between the people of Europe and their political leaders, but also a gap between the committed Christians of Europe and their church leaders. What is is about bureaucratic organisations that turns people’s brains to mush?

    • David

      “What is it about bureaucratic organisations that turns people’s brains to mush?”
      Comfort, financial security and above all else social “respectability”.

      Jesus and the early Christians were strong men, individuals who feared only God. They were borderline outlaws, and the very opposite of “respectable” people.
      By spending much of his approximately three years of earthly ministry in the Galilee region, on the geographical edges, well away from the gaze of the religious hierarchy, many of whom pandered to the Roman overrule of their nation, which was arguably traitorous of them, Jesus evaded capture until he was ready to bring his great mission to the conclusion that he intended, when he intended it.
      Today’s institutional church leaders are often weak conformists who are the very opposite of this. Unlike say, John the Baptist, who admonished Herod for bigamy, breaking Jewish marriage law, how often do you see the leaders of the institutional Churches speaking “truth to power” ?

      If you agree with that argument, are you surprised that the leaders of institutional Churches roll over so easily in front of the centres of established political power ? How many C of E Bishops spoke out against the cruel excesses of the treatment of the workers during the Industrial Revolution ? Instead they ignored the masses of the growing industrial cities as they sat in their comfortable historic palaces. It took a lowly C of E clergyman, a mere vicar, John Wesley to take the gospel to those industrial cities. In so doing he founded a successful “brand”, Methodism. But that too became institutionalised – in time. That is why The Church of Christ needs to renew itself in each generation.

  • Anton

    Does anybody remember Tony Blair, one month after becoming Prime Minister, grumbling that the EU was constructing institutions that were “impossibly remote from the people”?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modernise-or-die-blair-tells-partners-1254375.html

  • Dreadnaught

    God’s word tells us to have a heart for the homeless and the aliens amongst us.

    European Christians looking for a scapegoat for falling congregations need to take a long hard look at themselves (or their Churches) before blaming anyone else. Ok, so this is a Church in Germany but not much different from the CoE’s supine position of not wishing to ‘offend’ the followers of Islam but sucking up to them instead.

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/06/06/parishioners-told-pray-silence-migrants/

  • Jon Sorensen

    Yet another argument what the “God’s word” is and how to interpret it. And providing pick-and-choose Bible verses to “prove” your view point is so futile without any way to check the “God’s word”. “God’s word” is just what agrees with the readers view…

    • Anton

      If that were the case then it could mean anything. In which case, why are you against it?

      • carl jacobs

        What people don’t like about the Bible is stuff like “The marriage bed is honorable in all and undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Not what you would call especially difficult to understand. If Scripture was just another version of the prophesies of Nostradamus, no one would much care about it. It could be too easily gotten around. It’s rather the moral clarity and the definitive claims of divine accountability that cause men to gnash their teeth.

        • Jon Sorensen

          Yet another strawmand pick-and-choose answer. Why don’t you say What people don’t like about the Bible is stuff like “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death” and “If a man has sex with another man’s wife, kill them both.” and “If a man has sex with another man, they have committed an abomination. Kill them both.”

          Even you don’t like or obey those “God’s word” but you can’t get yourself to say God was wrong when he said that.

          • Pubcrawler

            How do you know what verses Carl does or doesn’t like? How can we check your claim?

          • Jon Sorensen

            He seem to like what he quoted. Did you even read what he wrote?

          • Pubcrawler

            “Seems to”

            Supposition. And yes, Carl’s comments I always read carefully. You haven’t answered my question.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I know based on his post above which matches with his numerious earlier posts.

          • cacheton

            Butting in here but what Christians don’t like is having their core belief that the bible is the ‘Word of God’ challenged, because they are usually not so stupid as to be able to see that this belief is totally irrational, even though they will not usually admit that they see that as they feel it challenges the legitimacy of their ‘faith’.
            I am pretty sure that, in the unlikely event that everyone around here was totally open and honest, we would all be in agreement that those words you quote could not possibly be ‘Words of God’.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yes. Christians tend run away from discussion when you challenge their core beliefs.

          • carl jacobs

            Yeah. That’s what I am known for. Running away.

          • Jon Sorensen

            That is my experience talking to Christians. They get upset, change the subject or move on…

          • carl jacobs

            That’s your convenient self-serving stereotype.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I think you are projecting. You are not hearing what I said and want to insert your own false narrative.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Because “God’s word” followers use my tax payer money to advance their cause, they change the science curriculum based on their “God’s word”, they get tax breaks because of “God’s word”, they get exemptions from the laws “God’s word”, they don’t want to treat their sick kids because of “God’s word”, they discriminate gays because of “God’s word”, they treat me as unequal because of “God’s word”, they have privileged seats in legistlation becuase of “God’s word”, they limit freedom of speach because of “God’s word”, they start wars bause of “God’s word”… do I need to continue why any decent human being is against it?

        Clearly you can’t see this in your privileged position.

