CofE Shared Conversations
Mission

Shared conversations: some came to seek truth; others to conquer. Why can’t we just be kind?

Commenting on the Bishops’ statement Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations (“a gamma minus piece of drafting if ever there was one”), Canon Professor Mark Chapman prophesies that it “will make General Synod bloody”. The report is due to be discussed in Synod on 15th February, when it will be the subject of a “take note” debate. “Such a debate is a neutral motion,” explains the Rt Rev’d Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden. “It allows Synod to discuss the content and recommendations contained in the report, but a vote in favour of the motion does not commit the Synod to the acceptance of any matter in the report.” Presumably, then, a vote against the report would be similarly non-binding and ineffectual, which invites the rather obvious question of why bother to divide on the matter at all.

“The House of Bishops will listen carefully to the debate, and to any subsequent matters raised by members in correspondence, to inform their further work,” Bishop Pete further explains. So a vote is to take the temperature of the prophesied blood, which probably won’t be 98.6F.

“We are asking all members of General Synod not to take note. In other words, to vote against the motion,” exhorts the LGBT consortium Inclusive Church, Changing Attitude and the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement (LGCM). They say they were “very shocked and dismayed” by the report, which is precisely the reaction the Bishops themselves foresaw. “We know that this report may prove challenging or difficult reading,” they submitted with humility, “from the wellsprings of prayer, careful thought, and.. mindful of our calling as bishops”. But their humility, prayer and mindfulness seem to be of little consequence to the Inclusive Church (consortium), who write:

For too many of our members, who had taken part in all good faith in the Shared Conversations, this was a very significant betrayal of trust. LGCM is also concerned that the established church, in which the country as a whole has a stake, is proposing to retain unchanged a theology and pastoral practice and discipline that is significantly out of kilter with the nation’s understanding of equality and justice in matters of sexuality and gender.  This is an issue which affects all those of us who believe our sexuality to be a gift from God.  The Church of England seeks to engage with all the communities of England, and yet it does so in a way which diminishes the gospel message that God’s love is for everyone, without exception.  We are all alike impeded in our mission of conveying the message that God’s love is for everyone, regardless of who they are, or who they love.

It is interesting to note that they view the Bishop’s report as a “betrayal of trust”, emphasising that their participation in Shared Conversations was “in all good faith”. There is a sense of an (assured?) expectation of some sort of change in the church’s teaching, liturgy and doctrine of marriage as a consequence of that participation; that the outcome of Shared Conversations was somehow pre-ordained. The Bishops explain that they listened very carefully and compassionately to the Shared Conversations, but took account also of “the Christian faith as we have received it”, which obviously isn’t quite what the Inclusive Church desire to make it. So, it seems, there must be blood.

Which is something of a pity, for the division isn’t so much concerned with the fundamental matter of marriage equality, but the rather more fundamental matter (for the Christian) of mission. Consider this phrase: “..the established church, in which the country as a whole has a stake, is proposing to retain unchanged a theology and pastoral practice and discipline that is significantly out of kilter with the nation’s understanding..” Might not some say that this is rather the point of the Church? Didn’t Jesus say that believers would be hated for his sake (Mt 10:22)? Since when did it become the Church’s task to ensure that its theology conformed to the world’s understanding?

Please try to resist turning the ensuing chat thread into one of the inevitable conformity of Erastianism, or the more general pleasure of Anglican-bashing: the issue here is mission, and that is the work of God. The Church of England exists for all people; not just Christians. And, as Lesslie Newbigin observed, “there is not and cannot be a gospel which is not culturally embodied”. The church is concerned with the temporal as well as the spiritual; with the social and political as well as the devotional and metaphysical. But let us not forget that it is also concerned with holiness and salvation as well as wholeness and relationship. The pastoral may affirm identity and dignity, but the ultimate community is found not in or amongst God’s people, but in the fellowship with God which we have through Christ.

We must thank Inclusive Church for nudging the debate in this direction, because it goes to the heart of the Christian faith and to the essence of discipleship, which is not to conform to the prevailing culture, but to contend against it in the hope of transforming it, as we are ourselves transformed inwardly by the renewing of the mind and heart to conformity with Christ. American theologian H Richard Niebuhr outlined five possible relationships between the gospel and culture: Christ against culture; of culture; above culture; with culture in paradox; and Christ the transformer of culture. Each model of mission generates different understandings of the purpose and function of the Church. But each finds its expression in the ‘broad church’ via media that is the Church of England.

As observed some months ago, there are bishops who view culture as antagonistic to the gospel, and so adopt a confrontational approach. Others see culture as being essentially ‘on our side’, so adopt the anthropological model of contextualisation, looking for ways in which God has revealed himself in culture and building on those. Those who adopt the ‘Christ of culture’ model have a syncretic approach and incline toward a mediating third way, keeping culture and faith in creative tension. Those who see Christ as the transformer of culture adopt a critical contextualisation which by no means rejects culture, but is prepared to be critical both of the context and of the way we ourselves perceive the gospel and its meaning.

So when the Bishops write that they “affirm the integrity and value of each person affected by what (they) say”, they mean it. There is no question of episcopal “betrayal” or of the church endangering people’s “safety and well-being”. How does caricaturing the argument in this way facilitate dialogue? How does it lead to the exploration of ethical complexity and the revelation of moral truth? Or has all dialogue now ceased because one side feels “shocked and dismayed”?

This appears to be the case: “..we understand that Synod members are to be asked to take part in group conversations before the debate.. we urge all Synod members to refuse to take part in such group work” (Inclusive Church’s bold).

This is a pity. It is healthy to be critical, and even healthier to criticise with kindness. But for that to occur, there must be relationship, and for there to be relationship, there must be conversation. If the objective of each ‘side’ were to attain greater truth, rather than to conquer or bludgeon into acceptance or conformity, argument would be more godly and witness all the more commendable. But if righteousness must be asserted with verbal bullets and reactionary bombs, there will, inevitably, be blood.

Isn’t it better just to be kind to one another? After all, St Paul said the greatest thing is love: it is greater, even, than faith. Can’t we just help one another to understand different apprehensions of truth instead of sending our brethren to Coventry, seeking blood on the floor at the General Synod, or taking every opportunity Channel 4 News might give to denigrate Evangelical theology?

  • Inspector General

    “This is an issue which affects all those of us who believe our sexuality to be a gift from God.”

    Oh Lord. It doesn’t get any better, does it. Really, the Inspector is not reading any further as he feels it somewhat unwise to laugh out loud while his breakfast is yet to settle. Some gift! Tailor made for each and every delicate human snowflake. Is there no end of worship of the self these days?

  • Jon Sorensen

    “Why can’t we just be kind?”
    Because Christians want to control LGBT rights to marry, but would not like if LGBT people would decide if people belonging to CoE would have right to marry? Just be kind and don’t shove your religion down throat of others including minorities.

    • Inspector General

      Isn’t there some AIDS counselling you could volunteer to do on a Sunday?

    • Malcolm Smith

      LGBT people have always had the right to marry. Their problem is that they have a mental disorder which prevents them being attracted to a marriage partner. So what this is really about is not a matter of rights, but of a legal fiction – like passing a law that two screws or two nuts can make a bolt

    • IanCad

      Jon, Scripture being the basis for Christian belief it is only logical and right for adherents to the faith to heed the Written Word. In that, it is quite clear that one of the two great institutes of creation is marriage, and only between a man and a woman. Same sex relationships are roundly condemned in both the Old and New testaments.

      That we are held equal under civil law, and all subject to the same provisions and penalties, equity demands the right for those of the same sex to enjoy the right of contract, for, if we strip away any religious dimension of the union, that is what marriage is, and has been argued thus for hundreds of years. Sure, it was a long time coming, but accommodation has now been made.

      Just be kind and don’t shove your irreligion down the throats of the religious minority.

      • Hi Ian

        That’s a succinct version of where I’m at with this issue.

    • Martin

      Jon

      It is very simple, it is not possible for any, other than a man and a woman, to marry. Marriage requires the different and complimentary, it cannot include the same.

    • Hi Jon ,

      This is in theory an internal debate within the church of England as to whether it will marry gay and lesbian people according to its traditions and rites . Therefore it is not , strictly speaking, about the church shoving its religion down throats of others.

      Also gays and lesbians can be married in a state civil ceremony or in a civil partnership. Interestingly straight people are barred from civil partnerships, but no one seems to mind.

      Note : on another thread you asked about freedom of religion. We know you do not believe in freedom of religion because of your call to ban infant male circumcision for religious reasons.

      • Karen Watson

        Actually there is a campaign to open CPs to heterosexuals.

      • Little Black Censored

        “…your call to ban infant male circumcision for religious reasons.”
        You seem to be saying that the ban would be imposed from a religious motive, but I don’t think you mean that.

        • Hi

          Yes . What I meant was Jon has previously said that infant male circumcision because of religion (e.g. Judaism) should be banned /is a privilege / mutilation etc etc. So to my mind Jon doesn’t believe in religious freedom….

      • Jon Sorensen

        Note: I support your religious right to cut your own genitalia. But I don’t think I should have religious rights to cut your genitalia. How hard is it to understand it???

  • len

    One might ask what is the purpose of Church?.
    From the LGBT point view I would guess ‘ the Church’ is one of the last hurdles for them to overcome to gain total recognition.
    This move by the LGBT community( a small but very vocal group) will be another ‘ nail’ in ‘the coffin of the Church’ and the next move will be to give the Church a decent burial.

    • Little Black Censored

      And it is not even a community – see Milo Yannopoulos passim.

  • Holger

    Kinder?

    Virtually anything progressives can possibly say is kinder than the traditionalist stance.

    “Shut up, accept your inferiority and the cruel and unusual punishment we have decided it merits, and thank us for it.” This is what the bishops have been saying to the LGBT community for a generation or more. The latest restatement of that attitude, couched though it may be in unusually obsequious and placatory language, expresses no kindness whatsoever. It’s the same old cruelty spun to sound understanding and accommodating, but which when thoroughly analysed means exactly what it has always meant: “Shut up, cross your legs and suffer in silence you disgusting poofs. Who cares about you? The Church belongs to us so be grateful we tolerate your disgusting presence at all.”

    Just about any reply would be kinder than the bigoted intransigeance that motivates Christian attitudes.

    It seems to me that gay Anglicans have finally (finally!) woken up to this dyed-in-the-wool homophobia and now realise that armed resistance is the only way forward. The upcoming Synod is going to be their Stonewall moment. Prepare for chaos. When goaded beyond endurance, a slave ship’s cargo may well decide to punch holes in the hull and take the whole vessel down rather than let such cruelty and injustice triumph.

    • Inspector General

      #PrayForLinus

      “Elderly Christ hating poof taken ill after latest rant”

    • Martin

      Holger

      It is never kind to encourage others in sin. The bishops have been unkind in failing to condemn outright those for whom sexual sin is the be all of life.

  • William Lewis

    Oh Lord, please, not the gay thing again. How can such an abnormal and insignificant characteristic be the cause of so much angst, opprobrium and self righteous indignation? Lord have mercy.

    • Holger

      “Abnormal and insignificant”

      There you have Christian “kindness” expressed in a nutshell.

      • William Lewis

        There is so much more to life than sexual desire. Homosexuality is far less significant than the obsessive coverage that our society affords it. One does not show kindness with lies.

        • Inspector General

          Having spent some years studying the condition, William, the ‘sexual’ part of homosexual is everything for them. It is what makes them members of their exclusivity. It has to be this way to explain some of the ghastly parings resulting, and the 48% chance of abuse and or violence these pairings suffer. As it is, if the pairing can last 2 years, it is considered a long term one.

        • Holger

          You can try to dismiss us with a contemptuous remark. 50 years ago it might even have worked. But the world has changed since then, even if you don’t want to recognise it.

          When negotiation fails, attack or surrender are the only options left. The LGBT community will never again surrender, so you’d better prepare yourself for an attack, the like of which you’ve never before seen.

          I’m not privy to the counsels of gay Anglicans. I have tried to talk to them, but my eyes glaze over when the ridiculous assertions about god’s love for all begin. This tends to annoy them and by the time I wake up, they’ve flounced off in offended fury so further communication is impossible. I therefore have no idea what their exact strategy will be. But if they have even the slightest iota of common sense about them, it’s likely to involve no less than the total disruption of the life of the Church.

          Brace yourself. The worst is yet to come.

          • Martin

            Holger

            No, he world has not changed, it is still corrupt and broken and you are among those corrupt and broken. You are not a community, just a bunch of sinners demanding your sin is respected.

          • Holger

            And you are a certifiable loon.

            Do you honestly think anyone ever listens to you? Do you even care? Or is this all about ingratiating yourself with your vicious, homophobic god?

            The more anti-gay comments you make, the bigger your reward in heaven, eh?

            Interesting that your god employs the same tactics as the Nazi Party, which rewarded only those who were the most openly and slanderously anti-Semitic. At this rate you can surely expect to be promoted to the rank of Gauleiter as soon as you enter heaven. You may even be given responsibility for transporting all the damned gay souls into the fire.

            See, I’ve got your hopes up now, haven’t I? Deranged fascists always dream of power and glory. There may even be a camp uniform in it for you.

          • Inspector General

            When you awoke today, one will wager good money that you did not expect to have yourself such a psychotic afternoon…

          • Merchantman

            If one reads the NT you don’t see people asking Jesus to endorse their sins. Its more complicated but basically they either came up against him and plotted his death or they were sent away to reflect on their ways. Jesus came for sinners and wants to be their saviour because he will accept any who really turn around in their heart.

          • Martin

            Holger

            It doesn’t matter if anyone is listening to me, if the watchman calls out and no one listens the watchman is innocent of their blood.

            And since I didn’t mention homosexuality perhaps you are so focused on sex that anyone speaking of sin and the fallen nature of this world is automatically, in your mind, talking of homosexuality.

            Don’t worry, I’ve no desire for power or glory, I leave that to those who speak of it.

          • Holger

            So that’s the direction your lunacy takes, is it? An obsessive/compulsive need not to be blamed.

            “Look god, I warned him and he didn’t listen! I tried to make him believe but he just laughed at me like I was crazy! It wasn’t my fault!” said Martin.

            “Then why did you act as though you were crazy?” asked god. “Why, with the distinct intention of making others view religion as a gibbering idiot’s psychosis, did you act the loon and drive virtually everyone you came into contact with away from me?”

            “But Lord! Lord!” said Martin, in panic.

            “Away with you. Your actions have condemned hundreds of souls who might have found me had they not been put off religion forever by your crazed burbling. You thought not of others but only of yourself and your desire to be saved. But there is no salvation for you. I never knew you.”