        • Anton

          My question was about whether the Bible has meaning, regardless of whether you disagree with it (or with the church). In fact I agree with you about several of those things, but you have avoided the question by changing the subject.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sure it has meaning just like Quran and Osirian magical texts and Satanic writings. What is your point?

          • Anton

            You said: …providing pick-and-choose Bible verses to “prove” your view point is so futile… “God’s word” is just what agrees with the readers view. If that were the case then the Bible would be meaningless. Yet we both agree that the Bible is not meaningless (even though we disagree about whether it is true). So you have contradicted yourself.

          • Jon Sorensen

            When you pick and choose the verses you agree with it gives you meaning. You don’t like killing gays verse so you don’t say it, but ignore it and that does not give you much meaning. For Westboro Baptist’s killing gays verse gives meaning as they are more honest Christians.

          • Anton

            Do specify which Bible verses *you* think license Christians (not Jews) to kill gays, and why. Bear in mind that Christians are not under ancient Israel’s law.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I’ve been led to believe God’s unchanging rules in Leviticus 20:13 states this: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death”
            or are you saying God changed this so he is moral relativist?

            So where in the NT does it say that OT moral code is no longer valid? Give me a verse where Jesus said it.

          • Anton

            With apologies for the delay, you need a little education in how Christians read the Old Testament. This verse contains a penalty and it is a LEGAL code, one which God gave to one nation, ancient Israel. Christians are not members of the nation of ancient Israel but members of a new organisation called the church. They live in their own ethnic nations, in which they are not to take the law into their own hands. Christians nevertheless take these verses as indicating God’s attitude to the actions described therein. Do you understand?

          • Jon Sorensen

            no problem for a delay. Real life happens.

            “you need a little education in how Christians read the Old Testament”
            as if there was one Christian way to read the OT. LOL.

            “This verse contains a penalty and it is a LEGAL code, one which God gave to one nation, ancient Israel. Christians are not members of the nation of ancient Israel but members of a new organisation called the church. They live in their own ethnic nations, in which they are not to take the law into their own hands.”
            So you claim God’s laws are relative. Different laws for different people and different times. Do you follow ten commandments or is that only for one nation? And if a ethic Jew converts to Christianity which laws should he follow?

            “Christians nevertheless take these verses as indicating God’s attitude to the actions described therein.”
            “Attitude”?? What a wishy washy answer. God unchanging moral law is an “attitude”. Nice!

          • Anton

            I believe you are determined to misunderstand me and that my words are clear. I ask readers to decide what I am saying from my words and not from Jon Sorensen’s.

            God gave the legal code specified in the Old Testament books of Exodus to Deuteronomy to the ancient Israelite nation. He has never commanded any other nation to obey it. So gentile Christians at least are not under it, even while they take it as God’s guide to right and wrong. As for Jews and the Jewish nation, I as a Christian urge them without coercion to turn to Christ rather than try to rebuild the Temple and restart there the animal sacrifices which Jesus’ crucifixion outdated.

            All of this is explicit in the New Testament.

          • CliveM

            ” believe you are determined to misunderstand me and that my words are clea”

            Welcome to Jon Sorensons world.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I’m not determined to misunderstand you. It is just that you are incoherent.

            You claim Jews have follow different moral laws as Christians. That makes your God moral relativist. Generally Christians don’t agree to your position.

            Should Christians follow Ten Commandment (Legal code) or not? Make it clear to yourself before you try to explain to others.

          • Anton

            I believe you are determined to misunderstand me and that my words are clear. I ask readers to decide what I am saying from my words and not from Jon Sorensen’s.

          • Jon Sorensen

            nice repeat…

    • Inspector General

      Shouldn’t think God cares one way or the other. It is quite clear we are alone down here with only our faith to sustain us in the chaos. After all, our purpose in our existence is to amuse the Almighty…nothing more…

      • carl jacobs

        The whole purpose of man is to glorify God. He is not dependent upon us that He should require amusement. The degree of theological cluelessness that you exhibit is truly astonishing at times.

        • Inspector General

          Theological cluelessness? Well, here’s something else to smoke in your pipe – it is quite clear by logical reasoning that man as an idea was conceived by God as a disposable item. But He changed his mind and sent us our Christ. A reward for the amusement we so bring the Creator…for some, certainly not all…

          • carl jacobs

            Your conceptions of God are fundamentally pagan. And you don’t even realize it.

          • Inspector General

            But sir, one has a higher understanding of what is. Higher than yours, that is. Do give the Inspector’s insight some consideration.

          • sarky

            Is your god zeus??

          • Inspector General

            You’ve heard of zeus? Good grief, one is impressed…

          • len

            ‘Is your god zeus?? Probably……………. there is a statue of him in the Vatican you know the RCC calls him ‘peter’ though ‘ 😉

        • Jon Sorensen

          This is interesting “The degree of theological cluelessness”

          Where can I check if your theology is correct or not? Or are you just making unsupported wild guesses?

        • Inspector General

          The same man who has come out with “The degree of theological cluelessness…” thinks it is suitable to provide a grown intelligent man, to wit, yours truly, this lamest of answers for the greatest question of the lot, why we are here at all – “The whole purpose of man is to glorify God”. Someone’s been reading ”Favourite Questions From Your Inquisitive Calvinist Prepubescent” it seems. One feels somewhat fobbed off at that. Empty and unfulfilled, rather like an overweight rejected whining feminist, no less…

          • carl jacobs

            Or maybe I’ve been reading the Westminster Catechism. Page 1. Question 1.

          • Inspector General

            What would Mr Calvin say to you reading that…

          • carl jacobs

            You don’t know what the Westminster Catechism is, do you?

          • Inspector General

            Something a Roman Catholic archbishop of same knocked up on the back of a cigarette packet, per chance?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, you should make a point of telling Jack that he is bound by the Magisterium to submit to the WCF and the Westminster Catechism

      • Jon Sorensen

        How do you know what God cares about? How can we check your claim?

        • Inspector General

          No one knows what God is about, but we can speculate using probability based on reasoning and to be frank, the state of the world in the past and today. It would not be blasphemy to observe that in some areas of this planet, the glorious creation which is mankind behaves no better than two fighting dogs in a ring cheered on by the baying crowd. Of course, unpleasant racial traits are at work in these places, thanks to God afflicting some races with a most unsatisfactory attribute – the gift of cruelty.

          It is our job as the better option of humanity to prevail over this mess. There you go, the answer to why we exist at all. For divine entertainment…

          • Jon Sorensen

            I wish Christians would stop telling everyone that they know what God wants or they know “God’s word”.

            The state of the world is better than ever before. It healthier, safer, more educated, equal and has less discrimination than ever. At the same time religion is losing it’s influence. Less religion is better for all.

          • CliveM

            Dear me you’ve been away for several months and are still spouting the same rubbish. You’re whole final paragraph is incorrect. We’ve been through this before. I’ve shown from an atheist researcher that your claims have no correlation with atheism. That your ‘safer, healthier, better educated’ are simply part of a trend going back a 1000 years, the large majority of which Europe was solidly Christian. Indeed the evidence shows you have Christianity to thank for this.

            But as you pretended to ignore the evidence once, I’m sure you’ll ignore it again.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You are just making false claims. I didn’t claim correlation with atheism. You made it up.

            You make assertions that “trend going back a 1000 years”. Do you have any evidence for this?

            And with 1700 years of Christians domination Christians never reached the current level. Now that secularism and atheism is more common suddenly world is better, and Christians like you get their socks twist….

          • CliveM

            “You are just making false claims. I didn’t claim correlation with atheism. You made it up.”

            Liar. You said that as the world gets less religious it gets safer, healthier etc. You made the correlation.

            I have provided the link before, I’m not wasting my time doing again.

            You clearly have no idea about “trend”. As such to engage further on this is a waste of my time.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Liar”
            I did not mention atheism. You did. Less religious also means that Christians are less fanatic. They now support equal rights for women, LGBT and non- Christians. They believe less in witches, demons, magic etc. The mellowing of Christianity in western world has helped the world to get better.

            “I have provided the link before, I’m not wasting my time doing again.”
            Great. Don’t waste your time on me… especially if I have no idea about “trend”.

          • cacheton

            Blimey. Blimey. Where does one start??

            ‘No one knows what God is about’.

            If god was about taking pleasure from man’s suffering, and your post implies that you think he is, then why do you worship him? Does that god seem to you to be the highest, omniscient, omnipresent, omniloving etc etc god?

            ‘… but we can speculate using probability based on reasoning…’

            Amongst other things yes. So I repeat myself, if God were God, the Highest of the high etc etc etc, would he take pleasure from man’s suffering, or even find it entertaining?

          • Inspector General

            Why would God take pleasure in our suffering? One would like to think He is entertained by our achievements as we unravel the mystery of what He has created…

            Why do people keep pets. Not to revel in any ill health the thing might be enduring…

          • cacheton

            You really do have a completely anthropomorphic view of God don’t you. Like he is some kind of ‘superior man’ sitting up there. I thought the ‘bearded man in the sky’ accusations people fling at christians were far fetched, but I see I was wrong, some people REALLY do believe that god is that.

            Using reasoning, however, which you seem to think is a useful tool – at least something we can agree on – either a) this could not possibly be the case, or b) god is not omniscient, omnipresent and unconditionally loving, and therefore my former question stands -‘WHY on earth (pun intended) do you think this is God?’

          • Inspector General

            Not sure how you came to your conclusion in the first paragraph. If you want to explore the nature of God, then surely he is order. The order of everything we have about, except us. We are the odd one out. We have no order by ourselves.

          • cacheton

            I came to that conclusion because you likened God’s relationship to us with the relationship some humans have with their pets.
            Why is God surely order? ‘Order, Order’, we are not all Inspector Generals you know and I’m sure you could very successfully choose to be something else. Nobody, not even God, is forcing you to be an Inspector General. You are doing that to yourself.