            Good luck Martin. On the off-chance this god of yours is actually real, your attempts to curry favour with him are doomed to fail. He doesn’t like insincere egotists who prophesy in his name thinking it will buy them credit in heaven, and the devil take the rest. If he exists at all, he’s omnipotent and can see through your little game. But don’t worry your fevered little mind too much. The chances of him actually existing are so tiny, you needn’t fear hellfire and damnation. The same oblivion that will claim us all will get you too and you’ll rest in absolute peace. That’s probably what your unquiet awareness could use the most. Oblivion will end your suffering. It can’t be easy being you.

          • Martin

            Holger

            You imagine you accusing me of ‘acting as though I was crazy’ makes a difference? And what of all those others who have warned you, and of your own conscience that warns you though you seek to silence it? You are without excuse.

          • Little Black Censored

            Ah, the Nazis have made their appearance earlier than usual. Well done!

          • Inspector General

            Bless them, your band of fairies, but they are not the enemy. The wayward bishops are…

          • Martin

            IG

            Indeed, it is they who have abandoned any pretence of:

            He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
            (Titus 1:9 [ESV])

          • William Lewis

            I do not doubt that for some homosexuals the normalisation and justification of their desires before man and God is everything.

            There are others who would rather put the word of God before their same sex attractions. It is a cross they are willing to bear. They know we are in a spiritual battle, fighting for lives.

          • Albert

            The LGBT community will never again surrender, so you’d better prepare yourself for an attack, the like of which you’ve never before seen.

            So that would be worse than the Romans or the French Revolution or the Communists in Russia.

            How very tolerant.

          • Holger

            Tolerance stops when a religion preaches that some are lesser beings entitled to fewer rights than others. It is this intolerance that cannot be tolerated by a tolerant society.

            Tolerance means the acceptance of all beliefs that respect the right of each individual to make up his own mind within a commonly agreed framework of law. If your belief system discriminates against non-believers or seeks to impose burdens and duties over and above the burdens and duties we commonly agree to support, then it cannot be tolerated.

            That’s the definition of true tolerance: a system where everything except intolerance is tolerated. There’s room for Christianity in it just as long as Christians agree to abide by commonly agreed law and do not seek to impose the rules of their religion on anyone else.

            Trying to persuade others that gays are lesser beings who do not deserve equal rights is an example of the kind of intolerance that cannot be tolerated. There is nothing hypocritical about this at all. It’s exactly the same principle that Christianity uses to justify its pugnacious stance: Christians are commanded to be meek, but not so meek that they don’t defend themselves. In the same vein, a tolerant society does not have to be so tolerant that it tolerates intolerance.

            Christian meekness and secular toleration both have limits. Pharisees who try to argue that tolerance must tolerate intolerance must first explain why meekness isn’t required to surrender to every enemy. If Christians can defend themselves against Muslim aggression without betraying the principle of meekness, the LGBT community can defend itself against both religions without betraying the principle of toleration.

          • Albert

            Tolerance stops when a religion preaches that some are lesser beings entitled to fewer rights than others.

            Fine – Catholics don’t hold that view. But even if we did, would that justify the violence you are promising?

          • dannybhoy

            “I’m not privy to the counsels of gay Anglicans. I have tried to talk to them, but my eyes glaze over when the ridiculous assertions about god’s love for all begin.”

            You mean those gay Christians wouldn’t listen to you; so you came back to an erm anti Christian Gay blog because we do?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Isn’t the trendy term for this ‘cognitive dissonance’?

          • dannybhoy

            Probably.

          • Holger

            Christians never listen to anyone except themselves.

            I have no design of converting any Christian to atheism. Christianity is a disease of the mind. It can’t be cured with reason and common sense. It requires expert help, and even then an infected brain will probably never fully heal. Prevention is far better than a cure.

            My aim is to speak to those who haven’t yet succumbed to the craziness that is Christianity and to persuade them to use the common sense and reason they were born with to reject both it and its homophobic agenda.

          • Anton

            Certainly total disruption of the life of the church (of England) is ahead, but a realistic strategy for heaving our the apostates is being discussed on this overall thread.

            It’s clear that you have a better understanding of the scriptures about homosexuality than does the “gay Christian” movement, ironically.

          • Little Black Censored

            “…you’d better prepare yourself for an attack, the like of which you’ve never before seen.”
            Oo-er! Good luck with finding enough people to carry out your jihad.

    • carl jacobs

      Its not about homosexuality per se. It’s about the placement of moral boundaries and the authority by which they are set.

      • William Lewis

        Except that, in this particular case, both sides invoke the same authority.

        • Anton

          I’ve yet to see one side make a serious case from scripture.

          • William Lewis

            Well, I would agree.

  • carl jacobs

    There is no possibility of kindness because this is not a conflict between brothers. This is a fight between two very different and mutually exclusive religions that occupy the same organization. It’s good that this is happening. People need to see this conflict for what it is.

    Are you a Christian in the CoE? Then leave he dead to bury their own dead. Let them chase after the applause of the world. Let them worship the golden idol with a face made in their own image. Shake the dust and leave.

    • Inspector General

      Stand and fight the good fight, that man!

      • carl jacobs

        Why? What are you fighting for? Position? Place? Status? Tradition? The CoE is an hierarchical church and the hierarchy is shot to hell. You haven’t the power to overcome that authority. They will lead along the wide road. Those who stay will eventually follow.

        • Inspector General

          Fighting for Christ, silly.

          ♪ “We Shall Overcome..”

          • carl jacobs

            You overcome by separating. Once the CoE openly refashions itself after the manner of Thinking Anglicans the CoE will be dead within 20 years. If Christians leave that is what will happen. The Church will remain but the corpse will be long since buried.

          • Inspector General

            It does no one any good having a corrupt established church in the realm. Sampson had the right idea, bring it all down and everybody perish under it…

          • Martin

            IG

            It is already corrupt, the failure of discipline has seen to that.

          • dannybhoy

            (Is he on medication?)

          • Inspector General

            6:30! He is now!

          • Martin

            IG

            Hardly a Christian song.

        • Albert

          I wasn’t aware that the Inspector was an Anglican!

          • Inspector General

            A Christian gifted with a higher understanding that one was delighted to find has no place for sectarianism…

          • Albert

            Such a high understanding that I am really not sure what you mean!

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            There are many RC’s worshipping in CoE churches in villages with your commendable attitude IG. All but the extremes of either wing can find a faithful home there, with is why the leaderships of the other denominations so want the CoE gone.

          • carl jacobs

            The Inspector is a good son of the Roman Catholic Church. As he repeatedly insists.

          • Albert

            Mmmmmm….

          • Cressida de Nova

            Cough…cough !

          • len

            No one is really sure what faith the Inspector is following?

          • Albert

            Least of all the Inspector!

        • dannybhoy

          For loyalty to our Lord and His Gospel. That’s all that matters Carl.

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      I agree with your first paragraph Carl. How can kindness exist when this is a straight choice between those seeking to retain God’s teaching on the nature of man’s Sinfulness and the need to repent of it, and those who would twist it in order to justify their lusts? This ‘debate’ is not about some periphera such as transubstantiation, but about a fundamental tenet of the faith. The people seeking change are at best fools, at worst wolves in sheep’s clothing. There is no obligation on scriptural Christians to be ‘kind’, (committee speak for compromise with) with those seeking to conform God’s Word to the fashions of a fallen disbelieving world. What next – Arianism or the notion that Christianity is merely one of several ways to God (after all that nice teacher Jesus can’t have meant what he said, it must be a misquote)?

      I do however disagree profoundly disagree with your second paragraph. The battle is not yet lost and the growing scriptural part of the church is gaining in relative strength all the time. Besides, why should faithful Christians have to surrender what our ancestors fought for and built, to those bent on corrupting basic Christian teaching? Besides, if the enemy (for that is what they are) succeeds in driving out true believers, they would surely use the church to mislead ever more true seekers after the Lord.

      • carl jacobs

        Unless you can tell me how the hierarchy can be recovered, then you have already lost the battle. If you leave the CoE it will become a clone of the secular culture and quickly lose its national footprint. Secularists don’t care about religious organizations except to the extent they may be used to fight against pre-modern religion. Once they perceive that battle to be won, they will lose interest.

        The way to kill liberal religion is to isolate it.

        • Inspector General

          You are a thoroughly useless tactician, Carl. Now off with you and your defeatist talk…

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          I have outlined a financial strategy previously which the high paying evangelical wing can utilise to bring the hierarchy to their knees.

          BTW. You are not English and clearly have little understanding of the hold of the CoE on the nation’s thinking.

          • carl jacobs

            You are not English and clearly have little understanding of the hold of the CoE on the nation’s thinking.

            Perhaps it makes me more objective. The way Christianity has collapsed in Britian this hold you describe clearly has no relationship to the Gospel.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            A large mass of English non-churchgoers feel a fondness for the CoE. Many despair of the weak leadership it provides which is why they have drifted away from active worship. If it gave clear and militant direction on a whole range of issues, regenerated the higher clergy and prioritised parish clergy it would start to make real headway.

          • carl jacobs

            A large mass of English non-churchgoers feel a fondness for the CoE.

            Yes, but I will say with out any reservation, hesitation, purpose of evasion or fear of contradiction that said fondness is rooted in place, and memory, and the idea of cultural permanence. It has nothing to do with the Gospel. To the extent the CoE introduces the Gospel, that fondness will evaporate.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            That fondness acts as a bridge to exposure to the faith. Some will cross over, many will not. It is our job to help as many as possible hear the sound of Christ knocking at their door, however that is achieved.

          • Albert

            Despite 1642’s earlier comment, you have a very good understanding of the English mind at present.

          • carl jacobs

            Btw. Witholding money will not produce good bishops. It will simply wreck the hierarchy of the church. The CoE is Erastian. It cannot deviate too far from the culture because the state will not permit it.

          • dannybhoy

            But withholding money will bring the issue to a head, and that is what needs to happen. We cannot go on subsidising the destruction of the Christian faith as expressed through the CofE.
            Better to do it now, have the debate around why we Bible centered born again Christians are no longer willing to keep quiet, and then we withdraw into our churches and either draw together with real Christian bishops or elect out own overseers from among the devout clergy.
            That’s pretty much the Early Church sentiment. Those staying faithful to the established leadership will carry on as usual, free to do the State’s bidding.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Exactly Danny.

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks. I’m with you on this. We have to stop shilly-shallying because we’re afraid. That’s what it really boils down to, and we shouldn’t be. The Anglican Church is being destroyed from within, and we who love the Lord have to stand up and say “No, we will nit be a party to this..”

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Who’s afraid if one is true to the Scriptures? I only fear not being true to my God and Saviour.

          • dannybhoy

            I was not being specific my friend.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Don’t worry – you are one of the few on here who aren’t!

          • carl jacobs

            Yes! Withhold the money. Starve the dragon. Just don’t kid yourself. It’s a declaration of war. It leads to separation. That’s why I advocate it.

          • dannybhoy

            So be it. It’s not wrong to say “Enough Already” and separate. It’s wrong to not stand up and be counted for your faith.

          • Anton

            Isn’t it what you were critiquing 1642 for advocating as the solution?

          • Martin

            I’m English, went to a CoE school and I think Carl has it right.

          • carl jacobs

            Thanks for that, Martin. ☺

          • len

            I’m English brought up in the C of E (also confirmed) and I also think Carl is right.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Seems you’ve a bit of support.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            My answer to Albert applies to you equally, albeit in a different direction.

          • Martin

            My difference is that I haven’t ‘gone’ anywhere. I wasn’t a Christian when I was at school and attended a FIEC church at home, the church where I was born again.

          • carl jacobs

            This argument could just as easily be turned against you. Don’t you have a vested interest in a particular vision of e CoE?

          • bluedog

            The relevant question. It seems a personality seeks to assert itself at the expense of the greater good.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Of course I do. I’m very clear about that and am not pretending to be ‘objective’ or ‘impartial’. I want the CoE to hold to its doctrine as defined by Cranmer and his successors, and held to by four centuries of Anglicans, being securely rooted in Scripture.

          • carl jacobs

            When an argument can be turned against you with equal force, then it’s a bad argument and you shouldn’t use it.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Sophistry.

          • carl jacobs

            Ummm … no. It’s called “Good apologetics”

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            No. I stated my grounds for what I want the church to be. It holds my loyalty at present, despite it’s many flaws. Your point was irrelevant and superficial, but slick. Classic sophistry.

            I don’t want this to descend into another long interminable argument. I am invested heavily in Scriptural Anglicanism. You are not. Please give Scriptural Anglicans moral support or at least nothing. Instead, you and others come across as Joseph Kennedys in 1940 writing off Britain. We have not lost yet and the CoE has recovered from the floor before.

          • bluedog

            Wrong again. Why insult allies?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            I’m not, merely defending the faithful who are committed to the CoE. It’s one way traffic against the CoE on here most of the time. Time for some pay back.

          • Albert

            I’m English and I grew up in the CofE and I think Carl is right.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            But you’ve gone RC and have an interest in collapsing the CoE to validate your life choice, so are hardly objective Albert.

          • carl jacobs

            Albert has a fair amount of intellectual integrity. He wouldn’t do that.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Have you not followed his posts for the past few years?

          • carl jacobs

            I’ve followed his posts for six years.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Then you see he wants the CoE to fall.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s not relevant to my point.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It is entirely.

          • carl jacobs

            A man can make an argument that is separate from his self-interest. Do you reject this?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Yes, but not in matters of personal faith and spiritual belonging.

          • carl jacobs

            I think you mean “Yes you agree people can make such an argument but not about religion.” An you believe this because …?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Because it is so personally and pervasively held. It dictates how we see, feel and interpret the world around us. Faith remakes us fundamentally doesn’t it?

          • carl jacobs

            I personally can and have made arguments from a RC perspective even though I renounce the RCC and all its works and all its ways. I am the refutation of your argument.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Another orator or barrister of the school of Demosthenes. I don’t find it attractive I’m afraid and will leave it at that.

          • Albert

            Thank you Carl!

          • Anton

            He goes into clouds of incoherence when he starts to lose. That’s quite easy for someone with philosophical training to do.

          • Albert

            I assure you I have no need for the CofE to collapse to validate my life choice. But if you are going to go for an ad hominem, why can’t I just say that you have made an Anglican life-choice and therefore have an interest in the CofE not collapsing – which goes beyond issues of truth and faithfulness. So you are hardly objective. Do you see what happens when you make such moves? Argument, reasoning, evidence and truth disappear, which, I would have thought comes dangerously close to supporting Carl’s original contention…

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Hardly. I’m not objective on matters of faith, no one can be. I don’t pretend to be at all, but neither am I expressing a desire for the failure of the CoE or various free church denominations.

          • Albert

            I don’t want any of these movements to fail. Just to come back to the rock from which they were hewn. But surely the issue is Carl’s argument – to which, as far as I can see, you have a given a financial answer – which again, rather supports Carl’s contention.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Hardly. My financial strategy would break the power of the liberal Bishop clique, not lead to separation because it would allow the scriptural Christians to impose victory terms on the losers.