          • Inspector General

            It’s not unreasonable to compare ourselves to pets in our relationship with God. Everything a responsible pet owner needs to do, does not God also arrange. They say Go

          • cacheton

            Pets and humans live in the same physical dimension. God in his pure form is in a different dimension, as is Jesus since he ascended. But when he was incarnate on earth he showed that it is perfectly possible, as a human, to be conscious of ‘what goes into maintaining’ oneself, as you put it.
            Your conviction that we are like pets is an abdication of responsibility for your life, which also reflects the poverty of spiritual teaching of your religion. Apparently it not only keeps you ‘oblivious’ to what is ‘maintaining’ you – your words – but it’s doctrine teaches that this is how it should be, even though the person on whom that religion is based was an example of the complete opposite.
            That does not seem either reasonable or ‘ordered’ to me.

          • Inspector General

            There’s one item that goes into maintaining us that YOU are completely oblivious to on a conscious level. Have a go and see if you can name it…

          • cacheton

            GOD.

            There you go, named it! Faith for me is remembering that in the times when what I am consciously experiencing does not seem compatible with God. Faith for someone who believes God wrote a book means fixing on the book, believing that God is an exterior being of some kind, and worrying about judgment from this exterior being in an afterlife. I am eternally grateful to God for freeing me from this slavery.

            I am also conscious that there are other things that I am oblivious to by definition, because they are in my unconscious mind, even though I can see their effects in my life, but these do not get in the way of my remembering the supreme consciousness, God.

          • Inspector General

            Actually, one was thinking of oxygen. The very air we need, sir. Laid on gratis as indeed food and water is for the pet. Don’t worry, only around one out of a hundred appreciate it in real time. Everyone else is contemplating their navel and their own concerns…

          • cacheton

            Inspector, I really do think that most people are conscious of the fact that they breathe air, and that it is the oxygen in the air which is necessary to keep their body alive. It seems like you are trying to make a point but you are not being direct and I am not understanding what that point is.

          • Inspector General

            Making a point? No, don’t think so, or if one was, it has well gone. No, just passing the time with you, old chap…

          • Inspector General

            It is not unreasonable to liken our relationship with God as that of a pet. They say that God is love, his the care, tending each, everywhere. Just as a responsible pet owner provides for his, then so does God for us – but as the pet is unaware of the full extent of this maintenance, then so are we.

            As for God’s order, have a look at the periodic table. And the order that is in that…

  • len

    The Roman Empire that Jesus and the disciples lived under had many parallels with the EU .The Roman Empire was corrupt, slavery was commonplace ,and the Roman Empire had the seeds of its own destruction sown within its very heart.
    We seem to be returning to the same religious system under this ‘revived Roman Empire’ which is the EU..All religions had to be approved before Caesar before they could be regarded as ‘legal ‘and Christianity was only approved by Caesar when it became paganized( and no longer Biblical Christianity)
    So Christians whether IN the EU or OUT of the EU can never be part of this secular system.

  • IanCad

    “But there is no economic event – positive or negative; known or unknown – which is worth the permanent surrender of democracy and the dissipation of national sovereignty,–“

    And there we have it!
    In the middle of an outstanding editorial, lies the heart of the matter.

  • CliveM

    I’ve never heard of this lot or the individual quoted. Probably the lack reflects on me.

    However I don’t believe a biblical analysis gives a definitive answer. I think it possible to apply the same biblical principles and come up with a different result.

    Personally I’m sick of each side claiming that their opponents are only supporting their positions for malign reasons. I would like the debate to be a bit more grown up then that.

    The referendum does matter and the result is important.

    Whichever it is.

  • “I think that we have more chance of changing it from within than outside.”

    This seems to be the key argument among those honest enough to acknowledge that the EU has some major flaws, that it is anti-Christian, autocratic and corrupt; in other words, it is a kleptocracy on par with some of the worst banana republics around the world. How naïve to imagine that you can tame this beast by embracing it? Hidden beneath this face saving babble lies the fear of letting go of nanny’s apron strings – “Who will look after us now?” ‘Remain’ is really the coward’s choice. How can a former colonial power be so quickly reduced to behaving like an enslaved nation?

    “I don’t like large political conglomerates, which are largely unaccountable to the people… and I perceive many humanistic agendas that run counter to Biblical ways of thinking. However, that is also true of many governments in many nations.”

    Steve Thomas forgets that most people around the world have no opportunity to escape the governments of their nations, however much they might wish to be free, but Britain now has an opportunity to get rid of the EU. There can be no justification for clinging to an evil system, when you can be free.

    This could be Britain’s last chance not only to be free of this monstrous regime, but also to show some leadership in Europe, and to pave the way for the unraveling of the Evil Union.