          • Albert

            I wasn’t suggesting that your financial plan would lead to separation, it is clearly designed to influence the liberal bishops. There are two problems: 1. unfaithfulness is dealt with by faithful teaching – but the fact that you are appealing to money shows you don’t think that will work. 2. Your financial plan will not work either. The CofE has so much property that, with declining congregations and numbers of full-time clergy also declining, the CofE can afford to keep going by leaving posts vacant and selling off property for 100 years.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It’s designed to force the liberal Bishops to stand down, reassert doctrinal discipline and sack recaltritant clergy. 1. This is a practical battle under a mask of theology, but the liberals use organisational manipulation as their real lever. Using the power of the purse negates their control of the hierarchy. 2. The wealth in property and of the Church Commissioners is largely swallowed by the clergy pension scheme liabilities. Furthermore Grade 1 listed village churches possess little alternative use value, especially lying as they do in sanctified graveyards. Finally, the Cathedrals themselves are huge liabilities, yet another call on the church’s wealth if the Scriptural congregations withhold funds. 3. If the latter hold back their funds they can use them to fund more parish clergy directly.

          • Albert

            I wasn’t thinking of selling the churches, but the vicarages.

            If the latter hold back their funds they can use them to fund more parish clergy directly.

            Now that is a good plan. But a clergyperson in the CofE needs to have a licence from his bishop, which would be withheld in these situations. This would result in you going it alone away from the bishop. So, your argument does result in separation after all.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            The church experimented with ‘Flying Bishops’ over female ordination, there’s GAFCON available, so it doesn’t. Secondly, withdrawing more clergy would just fuel any parish revolt against the hierarchy. Besides it wouldn’t get that far. It’s a poker game and the ones controlling the money generated and the growing congregations hold the aces.

          • Albert

            The church experimented with ‘Flying Bishops’ over female ordination

            Flying bishops were effectively suffragans to the Diocesan bishops in which they worked, so that is just the same as where you are – the Diocesan bishop could withhold the license. GAFCON is surely in a doubtful relationship to say the least with the rest of the CofE and Anglican communion. So of your two options, one does not work and one is separation.

            Secondly, withdrawing more clergy would just fuel any parish revolt against the hierarchy.

            Which will achieve what, precisely?

            It’s a poker game and the ones controlling the money generated and the growing congregations hold the aces.

            No it’s not, it’s the bishop because he gets to licence the clergy. Naughty parishes are punished by being left vacant, then the status of the incumbent is reduced to make the next fellow more nervous, and finally the new minister is “open to change”. It’s happened before…

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            You are focusing on technicalities that would become irrelevant in the event of a large financial revolt by the parishes. Normal processes would no longer apply.

          • Albert

            Any arrangements would have to go through Parliament – the same Parliament that threatened to impose women bishops if the CofE didn’t get on with it. They are not likely to allow flying bishops for what they would consider homophobic parishes. GAFCON is separation – and that would be a legal problem because courts would say parishes belong to the dioceses not the parish. Parliament would not change that.

            Financial revolt will not worry the secular establishment and in the end, they must agree any changes. So the bishops will retain all the cards, even if your financial plan makes a difference.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Facts on the ground. Politicians are pragmatists and if the CE membership forces the hierarchy in one way they will accommodate it just as they would in another direction. If they won’t and the result is dis-establishment then that’s a price worth paying.

          • Albert

            But more people in the CofE support same-sex marriage than oppose it.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Assertion,not evidence. The growing evangelical wing does not and the liberal wing is dying.

          • Albert

            The evidence is here:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/01/30/gay-marriage-support-christians-church-of-england_n_9118972.html

            It also shows that the younger members of the CofE are in favour.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            LOL, a poll in Huffpo.

          • Albert

            A Yougov poll reported in the Huffington Post. Would you believe that the same story appears in the Telegraph? Says the report:

            Jayne Ozanne, a leading gay evangelical Anglican and member of the General Synod, the Church of England’s ruling body, said the results showed the Church of England was “out of step” with its members.

            It would appear also that those who identify as evangelical, are not necessarily going to back your stance, and even if they do, there are all those knotty legal problems to think about.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            I no longer believe any poll, especially from Yougov, paid for by a mainstream liberal organisation (inc the DT) which supports the liberal viewpoint. There are of course liberal evangelicals, but only a minority.

          • Albert

            I was responding to:

            if the CE membership forces the hierarchy in one way they will accommodate it just as they would in another direction

            You are right to have a healthy scepticism of polls. But the poll would have to be massively out for it to make the kind of difference you need. Even if the Yougov poll is out by 25 points, you simply don’t have the numbers to force this kind of thing by money, and even if you did, you still face the other problems.

            You will solve this problem by putting your trust in the Lord or not at all. If you cannot solve this problem by putting your trust in the Lord, you certain won’t solve it by putting your trust in money.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            I do put my trust in the Lord, but also believe in passing the ammunition. The Protestant self-help ethos at work and which created the wonders of the modern world!

          • Albert

            Yes, but this is the Church, not Pearl Harbour, and I’m not sure that the Protestant ethos did create the wonders of the modern world. If it did, then the environmentalists will be on your back!

          • Anton

            Please don’t hesitate to repost your strategy on each thread to which it is relevant.

          • dannybhoy

            Ah ’twas your suggestion was it? A fine one and worthy of serious discussion with sympathetic ears..

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Not many of those on here these days.

          • Albert

            Actually, I really think this last point needs a response. When you are in the CofE something tells you it is the centre of things. When you leave it, you realise no one’s been listening for ages. Basic Christianity perhaps has some kind of hold on the nation’s thinking (although I think it is rather limited), but that’s Christianity, not the CofE. After all, which CofE is the nation listening to? The Bible based CofE? Manifestly not. The liberals? clearly not, since the it is the liberals who are listening to the nation.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Certainly being a rustic I see that most rural non-churchgoers have a fondness for it and therefore a greater predisposition to engage with it if good local and national leadership were present.

          • Albert

            I’m not wholly unacquainted with rural Anglicanism. The buildings are largely empty and rural people stay at home.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Depends on the church and clergy in situ.

          • Albert

            But you were talking about the hold of the CoE on the nation’s thinking.

            Then you reduced it to rural England. Now it’s rural England with the right church and clergy. That’s hardly a hold on the nation’s thinking.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Err no, that’s not what I was saying at all. It’s the established church after all which mediates many major national events. When people think ‘church’ they think CoE generally.

          • Albert

            Yes, but that’s not the same as having a hold on the nation’s mind. That’s having a ceremonial function, which is entirely different.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            No, perhaps a hold a nation’s sentiments would be more accurate, but it is noticeable that whenever there’s a tragedy in a community the media invariably interview the vicar as the spokesman for the community. It’s a insubstantial but pervasive and strong force, and one which is still present, if not consciously expressed by many.

          • Albert

            I think that probably is closer to the truth, but I also think you are showing signs of confirmation bias. It’s not uncommon to see the local Catholic priest doing that or Muslim community leader.

            Now if you go back to Carl’s original claim, your position of national sentiments, as opposed to nation’s mind, is entirely consistent with it. After all, if all the nation wants is a nice clergyperson to come forward say a few thoughtful words in a tragedy or do a royal wedding, then the nation probably doesn’t really care what the clergyperon’s views are, so long as they aren’t biblical in any sense that would be offensive to the nation as a whole.

          • dannybhoy

            Also a fairly recent rustic pseudo Anglican, but our village observation is that loyalty in our small congregation is to the actual church its self as a tangible symbol of the Anglican Church, and sadly it seems that it is in the CofE with its notion of ‘the inclusive parish’ that the idea of Sunday Anglicanism coupled with good works and kindness, (but leaving aside the challenge of the Gospel), flourishes. The church is a hub in the village and avoids anything which might exclude, so it stays away from controversy or challenge..
            I’m sure that’s not always true, but where we are it’s a recognised attitude.

        • David

          Another way is to observe it dying whilst growing and planting new conservative congregations.

      • David

        Hear hear !
        I have just returned from a family service at a conservative, evangelical local church. It was, quite literally, full of young families and their children as we build strong links with the local school.
        This is not the time to sound the retreat but to contend for the Truth !

        • Martin

          David

          How can you contend for the truth when the bishops are busy tugging at the rug?

          • David

            That’s simple to describe.
            You contend for the Truth, in the only places where it matters, at local churches, led by Bible believing ministers and priests. Grow them and you grow the Kingdom. There is one in most towns.
            They are ignored by the media who focus on the liberal bishops. They also ignore the minority of faithful bishops, High and Low, who follow Word and Tradition.
            All the Bishops are terrified of losing the growing, well funded conservative local churches.
            Beware of falling into the trap of believing that the mainstream media gives an accurate picture of what is happening. It doesn’t ! It deliberately distorts the true picture.

          • carl jacobs

            Those local congregations will either seek alternative oversight (that being the first step to separation) or they will become de facto congregationalist churches. What they will not be able to do is change the nature of the bishops appointed in the CoE. Fear of losing money will not result in orthodox bishops. It will result in a long strategy of co-option. Which is what is already happening.

          • David

            Co-option of who by whom ?
            It is the theologically conservative congregations that are growing, planting both new Biblically led congregations into formerly dying liberal churches and establishing new ones.
            Perhaps being a military man you approach things only from the top down ? But originally, in its first and second centuries, the Word was spread bottom up.

          • carl jacobs

            Co-option of those congregations by the hierarchy in the CoE. What do you think “shared conversation” is all about? They are seeking ways to “help” evangelicals compromise for the sake of unity. This change on homosexuality is inevitable. An Established church must track the culture. They simply want to help Evangelicals find a way to keep paying for it. And if they stay, they will. Eventually they will compromise truth for unity and surrender. Just like Solomon, if they bring idols into the house they will eventually worship them.

            Leave or die. That’s the choice. You can’t escape the CNC and so you can’t change the hierarchy of the CoE.

          • David

            OK ignore the facts of what is happening on the ground then if you are inseparably wedded to your conjecture.
            The “shared conversations” were designed to do as you say, but it hasn’t worked. Biblicists are simply not budging.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, I’m all alone in my conjecture.

          • David

            I have great respect for Gavin Ashenden and he sets out his views on where it is heading, views with which I overlap partially, but not completely.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Absolutely.

          • Martin

            David

            But the rule is given to the bishop who may overrule the local church.

          • David

            Obedience to ones bishop is contingent upon that Bishop conforming to the Word of God. So no Bishops could discipline churches that adhere to Scripture. I only wish that they would discipline those that do not, therein lies the problem.

          • Martin

            David

            I’m fairly certain that Anglican church law doesn’t work like that.

          • David

            I am talking about the “on the ground” reality. You are alluding to a theoretical position that hasn’t been applied for perhaps, most of a century.

          • Martin

            David

            I’m pretty certain that if push came to shove they’d wave the big stick. After all, power is their reason for existence.

          • David

            Very unrealistic that comment. That could precipitate a schism. At heart most are cowards.

          • Martin

            David

            Of course, a schism occurred in the USA with the TEC being the schismatics. It would be an advantage to believers.

          • dannybhoy

            But David the enemies of Christianity won’t worry too much about local churches, as long as they have captured the citadel.
            And they have. Or at the very least they have neutered it as a voice for the faith. It then becomes easy to mop up the minnows..
            Look at what has happened in the Middle East and consider; “Coming to a Diocese near you!”
            The only practical suggestion I have heard so far is to rally congregations to withhold all or part of their parish share to get the Bishop’s undivided attention.

          • David

            That’s not an effective analogy danny. The local congregations ARE the church. ‘Ecclesia’, where our word ‘church’ came from, meant the individual gatherings. Bishops may attract the media headlines but the reality on the ground is to be found in the local churches, where the liberal ones are dying and the conservative Biblical ones grow.

          • dannybhoy

            We know that, but I don’t think non Christian people would differentiate. It is what the official pronouncements as in newspaper headlines and tv news say, rather than the local church.

          • David

            No. That is a superficial approach. If you believe that reality can be accessed via the mainstream media you are sadly mistaken. As for hierarchies, well they often lend themselves to being more strongly influenced by culture and politics than the truth.
            Did Jesus and the disciples build the early Church by focussing on Jerusalem’s corrupt hierarchy ? No they built it from the ground up, by converting people locally.

          • dannybhoy

            “If you believe that reality can be accessed via the mainstream media you are sadly mistaken.”
            If the mainstream media wasn’t effective at shaping opinions and perceptions advertisers wouldn’t use it David. Politicians wouldn’t buy airtime for their campaigns or to put across their arguments.
            Sometimes perception is more important than reality, and the deliberations of Synod do more to shape people’s opinions of Christianity than local churches do. That doesn’t mean that local churches aren’t effective, but most non Christians get their information about Christianity from the media, and the media does not usually report on local church activities.
            Also it is the Anglican leadership which works with the government of the day in terms of shaping and complying with social policy and then feeds it down to their churches.

          • David

            Please keep up. The MS media is dying. Only older people read newspapers and watch TV. Websites and direct communication are the present reality for the young and anyone who seeks truth. They are certainly the future. Websites won us the referendum plus old fashioned public meetings.
            If you promote the view that perception is what counts it shows how strongly you have been influenced by relativism.
            The Anglican leadership has hardly any influence on government policy. This is not the 19th century.

          • dannybhoy

            I disagree, but anyway what made you think I was discounting what the young do and where they get their information from? How unaffected by the msm (an inclusive term btw) do you think the young are who go charging off on the latest gimmicky demo, or anti Israel or anti Capitalist rant? Where do you think they get their information from?
            Perhaps I should have re-worded this sentence,
            “Also it is the Anglican leadership which works with the government of the day in terms of shaping and complying with social policy and then feeds it down to their churches.”
            to read ” cooperates with the government over social policy -except where it is fashionable to disagree.”

          • David

            The useful idiots and virtue signallers who have been marching recently against democracy are but a tiny percentage of the young. They will soon become bored with it.
            As I say the Anglican Church has virally no impact on any government policy.

          • Merchantman

            If the rug is nailed down with scripture it cant be tugged away.

          • Martin

            MM

            I believe they have removed all the nails.

      • Merchantman

        There is in several respects ‘No place to run’. That should be the case for the C of E. The Scandinavians have caved in. We must be resolute, standfast and take the ground back where it has been lost.
        Then maybe those outside will see what the fuss was all about.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          I entirely agree. Stand and fight.

      • Peasant Farmer

        I agree, it is not yet lost, though the church is at Dunkirk, and much like Dunkirk, we do not yet have a practical strategy as to how to regain ground.

        However, this morning Mrs Peasant Farmer and myself decided we couldn’t face all age worship at our regular parish church (usually even the intelligence of a 3 year old is insulted) and toddled along to a neighbouring church in a little village. There, in front of a congregation of about 35 people, average age 65+ a young vicar in his first parish job preached on the sermon on the mount.

        He had clearly researched thoroughly, referencing Aristotle, Hitler, Luther amongst others, comparing and contrasting their world views to scripture and to what constituted ‘the good life’. Drawing it all together and pointing to Jesus as the answer, in this life and the next.

        We sang some wonderful old hymns, not particularly tunefully, but full of rich truth, It did my soul good.

        Now if only this young chap could be fastracked to become a Bishop, along with others like him, and could retain his clear faith and teaching along the way, without being sidetracked by the heathens employed by the hierarchy, then maybe we’d be on to something!

        • Inspector General

          Clear faith and teaching! – then he shall be rejected as chaff. Now, if he was a feminist lady, that would be different…

        • Coniston

          This morning I went to a traditional ‘high church’ Anglican church – in fact it was Anglo Catholic. They were celebrating the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas) – it being the nearest Sunday to 2nd February. Apart from all the candles, the vicar, in his sermon, gave a detailed account of the Jewish antecedents of the Presentation and its requirements. He then talked about Simeon and Anna, and their life of prayer and worship, and of their living in hope of the coming of the Messiah – whom they recognised in the infant Jesus. He then encouraged us to follow their example – the need for regular prayer and worship, and to live in hope. Most sermons in this church are based on the lectionary readings from the Bible, or on the meaning of the main festivals of the Christian year. If more churches, Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic, did this the CofE would not be in its present state of slow disintegration.

    • Albert

      Well I’ve never thought of interpreting Luke 9.60 quite like that before.

    • dannybhoy

      People are loyal to their churches Carl, if not official leadership. If congregations can stand in agreement against apostasy or corruption they can remain in their churches but still seek out new leadership to speak up for them and guard the faith. In this country most Christians of whatever denomination (excluding the Catholic Church and a few independents) recognise the authoratative role of the CofE and in a way its abiding stability. They just want it to stand up for the Gospel rather than dance to secular society’s tune.

  • David

    Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever.
    And so it is with Scripture which reveals the truth once given to all the saints.
    All are very welcome in our churches, as Christ recognises our fallen nature, which includes all of us. He offers forgiveness, if we repent, trust Him and renounce sin and the Devil.
    So it is not for any Church to present that which we are advised against as good.

  • Martin

    “The Church of England exists for all people; not just Christians.”

    Well no, actually it doesn’t. Once upon a time it was imagined that people were made Christians by splashing water on them, that fallacious idea is now defeated. We have, in the CoE, a church were the vast majority have not a clue about salvation and have never experienced it. They imagine that to be a Christian is to be a good person, so that if you say they are not a Christian they are offended. Such are the majority, and they think that being a Christian requires them to get on with their fellow non Christians. The great aim of the ABC seems to be to get everyone sitting down together happily discussing what they agree about, and that seems to be the aim here.

    What should be happening is that all clergy should be asked if they agree, unconditionally, with every word of the, sadly inadequate, 39 Articles. If they don’t they should be politely shown the door. I imagine it would make the job of appoint a new ABC quite easy.

    What will happen is that this question will continue to rumble on, pressure will be brought and some little way down the path it will all be discussed again, and so on until the ‘acceptable’ answer is given.

    I’m afraid the CoE is doomed, if not already dead and those who care about the gospel should leave.

  • chefofsinners

    Currently, Inclusive Church are advocating an entirely new relationship between Christ and culture, which is so far fetched that Niebuhr never even contemplated it. This is Christ sanctifying culture. It’s central concept is that whatever we choose to do and think is entirely acceptable to God, because He loves, understands and ‘respects’ us. Whether it be child sacrifice to Molech or abortion on demand for generation snowflake, God will accept it all regardless and welcomes us with open arms. For “broad is the via media that leads to life and everyone finds it.”
    Let’s be clear. This is a Satanic corruption of the gospel. There was blood. Once for all:
    “How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:29

    • Inspector General

      Looks like Jesus had it wrong then when he said many will not meet the requirements…

      • David

        Nice ironical touch !

  • Sybaseguru

    Well first Brexit, then Trump and now the Bishops are upsetting the apple cart. As someone who took part in the Diocesan shared conversations from a conservative evangelical background, I was outnumbered 10:1 by the gay supporting members. It was no wonder they thought they were going to get something out of it. They disengaged from scripture within minutes and just wanted to share their experiences (which got extremely boring after many hours of it as I’m not a counsellor). I got called bigotted/homophobic etc., despite being careful with my language, and it was quite clear few had ever read the bible. The most perplexing bit was knowing what terminology to use as in a room of 10 gays they all identify differently and are insulted if you use the wrong term!

    • David

      Well done for entering the fray and upholding Biblical Truth. It sounds like the Tower of Babel.
      Experience and our feelings are relational, relative and an unsure guide. Only the Bible acts as a sufficient lamp for our feet.

    • William Lewis

      How telling. How depressing.

    • Anton

      Fight the good fight, faithful servant.

    • petej

      It’s hardly upsetting the Apple cart just to repeat the church’s teaching position!!!

      • John

        It is if it amounts to a single-handed defence of apostolic teaching against a full-fronted assault from a highly motivated, organised group, ready to resort to dirty tricks if necessary, bent on subverting truth about the created order and, at the same time, permanently making the Church of England a spent spiritual force.

        • petej

          So you think the church’s teaching is weak?

    • chefofsinners

      “It is entirely possible to be in a minority of one and still be right.” – Margaret Thatcher

      • Anton

        I can think of an example 2000 years ago, too.

  • Albert

    We know that this report may prove challenging or difficult reading

    Like the NT then? Well done CofE bishops!

  • Dominic Stockford

    The Church of England does exist for all people, for the specific issue of taking the Gospel of salvation through Christ alone to them, not to run social events for them.

    • dannybhoy

      “Consider this phrase: “..the established church, in which the country as a whole has a stake, is proposing to retain unchanged a theology and pastoral practice and discipline that is significantly out of kilter with the nation’s understanding..” Might not some say that this is rather the point of the Church? Didn’t Jesus say that believers would be hated for his sake (Mt 10:22)? Since when did it become the Church’s task to ensure that its theology conformed to the world’s understanding?”
      That is indeed the crux of the matter, but unfortunately in the last 20-30 years the CofE has exchanged ‘Christian Mission’ for ‘Social Harmony.”
      The task of the Archbishop is no longer to point the way towards Christ but to somehow keep all the disparate factions in the (leaky) boat.
      And that is not Anglican bashing, it is frustration because we are in danger of losing what voice we do have.
      Jesus said,
      ” “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.[c] 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant[d] is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. John 15 ( (RSVCE)
      He made it clear. If we are being true to Him and the Gospel we will experience persecution.

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      Indeed but engaging non-churchgoers in social functions can encourage church going and helps people see that the church is ‘normal’ not ‘weird’.

      • Anton

        That’s an uphill task when services are led in Elizabethan English by people wearing ancient Roman clothing who lead the singing of Victorian hymns.

        (Yes I know, I like two of those things too, but it does make things harder.)

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          I think you’ll find most aren’t Anton.

  • len

    If ‘the Lampstand’ were removed from the Church would the Church even notice?.. Meetings would carry on, services would be held ,coffee mornings, fetes, jumble sales, but the Church would be dead, there would be no longer Light.
    Of course the Word of God (Revelation 2) warns of this happening and the remedy. But is the Church listening to Jesus or simply going its own way?.

  • Dreadnaught

    …the essence of discipleship, which is not to conform to the prevailing culture, but to contend against it in the hope of transforming it…

    As an expression of futility, wasted endeavour and wrongful direction, the old saying of ‘Preaching to the converted’, is in my opinion as valid today as it was when first coined.
    While issues of SSM, abortion and other gender issues are deemed highly important if not bordering on obsession for Christians and the Churches’ manifestos, the entire future of Christianity itself is apparently, being ignored.

    Mindful as I am of Cranmer’s reasonable request for comment to be on the specific topic and not Angican bashing I am making this post as a non-sectarian outsider who until this day
    was ignorant of the meaning of ‘Erastianism’. However, as it is our nati,onal culture that deeply concerns me, it is my contention that our historically Christian national roots, that underpins our State and unwritten Constitution, I am appalled at the supine, roll over-and-die, attitude of all the Western Christian Churches in the face of contageous Islamisation.
    I am always reading of the selfless sacrifice of the founder of Christianity, yet those with the power to mount organised resistance and instigate a programme of evangelism of Muslims, will not bite on the very bullet flying towards them, out of sheer cowardice lest they suffer repercussions of name calling from Islamic apologists or The State.
    No new Brigade of Christian Martyrs being formed here I’d say.
    One man currently being pilloried on the world stage, has had the courage of his convictions and said what the Bishops and Heads of Churches dare not touch and has spoken out.and indirectly taken the fight to the enemy.
    In the mean-time, the English branch of ‘Christianity’ is busy organising another talking-shop.

    The West’s Real Bigotry: Rejecting Persecuted Christians.
    President Donald Trump says persecuted Christians will be given priority when it comes to applying for refugee status in the United States.

    While the self-hating Westerners and anti-Trump protestors play out their hysterical fantasies of posessing the moral high-ground, they are playing straight into the hands of Global Project Islam.
    None of the MSM will have the bottle to publish this incase it may cause offence to our would-be Dominators.
    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9888/persecuted-christians

  • Inspector General

    Statistics have the number of homosexuals in the UK at 1 in 40. Does this mean 1 in 40 Anglicans weep daily over their perceived ignoring? Certainly not!

    The churches’ biggest detractors are those who have no interest in it, and in ordinary, would have nothing to do with it. Atheists, Secularists, Humanists, Marxists, Feminists. Yes, the usual suspects.

    This is not to say that genuine aggrieved militantly homosexual Anglican individuals do not exist, but one puts it to you all that the number is so small that you could probably fit them all in a 60 seater coach. And for the amount of trouble this tiny crowd cause, it’s almost as if said coach is roaming the country looking for bishops to annoy…

  • Anton

    What say the scriptures?

    And what more is there to ask than that?

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Aye.

    • petej

      Then why couldn’t they write that and cite which verses backed up their case? Maybe because citing those verses to support that view requires also the view that women must submit to men and that divorce and remarriage is nearly always wrong. Both of which the cofe has already rejected. If they tolerate remarriage they cannot biblically justify intolerance of gay people.

      • dannybhoy

        You have a fair point, but certainly there are passages of Scripture by Paul that seem to indicate ladies in the early Church were involved in active ministry. I don’t know without going through it again, but maybe it is unmarried women he felt shouldn’t hold authority in the Church. Certainly he says elders should be men of one wife..

        • Albert

          Sorry dannybhoy, but I don’t think there’s a defence down that alley.

          • dannybhoy

            Don’t be sorry, just give me your understanding please.

          • Albert

            Just briefly then, 1 Corinthians 14 which requires women to be silent in church says they should ask their husbands at home. Evidently, these women who were not to speak in church were married.

          • dannybhoy

            I always like responding to Christians who are reasonable Albert. We’re not supposed to be at war with each other; only to seek the truth in order that we might grow in understanding and application of that truth to our lives.
            So ! Corinthians 14.
            As I understand it the Corinthian church is a young church, lots of young believers and St Paul is laying out the basic groundworks of spiritual gifts and conduct in church meetings.
            Put as simply as I can make it there are passages of Scripture recounting ministries with couples and single or widowed women, and passages of Scripture addressing specific problems in the church.. I am not comfortable with the ministry of women priests, even less bishops, but I do recognise that women can and do have ministries, but that they will respect the authority of Godly male leadership.
            This website lays out the Scriptural references pretty well.. http://www.jimfeeney.org/womenministry.html
            I suspect that we basically agree with each other.
            I would go further and say that to me loyalty to a denomination and its beliefs is only important in as far as it stays true to the essential Gospel. That it emphasizes growth in the faith, the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.

          • Albert

            It’s pretty clear that women were doing more than making the tea and sweeping the chuch floor. But if you look closely at the passages they are not taking headship roles. Thus the proper application of these passages would appear to be that women as lay people have a really vital role in the church, but they do not participate in ordained ministry.

          • dannybhoy

            ” But if you look closely at the passages they are not taking headship roles.”
            Right.

      • Albert

        Thank you petej, this is a point I have been making for some considerable time. There is something inconsistent about an Anglican who is pro-women’s ordination, accepts remarriage after divorce but is outraged by homosexual sex. Matters are made worse by the fact that they almost invariably accept the use of artificial contraception. So every premise against homosexual acts has already been conceded, which leaves one wondering what the opposition to such relationships is really all about.

        • petej

          I’d agree with you except that I think it is even worse in practise because the cofe seems to me to be opposed to the people and not the acts.

          • Albert

            Gosh, I hadn’t thought of it like that.

      • carl jacobs

        Maybe because citing those verses to support that view requires also the view that women must submit to men and that divorce and remarriage is nearly always wrong.

        Hence why believers should leave a thoroughly compromised church.

        But that isn’t what is going on. The leadership wants to change the teaching and doesn’t care spit what Scripture says. What they want to avoid is triggering a massive exodus of people who give money conservatives. This is an exercise in boiling the frog. You can’t turn the heat up too much too quickly or the frog jumps out of the water.

        To quote the famous Liberal Theologian “These things must be done delicately.”

        • petej

          I think it is a bit bizarre when the bishops have completely ignored most of the issues raised by the shared conversations and just restated the church’s teaching on sex and marriage to claim they want to change it. Surely if they wanted to change it then there would be some kind of road map for change instead of saying “it isn’t changing”?!

          Clearly both archbishops are strongly opposed to SSM. Apart from the Bishop of Liverpool no diocesan bishops have been prepared to say they support SSM publicly, but maybe another two do privately. The vast majority of bishops are strongly opposed to SSM. So which leadership are you talking about? Synod?

          • Inspector General

            Stop grooming Carl. He’s an innocent Midwest boy, of simple but robust stock…

          • carl jacobs

            God, but you can be such an idiot at times. First you stereotype, but woe to the Earth should anyone stereotype you. And then you say stupid sh*t like this.

          • Inspector General

            As if this man is concerned about upsetting a surrender monkey like you.

          • carl jacobs

            Heh. You, a purported Roman Catholic, are simply fighting for a piece of Old Britainnia, and a memory at that. It’s the Idol of Empire that you defend. Not the Gospel and not the Christian faith (of which you know nothing) but rather the image of British Christendom – the CoE as an essential part of the civilization centered on Great Britain. It extends no deeper than that.

            Do as I suggest and the CoE will be an oil spot on the road inside 20 years. Liberal religion will be dessicated and silenced. The Church will still exist, stronger and healthier and freed from the bonds of state oversight. But that is exactly what you don’t what. You want form & ritual and pomp & circumstance instead of spirit and truth.