  • David

    Reform it from within ? Overwhelmingly the evidence points towards this being a fantastic (literally), unfounded belief. It was designed to be a remote, beyond reform, top-down system for controlling the masses. The EU is a totalitarian machine. It verges on the evil, like most systems of totalitarian control. Being dominated by such a system appeals to the weak, who fear independence and being in change of (under God) their own destinies.
    Once a people lose their faith in God and sense of being a nation, they soon become mere pawns, a collection of atomised individuals lacking collective force that can be manipulated by the greedy corporates. Secularism has destroyed faith. The EU is destroying the sense of nationhood. Either this progression is challenged, halted and reversed or else very bad times are coming to the european continent. I pray that the peoples of Europe defeat the political machine. We are living in critical times.

  • Inspector General

    Steve Thomas. Yes, you sir!

    That baby you’re holding onto so lovingly. Well, it’s dead. It died some time back and its beginning to smell, but such is your love for the child, you just don’t register the odour. Or perhaps you do, and you think a mere nappy change will cure it. Well, it won’t. Because the child is dead. There is more chance of bringing the child back to life than reforming what refuses to be reformed, but what hope is that?

    Put the child down Mr Thomas. Arrange for it to be buried…grieve and weep over it. Because It’s gone and will never be back…

  • dannybhoy

    “God’s word does indeed tell us “to have a heart for the homeless and the aliens amongst us”. But it doesn’t exhort uncontrollable mass immigration, not least because God appears to be cognisant of the associated problems of inculturation, adaptation and idolatry (Ex 12:48; Ezek 14:7).”
    Absolutely.
    Nowhere in the Scriptures does God say His chosen people should accept “mass movements of strangers,” nor does our Lord suggest that His disciples should do so.
    I really despair of well meaning Christians who seem so out of touch with reality.
    The only reason our country remains safe is not because terrorist plotters respect and appreciate our humanitarian efforts on behalf of Muslim refugees, but because our security services work so hard to protect us.
    That’s it. Sloppy warm and fuzzy compassion counts for nothing when a ruthless enemy is seeking to destroy you.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Remember the “debate” between Cameron and Farage will be on ITV tonight at 9pm. Of course it is not really a debate because Cameron was unwilling to take part in one as he knew Farage would destroy him. Instead both men will answer questions from an audience. Since it is on ITV and not BBC I suppose there is a reasonable chance that the audience will not be as unrepresentative of the British people as the audiences on the BBC’s “Question Time” usually are!

    • Inspector General

      Thanks Roy. One would have missed that but for your timely reminder.

    • Anton

      It’s because Cameron has declined to interact directly with Farage that I shan’t be watching.

      • Inspector General

        A shilling says you are sir…

        • Anton

          I’m not!

          • Inspector General

            Cameron has just he believes the UK has a special status in the EU. The very idea!

          • Anton

            How’s his nose looking?

          • Inspector General

            Anymore of his rot and he’d be welcome at a gay club…

          • Anton

            I’m sure he already is since the Gay Marriage Bill.

          • Eustace

            Nice chap, David Cameron. And his wife is a sweetheart. He has my vote once all this referendum nonsense is out of the way and our position within the EU is confirmed.

            Like him or loathe him though, he isn’t called Teflon Dave for no reason. Sling all the mud you like at him, it just slides right off. Once this is over, he’ll come up smelling of roses, his leadership of the Tories will be strengthened, and Boris and Gove will be cast into the outer darkness for years to come. Let’s hope their sojourn there teaches them wisdom, maturity and how to spot a winning horse.

          • The Explorer

            It won’t really matter who’s running the Tory party in the future, since Parliament will simply administer decisions made by our unelected leaders elsewhere.

            As was pointed out on the programme, 65% of our legislation is already decided by Brussels: and closer union will increase that percentage further.

          • Eustace

            European legislation is voted for by the European Parliament. Last time I looked, we had elected members in that parliament.

            The European Commission is appointed by member state governments. Last time I looked, we elected our government.

            This Leave campaign obsession with the word “unelected” is pointless and misleading. There is no democratic deficit in Europe. It has to be structured the way it is to keep the balance of power firmly in the hands of the member states.

          • The Explorer

            “It has to be structured the way it is to keep the balance of power firmly in the hands of the member states.”
            Where would the balance of power go otherwise?

          • Eustace

            Power would go to the centre, which in real terms would mean German dominated governments.

            The current structure of an appointed Commission spreads power between the member states and keeps German power in check.

            Euroskeptics know this and as their aim is not just to get the UK out of the EU, but to destroy the Union entirely, they spread the lie that the EU is not democratic when it demonstrably is. At least as democratic as the UK. Has there ever been an election to decide membership of the Lords? Is our head of state elected?

            The dishonesty and duplicity of those who seek to overthrow a system no less democratic than our national system by complaining about its undemocratic nature is breathtaking. The cyncism, chauvinism and downright selfishness of such an attitude would be hard to believe if so many of them were not Christians and hadn’t already given ample proof of their willingness to destroy the lives and livelihoods of other people in order to get their way.

          • The Explorer

            Good post. ” Is our head of state elected?” Depends on how one defines our REAL head of state.

          • Anton

            Better wind-up artists understand subtlety.

          • IanCad

            With anything less than a super majority to remain, he’s toast.