          • Inspector General

            Your, lets laughingly call it advice, is worthless. If the Church of England continues down the road of episcopal oblivion, it will split up into it’s constituent parts. The weak progressives, with the episcopacy on its side, and the overwhelming traditionalists with the important buildings on their side. The rest of the problem is finances and one does not wish to speculate on that.

          • Anton

            He wouldn’t be a Roman Catholic long if his parish priest knew his views on the divinity of Christ.

          • carl jacobs

            They may oppose it personally but they don’t oppose it institutionally.

            The lack of rationale in this document is no accident. This is an exercise in formally affirming the doctrine while functionally undermining it. You need to study what happened in TEC over the past 40 years.

      • Anton

        I’m not in the CoE, and I suggest you take your logic up with the Anglicans here. I’m commenting simply on the gay issue.

        • petej

          Well then what say the scriptures indeed!

          There is no mention of gay people or SSM in scripture.

          • Anton

            The Bible regards all people as in the same boat – sinners before God – but there is mention of homosexual *acts*. SSM is not mentioned because the Bible defines marriage as man and woman.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    What the Bishops’ report Marraige and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations does not tell the public and homosexuals, is the justification for the Bishops concluding that the Church of England’s traditional view on marriage is to be maintained.

    It seems that the most effective attack that can be launched by homosexuals is this: the Report contains no justification based on scripture and reason to support the Bishops’ position.

    That ‘counter-strike’ will be spearheaded by the following: as women priests are permitted, so sex is interchangeable, and without meaning, then why not the homosexual and the transgendered? In the latter category, whether the transgendered are assigned the definition provided by law or the biological definition (by traditionalists) they must be qualified on the basis of sex, at least, to become vicars.

    • petej

      I agree that the bishops should provide justification for their judgement.

  • 1642+5thMonarchy

    It’s quite striking how many non-CoE commentators on here actively want the CoE to fail and not be saved for the faith. It says more about the nature and personalities of those commentators than anything.

    • Albert

      Does it? Or is there just a fair amount of honesty about where the CofE has got to?

      • William Lewis

        The CoE hierarchy is a mess of liberal subversion but it doesn’t follow that Bible believing Christians should up sticks and leave.

        • dannybhoy

          You can draw a line in the sand and say that you will no longer wish to be a part of an unfaithful church.
          Either this will force a sea change in the direction of Anglicanism, or there will be an (outwardly) amicable separation, and perhaps the State will start paying for the training of future clergy and the upkeep of the church buildings. There might even be a full separation between Church and State and we will move to being a Republic.

        • Albert

          Actually I agree with you. I have been commenting on Carl’s argument:

          Unless you can tell me how the hierarchy can be recovered, then you have already lost the battle. If you leave the CoE it will become a clone of the secular culture and quickly lose its national footprint. Secularists don’t care about religious organizations except to the extent they may be used to fight against pre-modern religion. Once they perceive that battle to be won, they will lose interest.

          The way to kill liberal religion is to isolate it.

          Now if that is true, then it seems to me that Bible believing Christians should leave the CofE. I actually don’t rejoice in that, BTW. For whatever reason, perhaps sentimental, I would rather see Evangelicals propping the CofE up. However, I just don’t think it works.

        • David

          Quite !
          The continuing growth of the conservative, Biblically faithful parts suggest to some of us that the C of E is, at this point, still saveable.

      • 1642+5thMonarchy

        If you want to throw stones around Albert, well the RC church has plenty of glass…

        • Albert

          You need to distinguish between sin and unfaithfulness. If you recognize there is sin in the institution you belong to, then good for you – it’s the case everywhere. If you think your institution is actually unfaithful (i.e. does not teach the faith) then you must leave. Now you can throw as many stones as you like at Catholicism for the latter, but clearly I disagree. The point is that Carl has been throwing stones at the CofE for the latter and have responded with a financial plan.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            There is plenty of sinfulness in the CoE and indeed all churches, just as there is in all people. The CoE is not yet unfaithful institutionally and many virtuous pockets exist. They just need to get organised and roll back the progress of unfaithful.

          • Albert

            In one sense I think we are all agreeing, except for the last bit: you need a plan to do that, and I just don’t think you have one that will succeed.

          • dannybhoy

            I do too, it’s just a pity that personal attitudes are clouding the issue,,
            Reminds me of Laurel & Tardy’s famous saying,
            ““Don’t let’s fight with each other—that’s why we never get anywhere!”
            https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiriaqQ4PnRAhXBfhoKHeBfB8YQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fkimillac%2Flaurel-and-hardy%2F&psig=AFQjCNEzMkQrr_aj9eNGrssukLu6LWswvg&ust=1486411403381800

          • Albert

            That’s a fair point. I suppose it’s the nature of blog discussions!

          • dannybhoy

            Discussion should lead to resolution though. Otherwise we’re spectators at a football match..

          • Albert

            I like the use of the word “should” there. Shall we discuss it? 🙂

          • dannybhoy

            I’m a practical man. I think the Church Universal should get on with serving our Lord.

          • Albert

            But discussion certainly helps to clarify the mind, does it not?

          • dannybhoy

            It does, and personal experiences shared may also help, but attacking each other does not,

          • Albert

            I’m sorry if my posts have come across as personal attacks. I thought I was just speaking the truth as best as I can, and defending Carl who also (as I see it) was speaking the truth. It’s interesting to note, in that regard, that Carl and I often do end up agreeing, even though we have much we disagree on.

          • dannybhoy

            No, it was just that the interaction between yourself and 1642+ diverts from the real issues. I have no problem with what you’re saying because this is probably the most important one facing the whole Church in the UK.
            No one has all the answers, no one has their doctrine completely correct. It’s back to that relationship with God and how we live it out that is the heart of it.
            Salt and light. That’s what our life is all about.

          • Anton

            Why wouldn’t his plan work?

          • Albert

            I explained this in detail below, but I would say there are two problems: 1. The problem of unfaithful teaching is dealt with with faithful teaching, not a financial situation. 2. The CofE has enough vicarages to sell off to be able to cope with falling income for some time. And if Evangelical parishes don’t pay their way, the bishop can just leave them vacant for ages – saves him money. Then, when he appoints, he can just appoint someone who is “more open”.

          • Anton

            Apologies; I was out most of the day and went down the thread making one or two comments. The solution to unfaithful teaching is for the faithful to silence the unfaithful teachers, and if the faithful in the hierarchy won’t do it then the faithful lower down should force the issue. 1642 outlines a strategy for that. As for your point (2), I’m uncertain how much money that could raise how quickly, especially if the public are aware that it is a fire sale. I suspect that 1642 knows the figures better than you, but in any case you should take that up with him. He reckons the apostate hierarchy would be on its uppers within weeks or a few months, whereas parishes change clergy only every few years.

            Did 1642 respond to your criticisms below, please?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            My financial plan was posted on here some days before Carl started chucking stones on this thread, as Anton will attest.

          • Albert

            I don’t see that that makes any difference. I do not see a financial plan as the solution, either in principle or in practice.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      My tactic is to impel the Bishops to answer the question: what is marriage for?

      • Those that think it is for other purposes than for the procreation of children and the protection of the family unit have no place in the Church.

        • dannybhoy

          But those that think it does have other purposes have tacit or overt support from some bishops, and if I understand what others outside this blog have said the Church will recognise and sanctify other forms of marriage. This will logically lead to eventual recognition and sanctification of polygamy, underage marriage etc etc.
          That’s the issue.

          • Yes and the ABC is going to have to be strong enough to tell his Bishops along with all the other clergy that the only pathway forward for them is out of the Church if they cannot or will not see the truth.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Indeed. But the present incumbent appears to be another establishment conformist at heart.

          • dannybhoy

            Well that would be the ideal Marie, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. You have to have a spiritual man as leader. One who will give no ground to the diluters and perverters of the Gospel.

        • Jon of GSG

          It is for those, but surely for others as well?
          From the marriage service:
          It is given
          that as man and woman grow together in love and trust,
          they shall be united with one another in heart, body and mind,
          as Christ is united with his bride, the Church.

          • They can have a Civil Partnership if there are no children involved or they’ve been married before, and divorcees with children would have to have a Registry Office ceremony instead of a Church wedding.

          • Jon of GSG

            Well that all sounds cogent as far as it goes, but what is it based on? Hasn’t marriage always been about more than just procreation, as the marriage service says?
            I realise I’m well off the point of the post here…

          • Well no not really. So what do you think marriage is for?

          • Jon of GSG

            Oh, well as well as procreation and bringing-up of children, as you say, I’d say it’s also for mutual companionship, support and love, presumably in the way God meant when he said it’s not good for man to be alone (about Adam). There may be other purposes too, but those are the main two that spring to my mind.

          • For confirming, sealing, legalising mutual companionship, support and love there is the Civil Partnership one can have in many differing venues.

          • Jon of GSG

            Civil partnership is just for gay people, isn’t it? And even if not, that may be true, but the Anglican marriage service suggests that’s also what marriage is for.
            I’m just wondering really on what grounds you say marriage is not for this purpose (if that is what you say).

          • I’m not sure of the legal situation for Civil Partnership, it is for same sex couples but I’m not sure if it is now offered to heterosexual couples too.
            I’m not saying Anglican Church marriage is not for mutual companionship, support and love, these all go with the procreation of children territory as well don’t they.

            But say people of middle age passed child bearing age 50 and over with no dependents under the age of 18, or if they are divorcees with or without dependents don’t need or no longer qualify for a Church marriage.

          • Jon of GSG

            So – ok – why shouldn’t they qualify for a church marriage? Is there anything in the Bible or the teaching of the Church to say that’s how it should be?

          • When one leaves one’s father and mother to cleave to one’s wife one is young, of child bearing age. Church marriage is the full package of responsibility not just a pair of old knackers joining together for companionship and to share their pensions or whatever!

          • Jon of GSG

            Sorry to keep persisting – I see how your reasoning works, and it makes sense of course, but you said anyone who disagrees with it should be put out of the church. If it’s not a view that’s based on unambiguous Biblical teaching, how can we justify that? (Even some things which are based on clear Biblical teaching aren’t “chucking out of the church” issues.)

          • I don’t mind you persisting. I thought it was a view that was based on the Bible. If people disagree with it and leave the Church without thinking that’s their choice. I don’t advocate chucking them out.

          • Jon of GSG

            Oh ok. I suspected I was misunderstanding you!
            I must say, just talking generally, I do have difficulty understanding the church’s teaching on marriage. You hear people saying “no sex before marriage, yet it seems to me the Bible teaches that sex *is* marriage (becoming one flesh). Which is why marriage can be annulled for non-consummation. I suspect you and I are the only people reading this thread by now, but I would very much like to know what exactly the church does teach on this issue.

          • I’d recommend you contact various Christian Churches, Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Calvinist, Pentecostal etc.. for their teachings as all have slightly differing emphases, but in the main I think it’s the same. No sex before marriage as it’s irresponsible, monogamy and faithfulness in marriage, sex within marriage for raising a family first and foremost and pleasure second. And yes sex is marriage when it all boils down.

          • Jon of GSG

            Yes – your last point there is what I mean. If sex *is* marriage, or becoming one flesh, as Paul says it is, then surely sex before marriage is a contradiction in terms.
            I have a couple of friends who had sex before they got married, both for the first time as far as I’m aware, and I can’t find any Biblical basis to say that was wrong.
            You say no sex before marriage because it’s irresponsible – I daresay you’re right, that it’s sensible advice rather than a moral imperative in itself.

          • Where did the idea that sex before marriage was irresponsible come from? Trial and error as we discovered STD’s, or was it from Bible teachings? And surely there is something in the Bible on it being irresponsible to have children out of the security of wedlock?
            Saying this God/nature gives humans a sex drive to seek to have sex which is stronger during the child bearing years. The Bible preaching to resist temptation and only have it within wedlock was a way of organising society for the good getting men to commit to raising the next generation when they wanted to sow their seeds everywhere.

            And you can say what you like it worked. The single mothers of today can’t really manage being the provider and the carer to children.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            “But say people of middle age passed [sic] child bearing age 50 and over with no dependents under the age of 18, or if they are divorcees with or without dependents don’t need or no longer qualify for a Church marriage.”

            Who made that rule?

          • It’s the logical common sense approach don’t you know.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            No, I don’t know, and it’s certainly not the rule of the Church of England, don’t you know?

            “This Prayer next following shall be omitted, where the Woman is past child-bearing.”
            – Book of Common Prayer (1662), The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony

          • https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/book-of-common-prayer/the-form-of-solemnization-of-matrimony.aspx

            No, why should Psalm 128 or Psalm 67 have to be omitted or another prayer chosen just to suit the situation of an older couple? It’s mucking about with the purpose of the service which is all geared up to contract serious commitment to each other in preparation for a family.
            It’s all this tinkering around the edges that end up blurring the boundaries and creating chaos.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            What the rubric in the 1662 marriage service directs shall be omitted “where the Woman is past child-bearing” is not a psalm, but the prayer which says “We beseech thee, assist with thy blessing these two persons, that they may both be fruitful in procreation of children,… that they may see their children christianly and virtuously brought up…” It is simply common sense that it should be omitted in a situation where it is so obviously not appropriate. Your assertion that doing so blurs the boundaries and creates chaos strikes me as just ill-considered chuntering.

            It sounds rather as though you resent an older couple getting married, or at least getting married in church. If so, why the hell? How is it any skin off your nose?

          • No of course I don’t resent older couples getting married, just not in a Church. It was always discouraged and deemed inappropriate when I was growing up. Just as it is inappropriate for an older bride to wear white, or a pregnant bride to wear white. Older couples always had smart registry office ceremonies in cream or coloured outfits.

            Nowadays of course couples wear anything, can marry almost anywhere and make up their own vows, which are invariably broken anyway that’s how demeaned marriage has become. It’s a shambles.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            “It was always discouraged and deemed inappropriate when I was growing up.”

            By whom? Such discouragement has never been part of the doctrine of either the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church. Nor, to my knowledge, has it ever been part of the doctrine of any other mainstream Christian church. There is no upper age limit for marriage, and being advanced in years is no ecclesiastical impediment. And if older couples want to get married in church, it’s absolutely no business of yours.

            What it is appropriate for people to wear for their marriage ceremony is another matter. Since it is, or should be, an important and solemn occasion, one wouldn’t expect people to be dressed as though they were going for a night out at a disco. But I’m not aware of any church whose liturgy lays down any rules on the matter.

          • Whilst age restrictions might have not have been unambiguously spelled out that no woman over 50 can marry in a church, in the Bible it is more subtle, so it was through teachings and culturally accepted that Church marriage was for people of child bearing age.
            It is more or less since divorcees were allowed to re-marry in a Church that things began to change. Society was very ordered and had meaning compared.

            And with dress people now do get married in disco gear or whatever floats their boat. It’s all very inappropriate and disrespectfully trashy.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            The LOWER age limit for marriage has varied from one country to another, and has not always been the same in civil law as in church canon law. While it is a fact that most marriages take place when the bride is still of child-bearing age, there is NO UPPER age limit in church law, either ambiguously or unambiguously spelt out. Nor is there any in the Bible, subtle or unsubtle. The rubric in the Book of Common Prayer which acknowledges that some women who are past the age of child-bearing will legitimately get married is not a recent development but is now well over four-and-a half centuries old (it appeared in the 1549 Prayer Book).

          • Marriage is about sex and children, if they are not going to reproduce there is little point in the vicar/priest omitting half the service to marry older couples when they can have a civil ceremony or a civil partnership if that is offered now to legalise their commitment to each other or validate their companionship.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            The production and upbringing of children is certainly an important function of marriage, but that is not and never has been its sole or indispensable purpose, as can be seen from the statement at the start of the Book of Common Prayer marriage service of “the causes for which Matrimony was ordained”. That is why the church has never denied marriage to those who are past the age of child-bearing.

            There is no question of the priest/minister omitting “half the service” – don’t talk such ignorant nonsense – but simply of omitting one prayer (C of E service) or one question and one short paragraph of a prayer (RC service) when the circumstances make them inappropriate.

            If you really are that turned in about this matter, you could always set up your own little tinpot sect which refuses a marriage service to those who are past child-bearing age or are for any other reason unable to procreate. I’m sure people would come flocking in their thousands to join it. It would probably sweep the world.

            I would just add that, when either or both of a couple are Roman Catholics, they are breaking RC church law if they do NOT get married in church, no matter how old they are, and their marriage is regarded by the RC Church as invalid.

    • carl jacobs

      It actually says much about our perception of the state of the CoE. I hear many people in the CoE who say things eerily similar to things once said by conservatives in TEC. The leadership in the CoE is dead and you are not going to impose a theological life upon it by means of withdrawing money. The hierarchy holds the power.

      • 1642+5thMonarchy

        In normal times, not in days of widespread revolt.

        • carl jacobs

          You are deceiving yourself if you think you can impose orthodoxy on an Erastian church driven by secular national politics. They will crush you without pity. This is why the revolt will lead to separation.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            We are not at that juncture and the world’s certainties of the last three decades are being turned upside down. Do what is right, faithful to Scripture, without reservation and with confidence, be as wily a serpents tactically, and leave the rest to God.

          • Anton

            Have you seen 1642’s action plan (given here on a couple of threads recently) to get the senior liberals kicked out of the CoE once a casus belli appears? It is entirely realistic.

  • petej

    One of the reasons people are so angry about the report is that it makes no attempt to address homophobic abuse in the church, or even define homophobia at all. Like most abuse, it is invisible to most people, but if the bishops took part in the shared conversations then they for certain have heard several accounts of this. Given the revelations of recent days it is mind boggling that those at the top of the church prefer to kick abuse under the carpet rather than confront it. How can a church be an example to secular culture when it’s own moral standards are even lower than the secular world?

    • Albert

      What is the evidence that the CofE’s moral standards are lower than the secular world?

      • petej

        They cover up child abuse by senior leaders. Secular society doesn’t tolerate this.

        • dannybhoy

          Agreed, but so do secular leaders. It’s just that we Christians should deal with the problem more quickly and openly.

          • petej

            And yet the bishops have decided to ignore the issue.

          • dannybhoy

            Well that’s what we’re talking about petej. Whether they should have been discussing it in the first place because the Bible makes it clear that practicing homosexuals in the Church is wrong, and if we’re going to say it’s okay, what else do we chuck out?

          • petej

            The bishops *did* provide teaching on SSM and same sex sex by repeating the Church of England’s teaching on the issue. They did not provide any leadership on the abuse of LGBTI people in the church which includes children and vulnerable adults.

          • dannybhoy

            What do you mean by ‘abuse in the church? You mean what individual priests or even groups of priests did?
            There is no perfect Church this side of eternity, so what should happen is that rules and supervision is tightened up. No more hiding scandals etc. Straight to the authorities and out them out of the church.

          • petej

            I agree. But this is one of the areas that LGBT people and allies specifically asked the bishops to lead on. And they haven’t.

          • Inspector General

            Are you are a Christian, or just a passing militant homosexual, up to no good…

          • If you say practicing homosexuals in the Church is okay then you might as well throw everything else out too. There would be no point any longer to have a Church that teaches and preaches from The Bible.

          • dannybhoy

            Exactly, but these folk have an agenda, and like cults* they twist the teaching of the Gospel to say that a) God is love, b) It is a non judgmental love that embraces everyone without requiring repentance.
            It also says that if God made us then He made us as we are (LGBT etc) then everyone and their lifestyles must be accepted and included. To reject anyone or their behaviour on moral grounds is to lack God’s love, and prefer bigotry and censoriousness.
            In order to achieve these objectives they then get busy misinterpreting scriptures, pointing out the failings of Christians (pedophilia etc.) and where Christians themselves re-interpret Biblical moral injunctions.
            *as an example..http://www.soundwitness.org/jw/christian_or_cult.htm

        • Royinsouthwest

          Rotherham?

          • petej

            That is a fair point, but I would argue that secular society *was* outraged by the revelations. The historical child abuse scandals *plural* that are in our newspapers this weekend seem to be being defended by the church. The bishops act as if these things are not still happening, even though they have been presented with evidence to the contrary.

          • Albert

            I would argue that secular society *was* outraged by the revelations

            Mmmm…I think some of the story passed you by.

            The historical child abuse scandals *plural* that are in our newspapers this weekend seem to be being defended by the church..

            Can you give some evidence for that? What I’ve read has indicated the opposite.

          • dannybhoy

            But the authorities were afraid to confront the issue because they were afraid of being labelled racist and worried about what might happen..
            Same as the Church.

        • Albert

          Secular society doesn’t tolerate this.

          I think you are missing the historical nature of the cover ups. And once you do that, you find that secular did do that.

          • petej

            I’m talking now, not just historically.

          • Albert

            Well then I do not see that you can accuse the Church of cover-ups worse than secular society.

          • petej

            No because the church is better at it.

          • Albert

            Again I’m really looking for evidence rather than assertion.

          • petej

            Well I have no evidence, but I know that it has been presented to the bishops and they have ignored it.

            A lesser crime, but still abusive, is that a number of Anglican clergy (Peter Sanlon, Chris Sugden and Melvin Tinker) have suggested gay people are or are similar to paedophiles. To me this is homophobia, which Welby has claimed the cofe doesn’t tolerate (except that it does tolerate these pronouncements!), but the bishops also haven’t given a lead on what is homophobic and what is not and what sort of behaviour against gay people is to be tolerated and what is not.

          • Albert

            Well I have no evidence, but I know that it has been presented to the bishops and they have ignored it.

            I think it depends on how far back you go. And if you go back to the era when bishops ignored it, then you will find the secularists ignored it also. More recently, we have the various cases in places like Rotherham – secular in character.

            A lesser crime, but still abusive, is that a number of Anglican clergy (Peter Sanlon, Chris Sugden and Melvin Tinker) have suggested gay people are or are similar to paedophiles.

            I don’t know about these people, but I don’t think comparisons with paedophiles are at all helpful.

            the bishops also haven’t given a lead on what is homophobic and what is not and what sort of behaviour against gay people is to be tolerated and what is not.

            That’s probably because they don’t know themselves.

          • petej

            I’m talking in the last year to five years.

            If the bishops are unable to take a lead in these matters then what is the point of them?

          • Albert

            Well, the issue was comparison. You said, Secular society doesn’t tolerate this. You’ve now given the last 5 years as your timescale. But in that period it is easy to come up with secular cover-up (Rotherham). But you have failed to come up with an evidence of the bishops.

          • Martin

            Pete

            Homosexuality, adultery, paedophilia are all sexual sins so are all similar. You have no argument.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Can you provide examples of abuse with supporting evidence?

      • petej

        No

        • Albert

          I’ve upvoted you for your honesty.

          • Inspector General

            Supping with the devil this week, are we?

    • Inspector General

      When will you get it into your gay head there is no homophobic abuse in the church. If there was, the perceived injured would be straight off to the press.. Gay Slogan Cake fashion…

  • Don Benson

    It seems as if the long grass has suddenly grown a lot shorter, and not before time. However, a leadership which has chosen manipulation and ambiguity over theology and decisiveness is not best placed to repair the inevitable bad feeling that now exists. Much of the ill-feeling is due to acting on the disastrous Pilling Report which appeared to offer the possibility of a change in practice (and therefore doctrine) without any conception of the fundamental issue of biblical authority which that would raise.

    And mission will have suffered all the way through this tortuous talking-fest because time, money and energy have been wastefully expended. Confidence for the future of the Church of England is draining fast.

    The issue for mission is this: those who will respond to the call of God’s Spirit will do so only when God’s Spirit is calling – and God’s Spirit is no more subject to Western cultural mores than to the rule of King Herod or the Roman empire. Those who truly wish to love and serve the living God will want to hear the truth, however hard or inconvenient to their previous lifestyle. And these are the people who will work and pray and give to their church, or leave it and go elsewhere if they can no longer sense that church’s pre-eminent commitment to the truth. Yes, some people are there more for the welcome, the liturgical drama or the music or the social activity (and we all appreciate some of that) but none of it, without the Spirit, can sustain a living church.

  • Inspector General

    Beware of Gay Stormtroopers like petej, chaps. Their namesakes persecuted Jews, and the modern queer lot now persecute Christians and Christianity. You’d think they’d behave better after their experience under the Third Reich but apparently not. Live and let live, petej, and respect others faith, but you won’t…

    • carl jacobs

      Gay Stormtroopers like petej

      OK, that’s a ridiculous description of him.

      • Inspector General

        Well, you never venture onto ‘Pink Thing’ and see the Gaystapo at their worst, do you. So when a keyboard warrior queer comes on, you don’t recognise the danger. Rather like the Dodo when ships rats arrived.on his manor. And yes, ships rat is an adequate description of this interloper who’s turned up…

        • carl jacobs

          I don’t care what happens on Pink News. I judge petej by how he presents himself on this site. He is civil and respectful. To call him a stormtrooper would be to contradict my own eyesight.

          • Inspector General

            How awfully decent of you, old chap.

          • carl jacobs

            Consistency. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

          • petej

            I blocked Inspector General a while back (because he persisted in using homophobic obscene language against me) so I can’t see what he is claiming about me. However I don’t recall ever posting on pinknews.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, I didn’t think you had or he would have said so.

          • Inspector General

            Don’t go into the woods with him Carl. Carl?

            C-A-R-L !!!

          • carl jacobs

            I am so damn glad you claim to be Roman Catholic.

          • Inspector General

            So, all you young children who follow Cranmer, remember. Don’t go off with strange men who hang around this site. Carl was found, distressed, but unharmed. He’s safe now. Crying, but safe.

            Good night, children everywhere!

          • carl jacobs

            Jack! Clean up on aisle three!

          • Anton

            In fairness Carl, you judged someone else who turned up here by her posts on another site after a good man here gave you the tip.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, but I was fairly certain petej had nothing to do with Pink News. I didn’t make it clear but my point was that generic behavior on Pink News has nothing to do with a man who doesn’t post there.

            My reaction to Nina was driven by my desire to prevent her from counterfeiting herself. I wanted to make very clear the difference between what she represents and what we represent. petej has never misrepresented himself. It is clear the position he represents.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        ‘Look, sir, you talk about the High Command and the Luftwaffe, and then you talk about the Gestapo and the SS. To me, they’re the same! We’re fighting the bloody lot! There’s only one way to put it, sir: they are the common enemies of everyone who believes in freedom. If the High Command didn’t approve of Hitler, then why didn’t they throw him out?’

        Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett, The Great Escape

    • William Lewis

      Calm down, Inspector.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Oh dear, a tad OTT Inspector?

      • Inspector General

        Not at all, dear lady. To put it succinctly, he is a jackal who has sniffed out this site before. He smelt blood in the air, and came back on the chance of a feed.

        Incidentally, robust Christian fellows have up ticked, don’t you know!

    • Martin

      IG

      I think calling them storm troopers is a bit strong, Their arguments are pathetic and they must resort to insults when defeated.

      • dannybhoy

        Storm troopers is a bit strong I agree, but calling their arguments pathetic is also a bit strong as no-one has yet managed to properly deal with them!
        I agree that their arguments are wrong and in their way ‘cultic’, but pathetic? :0)

        • Martin

          Danny

          Their arguments have been dealt with time and again, but they still bring the same old same old arguments up again.

          • dannybhoy

            Agreed Martin,but like some cults very difficult to put to bed. I’m sure you have met religious people with ‘bees in their bonnet.’ They read the same Bible, quote the same scriptures, seem earnest and prayerful, and yet… there’s something not quite right – but you can’t pin it down. If you allow them into your congregation they will try to cause disunity, undermine leadership and even try to take over..
            I saw it a few times in Israel especially.

          • Martin

            Danny

            I don’t think that they’re in the slightest like that. Their arguments simply have no substance when examined in the light of the totality of Scripture.

            And that is, of course, where the cults fall down as well. They usually succeed where the people have been inadequately taught.

          • dannybhoy

            “Their arguments simply have no substance when examined in the light of the totality of Scripture.”
            I agree, but I repeat, no one has succeeded in putting that across, so in that sense they are using cultic tacticts. Just as scientology has succeeded in roping in some high profile converts, so the LGBT activists have put pressure on various companies to back their campaigns and host events..

            “They usually succeed where the people have been inadequately taught.”

            Or don’t accept the validity or authority of Scripture. Which is what we find among the bishops.

          • Martin

            Danny

            I’ve seen plenty of points put across adequately only to have to repeat them again when the same false claims come up. @petj does it all the time.

            What we find among the ‘bishops’ is an absence of Christians. Those taught are assumed to be Christians.

          • dannybhoy

            He does the same on the other blog, and I don’t think he is interested in following Christ Jesus,only arguing his corner. In the early church he would have been put out of fellowship.
            Do it Martin,
            Do it now!
            I’ll back you up..

          • Martin

            Danny

            My experience too.

          • dannybhoy

            I know, I saw your comments there, and Chefs, Anton, et al..
            May I refer you to Jude?

          • Martin

            ? (Comments must have at least 2 characters)

          • dannybhoy

            ??.
            There.

          • Martin

            Jude who?

          • dannybhoy

            The epistle thereof, Martin old chap.
            especially verse 4 and onwards..

          • Martin

            Danny

            I like to make sure that the people reading their comments know they can be answered.

          • dannybhoy

            Me too.
            Didja read it?

          • Martin

            Danny

            Probably, but I read a lot!

          • dannybhoy

            It’s not very long Martin…
            1 Jude, a servant[a] of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

            To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for[b] Jesus Christ:

            2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

            Judgement on False Teachers
            3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

            5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved[c] a people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgement of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,[d] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

            8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgement, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs[e] at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved for ever.