          • len

            Teflon wore off my pans.

          • Eustace

            That’s what happens when you shop for kitchen utensils at Poundland…

          • len

            Teflon Tony a’ poundland politician’ …LOL

          • Uncle Brian

            I’m not watching it either. Can’t, not available here. But I’m following it at one remove, courtesy of Coffee House.

            http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/live-eu-referendum-tv-debate-david-cameron-vs-nigel-farage/

          • Pubcrawler

            I’m not watching it either, not having a telly. And anyway, I have pubs to support — they’re not just for Christmas/football.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Much as I distrust David Cameron I think he spoke quite well in the debate. My impression though, and perhaps I am biased, is that the questions put to Farage were rather tougher than those put to Cameron. I think he should have been challenged over some of the recent hysterical statements that he and Osborne have made, e.g. that World War 3 will break out if we leave and that house prices would fall. However I suppose that we can forget about house prices if the first prediction comes true!

    • dannybhoy

      I’ve been a convinced “leaver” for years so it doesn’t matter, but Nigel came across as nervous tonight. Somewhat defensive on immigration/race issues.

      David Cameron was more relaxed but his performance convinced me that his credibility is now shot to pieces, and his answers failed to reassure.
      It may be that this is a generational issue, and younger people making their way in life are more comfortable with the EU; whereas us older folk may be more concerned about security and yes, national identity.

      What is really scary is that if we stay in, how much pressure will be put on this country to “cooperate” with the EU. Because for sure it will be really difficult for us to resist any demands after having chosen to stay in.

      • sarky

        I doubt many young people watched it, seeing as it clashed with the ‘big brother’ live launch!!

        • len

          Anyone still watch big brother?

        • Joe

          That’s a fairly large stereotyped generalisation.

      • len

        ‘Younger people’ have been conditioned to accept what the EU preaches as being ‘right’ and ‘good’ for humanity .Many ‘older people’ have seen just how destructive it can be when a smaller nation surrenders its freedom to a larger nation for the sake of (a false sense of) ‘security’.

      • Watching it, I thought Farage answered each question with facts, Cameron with spin. But Dave is very good at spin, how else d’you think he beat the miles better David Davis for the top job? There are more tricks to come, they’ll be saving something really nasty for next week.

        • dannybhoy

          Nigel is a true blue Englishman (despite his parentage). He is extremely likeable, but perhaps he will always be on the fringe of British politics.
          David Davis was my choice too, and we will never know whether he would have made a great Prime Minister.

  • chiefofsinners

    “We have more chance of changing it from within than outside.”
    A fallacy widely peddled by the remainers.
    By sleight of hand it is equated with Jesus’ teaching that Christians are the salt of the earth. But we are not considering leaving the earth.
    If the question is how we best improve the EU, then the answer is by leaving it. Nothing would put a bigger bomb under the complacent, prodigal, arrogant, self-serving, pompous Eurocracy.
    I’m off to the pub. I don’t like it, but I have more chance of changing it from the inside.

  • Jolly Roger

    If Britain were outside the EU it wouldn’t be necessary to agonise, as Steve Thomas does at great length, about what might be done, if anything, to reform it. Its bureaucracy could go to the devil and all its institutions could be turned into pillars of salt. Who cares?

    The EEC/EC/EU was advanced through lies and deceit, whatever the original objectives of its founders. What’s Christian about that? Especially when it is borne in mind that the Lord’s character is described as one without guile.

    I know charity believes all things but to describe the EU as a pragmatic cooperative of nations is little more than believing in unicorns. Aren’t Christians supposed to be as wise as serpents?

    Nor is it wise to give a selective and starry-eyed view of ancient Israel’s history as related in the Hebrew Bible. You know the atheists retort: God gave them their own home – at the cost of replacing the natives and destroying their religions. Is that an immigrant ‘take over’?

    If you detect a certain irritation here at the sort of milk and water Christianity that seems to be Salt and Light you would be right. Man up. In claiming that the EU confers a great freedom to proselytise Christianity as if it did not exist before, Thomas isn’t really thinking of Christianity but rather praising the Schengen Area. Christianity and the EU? Christianity and Something Else always becomes just the Something Else in the end.

    I am bemused at the idea that there could be a Christian position on the EU. As if the Lord had a ‘position’ on the Roman Empire, apart from, My kingdom is not of this world.

  • The Explorer

    I cannot get my head round which EU Council does what; so I speak from a position of confusion and ignorance, and a readiness to be corrected. But the point that the EU is not undemocratic but anti-democratic seems to me an important one.

    Take a small businessman who employs ten people. Although outnumbered, he makes the decisions. But suppose he puts everything to the vote: he can be constantly outvoted by those potentially ignorant about budgets, market forces etc. Since there is arguably more ignorance than knowledge in the world, under democracy, ignorance can rule. That is one of the problems inherent in democracy.

    The EU has seen this, and come up with a solution. The bureaucrats who rule us are unelected. Since unelected, they can only be dismissed by one another, and not by the populace. Voting for the EU is like voting for the right to lose your vote.