            14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgement on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favouritism to gain advantage.

            A Call to Persevere
            17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They[f] said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment[g] stained by the flesh.

            Doxology
            24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen.

          • Inspector General

            Mrs Proudie. One hopes you are reading all this…

      • ChaucerChronicle

        And ultimately violence to defend the lie. For how else can it be defended?

        As Holger keeps pointing out in the same vein that the homosexuals in the Nazi party menacingly indicated: revenge will be executed.

        The homosexuals know that the source of ‘ideological’ opposition is the Bible. Jews and Christians are ‘sinners’ against the sexual practice which identifies homosexuals ( on what other basis can they be identified except by the observance of repeated rear entry?). Given that they believe that the personal is the political Jews and Christians will eventually have to be eliminated.

        Their current strategy consists of two objectives.

        1. Take over the national church;
        2. Compel traditionalists to be discharged into ‘private churches’.

        The next stage is to compel the Charity Commission to apply pressure on the tax exempt status of ‘private churches’.

        This will eventually discharge Christians in to ‘house churches’.

        The ‘final’ stage is to classify ‘house churches’ as centres of child abuse (re: Dawkins) for teaching that homosexuality is an abomination.

        Christians will then move into the ‘underground church’ and be classified as ‘Enemies of the State’.

        • Martin

          CC

          But when they have done that they have lost. That is how we started and how we can continue. Indeed, it is probably how we get closer to God for then we are in complete dependence on Him.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Mr Martin

            I have worked ‘in the field’. The banks are colluding with the police. They can chew up your ATM cards. Close down accounts.

            How will we feed our children?

            We’ll be the vagabonds and fugitives of the earth.

          • Martin

            CC

            And then we will be in complete dependence upon God.

      • Inspector General

        Not at all, Martin. Listened to Andrew Sachs on the radio on Saturday night as he recalled how he watched stormtroopers enter a Jewish shop and smash the place up and loot it. For Jewish read Christian and for shop read church.

        You don’t think the activists today would miss the opportunity were they given it?

        • Martin

          IG

          I don’t think they have the strength of argument to open the door.

          • Inspector General

            They opened a massive door that is gay marriage…

            It’s all to do with want, you see, Martin.

            First they wanted sympathy
            Then they wanted understanding
            Then they wanted tolerance
            Then they wanted acceptance
            Then they wanted control
            Then they wanted revenge

          • Martin

            IG

            But they are still outside of the real Church and always will remain so.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    ‘It is healthy to be critical, and even healthier to criticise with kindness. But for that to occur, there must be relationship, and for there to be relationship, there must be conversation. If the objective of each ‘side’ were to attain greater truth, rather than to conquer or bludgeon into acceptance or conformity, argument would be more godly and witness all the more commendable.’

    Our ‘side’ has tried to be reasonable. It has repeatedly appealed to scripture and right reason over: women priests; homosexual ‘marraige’; the children on the autistic spectrum pushed into the transgender process; abortion; euthanasia and the list goes on and on. We have coordinated our reasoning with revelation. For what other objective basis could there be?

    The other ‘side’ has had to begin with their subjective reasonings which materialise as unreasonable and disastrous for our children, families, neighbours, schools, children awaiting adoption, our beautiful Church.

    The other ‘side’ has to begin with the first, great and disastorous lie: God is dead. To maintain this lie it must defend it, ultimately, with violence; for how else can, in the end, The Great Lie be defended?

    ‘But if righteousness must be asserted with verbal bullets and reactionary bombs, there will, inevitably, be blood.’

    • petej

      What nonesense. Each of the issues you have raised has (different) people in favour and against, but not because they have rejected scripture, but because they have a different understanding of what scripture is calling them to. None believe God is dead. Why would they bother with church if they thought that?! For example Lord Carey is opposed to most of these, but in favour of euthanasia. Are you claiming he has abandoned scripture? Do you think he believes God is dead? What nonesense!

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

        Acts 17:11

      • ChaucerChronicle

        What then is your scriptural and reasoned defence of homosexuality?

      • ChaucerChronicle

        The floor is all yours:

        21Now all the Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing more than hearing and articulating new ideas. 22Then Paul stood up before the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and examined your objects of worship, I even found an altar with the inscription: To an unknown God.

        Acts

      • ChaucerChronicle

        What are you afraid of?

        After all, you could base your defence on ‘a different understanding of what scripture is’.

        • petej

          I’m not afraid. I’m saying your statement is nonesense.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            The present your scriptural and reasoned defence of homosexuality.

          • petej

            My criticism of your statement is

            A) individual’s have different views on every one of these. It is not one group versus another group. My example was Lord Carey who has campaigned for assisted dying, but is opposed to all the others.

            B) I strongly disagree that because someone holds a different view than you they have necessarily rejected scripture or believe God is dead. Has Lord Carey rejected scripture? Does he believe God is dead?

            I do not know a lot about many of these issues, but I do know that scripture does not mention homosexuality or abortion.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
            (I Corinthians 6:9-11 [ESV])

          • Martin

            Pete

            Lord Carey has never based his belief on the Bible.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Is the Letter to the Romans not in the Bible?

            “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

            Is the letter to Timothy a figment of our imagination?

            “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”

            And I guess that the Book of Leviticus has been eaten by flying piglets?

          • petej

            The text of Romans 1 says it is talking about pagan worshippers if carved images. The only link with homosexuality is that they are punished by being given over to same sex sex acts, but as it isnt even the case that all homosexuals even have sex the link is incredibly tenuous.

            The leviticus sex laws apply to all people (or at least all men). There is no mention of orientation in any of the laws. However it does appear in the modern church that sexual abuse from a straight adult male is to be tolerated and a loving monogamous relationship between two gay adults is not. However I think I’d this is their theology as well as their practice then they are clearly misreading leviticus. It does not allow straight males to behave how they wish any more than it blanket condemns gay people

          • ChaucerChronicle

            If it’s incredible, then why do you believe it’s ‘tenuous’?

          • petej

            Tenuous because sexual activity is the only link.

            Probably even today more same sex sex is performed by straight people than gay people and many gay people are celibate or do not have same sex sex. Add to that the motivation given in the passage is not orientation or love and the link becomes very tenuous indeed.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            I take it by ‘many’ you mean one or more?

          • petej

            Sorry I cant work out which message you are asking this about?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Lazy.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You’ve said you find that ‘incredible’.

          • petej

            Yes as in ‘not credible’. If you read what is actually written in the text it is not credible that Paul is talking about the modern category of homosexuality

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You homosexuals change the meaning of words now you want to revise them again. How can we have a credible dialogue?

            Are you playing the humping and dumping game?

            “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

          • petej

            There’s no possibility in having a meaningful dialogue with someone who will not stick to the topic.

            You claimed Romans 1 mentions homosexuality – clearly it does no such thing. The Bible was not written to the modern world and there are many aspects of culture now that have no direct parallel then. It is part of the work of theologians to work out how to apply the gospel to new situations.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            If it’s not written for men in all times and all places then what are you doing?

          • petej

            I’m currently sitting in a chair typing on my phone. What are you doing?

          • Dan

            You’re a dild0

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘The works of Shakespeare were not written to the modern world and there are many aspects of culture now that have no direct parallel.’

            No need then for Chinese audiences to adore them and see how morally corrupt Red China is.

            Go on, chuck it all in the bin to show how Out, Loud and Proud you really are. Just like the Taliban; Germany’s Nazi party pregnant with effeminate homosexuals who wanted to show how macho they were by incinerating six million men, women and children.

            The Moslamic headhunters who believe reducing headcount decreases theological problems.

          • petej

            It is easy to falsify what someone is saying by partial quoting.

            I’m not arguing for binning anything. Maybe you could stick to the topic in hand?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You lesbians can’t even stick to the definitions of the OED.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            The condemnation that they are punished is credible. We now know from social and medical surveys that their life span is short fuelled by drugs, alcohol, boredom, more risky repetition of rear entry destroying anal canals.

            If that doesn’t get to them then aging does: observe an elderly homosexual walk into any homosexual drinking den and the younger homsexuals withdraw. Once he has lost his physical attractivenes his own reject him.

          • petej

            From extreme right wing sources that are basing their knowledge on deeply flawed studies from a different era.

            Marriage is usually accepted as good for peoples health so if you are arguing from medical grounds it is undoubtedly better that gay people be allowed to marry.

            You seem to be casting all gay people as hedonists. Well lots of gay people are, but lots of straight people are too! Do you think if Trump didn’t have his money he would have attracted his young wife?!

            NB the majority of gay couples do not have anal sex and many straight couples do.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            I got my source that I’ve cited from The Independent newspaper. Are you now suggesting it is a a Far Right rag?

          • petej

            The independent displays lots of views. I doubt that their survey took into account celibate gay people or gay people in the closet. I suspect that they compared promiscuous gay people with the general population. I suspect if we compared promiscuous straight people with the general population we would see a similar trend

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Have you checked or are you being lazy?

          • petej

            How can I check?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Lazy.

          • petej

            I’m happy to check, but I cannot mind read!

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You’re happy to suggest other ‘surveys’ but not happy to use the same methodology.

            No mind reader required.

          • petej

            I’m happy to check your survey but I need more to go on than ‘read it in the independent’!

          • ChaucerChronicle

            No you’re not.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘Marriage is usually accepted as good for peoples health so if you are arguing from medical grounds it is undoubtedly better that gay people be allowed to marry.’

            How do they consumate the ‘marraige’?

          • petej

            There are many ways! Some may wish not to. At least half will be unable to have anal sex!

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Tell me.

          • petej

            No

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Why not?

          • petej

            I have no interest in discussing sex with you. There are plenty of specialist publications available if you are interested in educating yourself

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Is it because the homosexual can’t consumate the legal fiction of ‘marraige’?

          • petej

            Clearly not!

            It’s that a) I’m unable to catalogue every sexual practice, b) I don’t wish to discuss explicit material in public and c) I don’t see why I should keep answering your irrelevant questions when you refuse to answer my relevant ones.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Heterosexuals can consumate a marriage. Can homosexuals and lesbians?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Go on, be Out, Loud and Proud.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You twist God’s word to make it say what you wish it to say, ignoring the clear teaching. You should instead allow God’s Word to sit in judgement on you. You’ll find standing in front of the throne of grace a disappointing experience if you don’t.

          • Martin

            Pete

            Everyone is a pagan worshipper of images, even the Atheist. Homosexuality is the result of abandoning the rightful worship of our creator. There is no such thing as orientation, thus any sexual act outside the marriage of one man to one woman is sin.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘I do know that scripture does not mention … abortion’.

            No you don’t.

            19 wherefore I judge: not to trouble those who from the nations do turn back to God,
            20 but to write to them to abstain from the pollutions of the idols, and the whoredom, and pnictos; and the blood;

            Acts

            Rare word that, ‘pnictos’.

          • petej

            That’s a plausible translation and application, but I’m sure you would agree that other translations /applications are available. I’m sure that you’d also agree that abortion is not the same thing as murdering children

          • ChaucerChronicle

            1. I’ve presented no translation.
            2. Tell me your translation.

            I’m sure you’d agree that the child who emerges from the womb is the same child that was in the womb? Do you not?

          • petej

            You are deciding that the word pertains to abortion. Not everyone would agree.

            I’d probably go with the Nrsv if I wanted the most likely.

            I’m not sure what you mean about ‘the child in the womb’ – do you mean foetus? The child grows out of the foetus.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Egg, embryo, foetus, baby, child, teenager, adult, pensioner.

            And your point is?

          • dannybhoy

            This is starting to sound like CS Lewis’s ‘Voyage to Venus’ and Ransom’s discussions with the ‘unMan…’

          • ChaucerChronicle

            14
            1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

            2 The same was in the beginning with God.

            3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

            4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

            5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Of course, when it means ‘beginning’ it means mankind’s beginning.

          • Martin

            CC

            Mankind’s beginning was five days later. Time started on the first day, hence it was the beginning.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Correction accepted.

          • petej

            My point is that murdering a child is not the same thing as abortion and therefore there can be no certainty that the verse you cited relates to abortion specifically.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘not the same thing’?

            Do you accept that the child that is born is the same one a minute before it was born?

          • petej

            No.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            That’s why dialogue is not credible.

          • Martin

            ROFL

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Here is an American surgeon, Selzer, curious at his first abortion:

            After injecting the hormone into the patient’s womb, the doctor left the syringe standing upright on her belly. Then, Selzer wrote, “I see something other than what I expected here. . . . It is the hub of the needle that is in the woman’s belly that has jerked. First to one side. Then to the other side. Once more it wobbles, is tugged, like a fishing line nibbled by a sunfish.” He realized he was seeing the fetus’s desperate fight for life. And as he watched, he saw the movement of the syringe slow down and then stop. The child was dead. Whatever else an unborn child does not have, he has one thing: a will to live. He will fight to defend his life.

            The last words in Selzer’s essay are, “Whatever else is said in abortion’s defense, the vision of that other defense [i.e., of the child defending its life] will not vanish from my eyes. And it has happened that you cannot reason with me now. For what can language do against the truth of what I saw?”

            The truth of what he saw disturbed me deeply. There I was, anti-war, anti–capital punishment, even vegetarian, and a firm believer that social justice cannot be won at the cost of violence. Well, this sure looked like violence. How had I agreed to make this hideous act the centerpiece of my feminism? How could I think it was wrong to execute homicidal criminals, wrong to shoot enemies in wartime, but all right to kill our own sons.

          • petej

            So you agree that a fetus is not a child?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You need to expand your gynaecological vocabulary. I’m not used to engaging with the ignorant:

            Egg, embryo, foetus are nouns for the stages of development of a human being.

          • petej

            Is that a yes?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            What you’re looking for is a degradation of the status of the child as something subhuman. The same as Nazi medical ethics in 1930s Germany.

            I cannot affirm your attraction to National Socialist ethics.

          • petej

            A foetus isn’t a child.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            It’s the noun used, at the risk of repetition, for a particular developmental stage of the child in the womb.

          • petej

            so not a child.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            I see where the problem is: your mind is disconnected from reality.

          • petej

            Except for Facts!