    It’s the old problem of Plato and the Guardians. The Guardians know better than the rest of us; so they will guard us. But only if the Guardians are not themselves corrupt. And who will guard the Guardians?

    • dannybhoy

      You need to watch Brexit the Movie! It’s just over an hour long but worth the watching.

    • cacheton

      This is the same within the UK though.
      If the UK had a referendum on whether to ban neonicotinoid pesticides, which kill essential insects as well as pests and pollute our food and environment, the result would be 90+% for. The UK government however would not ban them due to lobbying from large corporations. There are several nobrainers such as this about which the UK Guardians really do not represent the will of the British people, but as I understand it, they are being overruled by the EU in this case, which is surely a good thing.
      If by voting Brexit I could be sure that the UK government really would become more democratic and nobrainers such as this would not even feature because they are … well… nobrainers, then that might sway me. But what indication do I have that this might actually be the case if I vote Brexit? None whatsoever.

      • The Explorer

        Yes, good point. And take something like the Iraq War. Many of the electorate were so disillusioned with politicians that didn’t vote for anybody at election time.. Others didn’t vote for Blair. Of those who did, many opposed the war. So we went to war because of the opinion of a really small proportion of the population.
        Switzerland seems to come closest to a genuine democracy where the people in general can decide on things. We get the choice as to who will screw things up on our behalf for the next five years or so. But at least we have the choice as to which particular set of clowns are likely to do the least damage, and after five years we can get rid of them if necessary and try another lot. But with the EU, even that limited choice is taken away from us. I distrust intellectuals. I distrust bureaucrats even more. I distrust bureaucrats with pretensions to being intellectual most of all.

  • IanCad

    Wonderful news!!
    William Hague is helping the Brexit side. That is, if he gives more interviews like the one on R4 this AM.
    The wretched seat warming unemployable turncoat got a thorough pasting.
    The BBC is not all bad.
    Terrific thing, this referendum – must have more of them.

    • cacheton

      Well that’s funny because I was listening to that too and do not have the same view of it as you did! I don’t know how you think he was helping the Brexit side, but I agree with his point that basing your vote things that will be largely unchanged whatever the result, such as immigration, is not sensible.

      • Merchantman

        Hang on, Immigration is the one thing that definitely will be better done if we leave. Fish(ing) is another.

        • cacheton

          No it really won’t be. If the UK government wanted to control non EU immigration better now, they could. But they don’t. This is nothing to do with the EU. And this is the immigration which is causing the majority of problems and these are the immigrants who often have trouble integrating, or do not even want to. EU immigration would be theoretically lower if we left the EU, yes, though skilled workers with jobs would still get permits because we apparently need them. Those without jobs would have to survive 4 years in the UK with no money if we remain. How many people would choose that do you think? It is up to the government to better regulate jobs, crack down on the black market, illegal tenancies, illegal immigrants etc, all nothing to do with the EU. Other EU countries manage this far better than we do already, mainly due to ID cards. And our border, being mainly coast, should really be easier to police than theirs don’t you think?

      • IanCad

        I listened to him as one who puts principle above pelf; as do most Leavers.
        To hear him expound in his affected tone of gravitas. His stentorian delivery and feigned rectitude can only help the cause of the Outers.
        Of course, I confess that my reply is more of passion than substance, and that could be assumed as a discourtesy on my part to your perfectly reasonable comment.
        However to answer with less fervency would require that I listen to the serial tax eater again. I couldn’t do that – I’d puke.

  • Jolly Roger

    Steve Thomas’ view is simply the EU dressed up in Christian clothing.

    The question always is which power do we really worship.

  • len

    I think the belief that the EU could be changed by being inside the beast has been well and truly trashed by the efforts of Cameron and co to reform the EU…
    Cameron went cap in hand in the style of’ Chamberlain’ meeting with Hitler and came out waving his worth less scrap of paper shouting “victory” and there were those who actually believed him!.
    But more discerning people saw through the scam and the worthless promises and prepared for the attack on their very freedom.
    Can we do the same?

    • cacheton

      Cameron was not trying to reform the EU – this is apparently impossible. He was negotiating special conditions for the UK.

      • len

        And failed at that too?

  • len

    Of course if Brexit occurs that does not mean we’ pull up the drawbridge’ and pursue an isolationist policy.Christians are to carry out the great commission and to preach the Gospel to all the World and this must still go on.And there are benefits for the UK from migrants coming here from the EU and outside but this needs to be controlled properly. Some Christian migrants (when allowed in?) may breathe life into dying congregations…..

  • cacheton

    ‘Steve Thomas is persuaded: “I think that we have more chance of changing it from within than outside.”’
    Well of course.

    But one of the main questions I have not yet had an answer to is – why is the EU unreformable? If the members want to reform it, which most of them seem to want to do, then why is it unreformable?

    I am completely on the fence. I don’t know what to vote. Whichever way I vote I will be compromising on issues which are important to me. Dammit.

    • Inspector General

      The EU is un-reformable because the Chancellor of Germany does not find it to be in Germany’s interest to reform it. Not just this current office holder, but past and future. When Cameron appeared before the EU, cap off, asking for concessions he didn’t bother about the monkey EU parliament or Commission. He went straight to the organ grinder – Merkel. And she didn’t consult with the aforementioned entities either, she just told him no. Because the EU is whatever Germany wants it to be, and what Germany wants just happens to be the very same as what their Chancellor wants.

      So there you have it. The British Prime Minister is in fief to a foreign power, to which we also pay tribute in the billions. And they didn’t even hand him a worthless piece of paper this time to give him false hope either!

      • cacheton

        Mmmm, so if all the countries wanted reform except Germany, Germany could veto it?

        • Inspector General

          Shouldn’t think you’d get anything like ‘all countries’ demanding anything. They’re nearly all beneficiaries from the EU. Big money goes to them, much of it OUR money, so don’t expect any boat rocking from those benefit recipients…why would they want to risk their handouts…

          • cacheton

            To save their economies, that’s why. Life for ordinary Romanians and the local Romanian economy has got worse since they joined. They have a major agricultural capacity but under EU rules cannot sell their own produce in the shops, they have to buy Dutch tomatoes. So farmers are going broke. Then they leave and come …. here. I think this is one of the biggest arguments in favour of Brexit, though its not one I’ve heard much.
            And I’m still puzzled as to why Germany, who is not a net beneficiary of the EU, even less than the UK, does not want reform.

          • Inspector General

            As far as one can deduce, Germany doesn’t want reform because if it starts any reforming, say on fishing, then the members of the EU will question just about everything else the EU is and does. And if they do that, then they will lose confidence in Germany as the de facto leader because Germany had got it wrong, or let it go wrong. Far better to battle on as it stands. It seems to be as straightforward as that.

          • cacheton

            Isn’t the whole point of the EU that there is NOT a de facto leader?

          • Inspector General

            Do you know, that is a VERY good question, and in itself worthy of a whole post from Cranmer. “What is the point of the EU?”. It could go viral…

  • Slack Alice

    Excellent article. Why do we have to be limited to Cameron, Gove and Farage during the run up to the referendum? People like Cranmer should be given the chance to publicly air their perspective. If there was anyone as equally coherent on the Remain side I would welcome that too.

  • PessimisticPurple

    Hmm…Salt & Light. I thought that name sounded familiar. Could it possibly be an offshoot of the Canadian outfit of the same name?

    http://www.saltandlighttv.org/

    I certainly hope not. It’s not my favourite outfit.

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/3751/the_priest_vs_the_blogger_a_case_in_canadian_conflict.aspx

    http://torontocatholicwitness.blogspot.ie/2015/02/michael-voris-asks-how-is-fr-rosica.html

    • Anna055

      Luckily no connection! Salt and light churches are one of the new church groupings. Salt and Light tv seems to be a Catholic organisation, so having the same name is just coincidental.

  • Joe

    Wether you agree with Steve Thomas or not, I still think it’s really important to show respect and #disagreewell.

  • bockerglory

    I am joining this discussion late.

    The EU is man-made rules. We Christians are concerned with the Kingdom of God and building treasures in heaven. Some Christians may be moved to vote remain and others to vote leave.

    This is why Jesus said give unto Caesar what is owed to Caesar. God gave us administrative law and leaders so we all jog-along together in a reasonably civilised manner. There are some leaders and jurisdictions which are against God and against good.

    I have just finished reading the book of Samuel and Kings. So the people asked for a King and they got mad Saul. Then they wanted a God-fearing warrior hero and they got a flawed King David with polygamous off-spring murdering each-other and concubines ( Adam only needed one wife as a helper, Eve, and there is a reason for that Godly model as more than one wife creates chaos). King David had the humility to repent and ask God for forgiveness and it was this that made him the great King.

    Therefore, we Christians should pray for guidance and vote according to our free will (which God gave us) and conscience. There is no right or wrong answer – in or out is just choosing another flawed man-made government. We just need to choose what we think is least flawed.

    And for me I am choosing Leave.

    • cacheton

      ‘The EU is man-made rules.’

      So is Christian doctrine.

      ‘We Christians are concerned with the Kingdom of God and building treasures in heaven.’

      So that eliminates your responsibility for making decisions about what happens on planet earth, even though apparently you also believe God created the planet and put you on it. Presumably as some kind of punishment.

      So much for heaven on earth. Your’e waiting for god to provide that aren’t you, it couldn’t possibly be up to you to contribute to that now could it!

  • dwmf

    The EU is Baphomet, the hermaphrodite god with the head of a goat. When you stop to consider some of the strange creatures who have won the Eurovision Song Contest over the past few years, it all seems to fit together. Aaaargh!! 😮 😮

  • Anna055

    Has Steve Thomas been invited to reply to this? Personally, I agreed wholeheartedly with the arguments in the article, but I would be very interested to read a reply to them.