          • alternative_perspective

            Well, that’s the point.
            In a naturalistic worldview without a God or gods there are no meta-ethics that bind us all – we all live within a “commonly” agreed mish-mash of restrictions we call law. With regard to abortion the prevailing moral mish-mash is “one shall not kill persons”. Ethicists have recognised this and this is the defacto limitation on abortion rights but taken to its logical conclusion that ought to permit post-natal abortion up until the baby has developed a sense of personhood. Some put this around 2 years of age.
            So, there are Oxford ethicists who would argue that given this set of assumptions there is nothing morally differentiable between abortion and murdering children (at least up to the age of two that is).
            Ask yourself this question – what magical property of passing through a vagina confers protected status to the new born? Clearly there is none. A new born is just a dependent as it was 5 minutes previously on a 3rd party and is no more a person in anyway. In fact many badly disabled, sick or elderly people have the same levels of dependency as a new born and perhaps even senses of personhood and to one extent or another we are all dependent on each other and each of us is endowed with different perceptive and self-perceptive abilities.
            Consequently dependency on another does not seem to be a sufficient differentiator or quality to justify the legal destruction of a human life.
            So, given the logical conclusions of the stated premises any attempt to impose different interpretations on the word seems inappropriate.
            Moreover, I would personally find it difficult to imagine God finding the murder of infants so abhorrent he would judge entire nations for it but being fine about it if the killing is conducted moments beforehand, especially given our discussion above. If this was the case, I would certainly expect to see some comment in scripture about this because otherwise it would seem to raise a logical contradiction.
            So, it would seem to me, that there is no differentiation in meaning between infants and the unborn. And if there were, I would expect to see that noted in the Bible. But this is my reasoning only and I speak with no authority so take it as you will.

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks for taking the trouble to post your thoughts Ian.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Your’re pretty much expressing my view. Sometimes the lesser of two evils is a near impossible decision. Those exceptions aside, the vast majority of abortions have no justification other than expedience.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, but as has been pointed out to me before in this blog the original purpose was not abortion on demand, but that is what it has become. I feel that there is a certain hypocrisy in the part of those who say absolutely NO! to abortion, but I also accept that selfishness will find a way, and I still think that a substantial amount of abortions are driven by the demands of the men who caused the pregnancy.
            It was working with severely disabled children that drove from my mind the belief we are all born as God desired us to be..

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            I was agreeing with you!

          • dannybhoy

            I know you were, I was just explaining a little more and perhaps inviting a little more comment. That article Anton posted is very good. When I think about all those little innocent and entirely defenceless lives, it does make you think that perhaps one has to start from ‘I don’t believe in abortion full stop’ rather than my current position of ‘in certain circumstances///’

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            I suspect a very large majority of people are in our position The problem with the fundamentalist position is that it alienates the reasonable majority. Sometimes you have to start with the battles you might be able to win and any victories, however small, would be for the good.

          • dannybhoy

            Would you call yourself a conservative evangelical rather than a fundamentalist -or just a Christian?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Other people would call me a conservative evangelical. I call myself a wandering seeker after the Lord who is grateful for the signs and instructions he left behind because otherwise I would be completely lost.

          • dannybhoy

            Nice answer if slightly long. Wouldn’t fit on a name tag……:0)

          • Martin

            Why do you think that the majority are reasonable? All men are in rebellion against their Maker, an entirely unreasonable condition.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Many people find abortion unpleasant but think there may exceptional circumstances when it may be utilised. They are neither fundamentalists for or against in all circumstances. Simply advocating no abortion at all loses their potential support. This is a moral matter but also a practical political one. A total ban n abortion is unattainable at present, far better to focus on reducing its availability as far as a broad mass of people will support. You can still oppose it fundamentally as is your right but accept that you are in a tiny minority at present.

          • Martin

            I’m afraid in a moral matter there can be no compromise.

          • Rhoda

            I’m sure that you’d also agree that abortion is not the same thing as murdering children.

            Why would I agree with that? It is possible to feel a baby kicking and moving in the womb from around 16 weeks and even earlier on a second pregnancy. Babies can survive at 21-22 weeks. Calling that baby a foetus just because it is still in the womb does not mean abortion is anything other than murder.

          • petej

            Im not saying that abortion is a good thing. I’m saying that it isn’t the same as murdering children. If Christians want their views to be taken seriously then you really need to leave the world of alternative facts.

          • Rhoda

            To what alternative facts do you refer?

          • William Lewis

            What is the fact that turns a foetus into a baby?

          • Anton
          • dannybhoy

            good article.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Many clergy in the CofE don’t actually believe that God even exists. When the survey on this matter came out a few years back it was horrifying, even for unbelievers. And we shouldn’t pretend that this has changed for the better today.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        ‘Why would they bother with church if they thought that?!’

        ‘It’s just a job.’

        • petej

          Only for clergy and there are easier and better paid jobs available!

      • ChaucerChronicle

        In 2014 a YouGov poll found:

        Clergy were significantly more likely to hold unorthodox beliefs the older they were and the longer they had been in the ministry. Nearly 90 per cent of those ordained since 2011 believe in God compared with only 72 per cent of those who became priests in the 1960s, the research discovered.

        • petej

          Why does the church tolerate priests who don’t believe in God?! Are you sure these aren’t ‘alternative facts’?!

          I’d have thought priests who were ordained in the 1960s would be retired anyway?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Alternative facts.

            Oxymoronic.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        ‘but because they have a different understanding of what scripture is calling them to’

        1. We all have different understandings of scripture;
        2. Therefore all understandings of scripture are valid;
        3. Therefore the man who said there is no God (in the Psalms) presents a valid proposition.

        • petej

          Clearly there can be only one correct answer but your claim that only you are seeking it through scripture is incorrect. Do you believe Lord Carey has rejected scripture?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘Clearly there can be only one correct answer’.

            That undermines ypur posts.

  • carl jacobs

    Archbishop Cranmer

    How can a comment thread be so distant from the spirit of a blog post?

    Within ten years, the CoE will be indistinguishable from TEC. There is no institutional restraint capable of stopping this transformation. Your weblog post does not seem to comprehend the destruction that is already laid up. Those of us who witnessed the pitiless destruction of TEC and saw it happen with the active collusion of the CoE see it all happening again.

    • Inspector General

      That’s better. You see, surrender is not an option…

      • Hi

        Inspector, you’re embarrassing yourself with your silly diatribes. NOT every gay person is like pink news. You need to be discerning here . Okay you don’t. Do as you want , but as a friend I’d say it doesn’t help your corner .

        • Inspector General

          You’re right, Hannah. But we are talking about those who are extremists in the Anglican church, and they are. They’d fit in well at Pink News, and have appeared thereon. For example, if you’ve ever read what Pemberton has to say, you’d be appalled.

        • dannybhoy

          That’s both diplomatic and kindly. IG does go ott but not just on this issue. IT is very difficult not to like him, especially since his recent sense of humour transplant..

          • Inspector General

            You’re a darling honey, Danny. As Carl would no doubt describe you…

          • dannybhoy

            Just because you’re weird and somewhat eccentric it doesn’t mean I can’t like you. Especially as I seem to remember we share an appreciation for Rudyard Kipling.
            A great writer and very fine baker of cakes..

          • Inspector General

            His Anal Fancies are a must at every gay wedding, one would think…

          • Hi

            I’ve argued with inspector for six years and he was the one who gave me the euphemism” the game of flats”….

    • petej

      I don’t have a lot of experience of the TEC, but I would point out that the cofe is divided into different tribes

      Catholics
      Liberal Catholics
      Male headship conservative evangelicals
      Other evangelicals
      Liberals

      TEC seems to me to be mainly Liberal Catholics.

      The cofe is currently controlled by the two types of evangelical. Liberals have the most churches, but the evangelicals have the greater numbers (and most of the HTB plants are growing) so we are in a process where the balance of power is moving towards them and not away from them. The bishops are mostly evangelical or male headship.

      Add to that fact that the bishops are terrified of the GAFCON…

      I can’t see them becoming more liberal in the next ten years.

      • David

        Well said !
        At last someone speaking with the benefit of knowledge.
        Many commentators on here are conjecturing without your basis of knowledge, which is why they continue reaching the same wrong conclusion. They advocate retreat whereas I argue that we must continue advancing the Word.
        With the Biblical component growing, and the rest shrinking, our trajectory is the best one to stick to – “fight the good fight, and never surrender !”

        • petej

          Well it is also my view that all these traditions respect the Bible.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        I’ve studied the rythyms and cadences of your posts.

        You’re a lesbian, arent you?

        • petej

          LOL

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Nerves.

    • Martin

      TEC?

      • Anton

        The Episcopal Church (in America).

        • Martin

          Ta

  • len

    Jesus warns Christians to remain ‘Salt’ and ‘Light’.
    Salt in times past was used to prevent corruption. Light to show one the way.

    “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall
    it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and
    trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that
    is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it
    under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in
    the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
    good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16 , NKJV).

    If two parallel lines deviate just by a few degrees at the beginning the further they go the wider the gap.This is what is happening between the Church and Gods Word.The remedy is for the Church to repent and to get back on course.
    This could not be plainer,but is there a core of men within the church leadership willing to fight for the Truth?.if not the only alternative is to leave the Church.

    • not a machine

      mmm perhaps Len ,I just think God/Christ will win out

      • Dominic Stockford

        Christ will win out, but he may choose to do so by bringing the CofE down into the dust of destruction.

    • David

      Yes there is a core of such men, otherwise by now the C of E would be “consecrating” same sex marriages. It is the local churches that these men lead which are the only growing components within an otherwise shrinking denomination.

  • not a machine

    well that’s me looking for my golf ball , still I did say engaging with the holy spirit was more nuanced than anything one could encounter.To be blunt I don’t seem to quite grasp what the article is saying and I would think many others will pondering if the churchs shared conversations means something to them .H Richard Neibur has some good perspectives on how church may portray is existence to others .There are indeed theological torts where one can only be kind to one another ,indeed I would go further and suggest that is something of the perfection of Christs teaching and Gods wisdom.The salvation is open to single people as well as married , it is the same ,so I conclude that faith is something within a person , the holy spirit acts within a person ,but heres the strange thing not necessarily as an individual , as god appears to be present in times involving more than one person ,if not in a more thoughtful sense in all of time as we so far have understood it, as the physical universe.
    So what are we arguing about ,well if the church wishes to teach Christianity ,it would seem to me that ,that is something to do with Jesus Christ ,well ok that could be dry and historical ,but as Christians we also believe in God and the Holy Spirit ,at this point it perhaps become teaching to build the faith in the faithfull and an outward facing speaking to unbelief and non belief .Both ways of speaking are fraught with problems and misunderstanding ,the faithfull asking questions about what we know of the faith and the non faithfull and unbelievers asking questions about how or why we are deluded ,in what we think , without entertaining the thought that they may be wrong very much in the way of er “shared conversations” about what they have come to understand as the faith.
    Saint Paul also says be not double minded ,but in some coversations it is hard to avoid that as some word constructions have plural or triple meanings , until that moment it fits in the consciousness in alignment with God .Unfortunately secular belief can mimic this rather well , and some philosophical areas are dangerous and wounding and ,if you feel you must visit them ,then take care as not all who entertain them come out unhurt, so for those who can have these conversations and hold fast and firm to their faith ,I take my hat off to you ,it is very hard to convince clever and educated people that there is something else other than the existent world we see, the secular arguments have been growing in power for some time ,I am sure they will not prevail in the end ,but that may well be to do with graven images rather than winning the complete understanding.
    Rowan Williams was discussing boundaries a few months ago , and I am still in a spin about that one ,because it was so complex in the place where it took you to .
    Is it better to be kind to one another ? jesus said blessed are the peacemakers , It perhaps would be easier if jesus had said blessed are those who seek my father and live in my peace , but it doesn’t and in so doing perhaps expects to see or have dialogue with secular humility , a secular humility who is kind enough to let Christians believe what they believe .
    It may well be that the LGBT community have faiths as enemy number one , and regulary bathe in a bath of communist and socialist belief ,popping the champagne everytime they can change some of the things the church has traditionally espoused. Time has moved on , I accept some things have changed , and perhaps we do not rise by deeming others to be down , there is something a bit empty in that for me ,even in my more Catholic feelings .But to answer your question , Rowan Williams , the good and faithfull man that he is , sees the nuances and complexities of boundries , I am bit more thoughtful to that other device , namely the door .Some doors are well built to keep those who would steal and destroy out ,they are there to try and preserve the good within , now physical treasure is perhaps a bit meaningless for Christian meaning .The way I see it is we open doors for shared service and space for prayer and teaching , we do not open doors for those who wish to use the space for teachings and understanding not of Christ , you can rent a room in a pub for that .
    Clergy who quietly do gods work , work with the poor in all ways and areas , are present ,again they are not in giving ground ,no one can disagree they are doing what Christ said or we understand as the holy spirit , god and Christ is working all over the planet with all different peoples.There are cultural horrors in other countries , which we don’t even contemplate .
    being kind to one another is perhaps an understanding of both boundaries and doors , I perhaps think that these two modes have similar value in the church , if it thinks it will be ok with just one , I think it will run out conversation to both its flock and the in or non belivers…

    • Dominic Stockford

      What exactly is Rowan Williams ‘good and faithful’ towards?

      • 1642+5thMonarchy

        I’m sure he explains in some article of 30,000 words of tortured syntax and obscure vocabulary.

        • Anton

          Dear 1642

          Some of my views on science/scripture can be seen in the discussion with Martin that grew on this blog thread:

          http://www.premierchristianity.com/content/view/full/732536

          • Dominic Stockford

            You’re Rowan Williams?

          • Anton

            You think my written style is that bad?

          • Hi Anton

            Just think of lagrange points!

          • dannybhoy

            You’re very defensive..
            Have you got large eyebrows?

          • Anton

            I am not now and have never been…

          • Hi

            I skimmed over the conversation and understood what you were writing.

          • dannybhoy

            G’arn, I bet you have trouble putting your glasses on..

          • Dominic Stockford

            You answered 1642’s question – what else could i think. I admit to some surprise though….

      • not a machine

        Some few months ago he was in a conversation on radio about faith and it was all getting rather long , as such theology ones are and he suddenly threw in this idea of borders , as being a line in our minds in morality.It was just so wonderfully elegant in self reflection ,I doubt it will be matched.However you perhaps ponder his lack of proclamation ,as perhaps some entering into older age ,I make that the point that I can describe god much better having lived some bits of my life through him,I could not have made such descriptions as a man in my 30s ,so should I be raging ,I would ponder if I was describing jesus well .

  • IanCad

    Although not a member, I have a soft spot for the remarkable and honourable institution that is the CofE. It spreads a wide shade. It is bound to Christ, yet is also under the oversight of Caesar. Given these two exclusive masters compromise and craftiness inevitably become tangled with the Word. Perhaps it will continue to chug along – patching this and that doctrinal issue – hoping that, as it usually does, time will cloud the points of dissension.

    Such though, is not the case today. The plunge toward the utter degredation of societal norms – the very standards made clear in scripture, compounded with the acceptance of a form – or so it seems to me – of neo-paganism, demands firm action from the leadership. It cannot continue to sit on the fence, shilly-shally, pussyfoot around, or procrastinate further.

    Unless the Sanhedrin step up to the plate and acquit themselves as men, the pessimists on this blog who predict its demise, may be proven correct.

    The marching orders are quite clear:

    “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do–living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” 1 Peter 4:3

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      You my be right Ian and thank you. It’s just that those of us within the CoE on here do not believe that it is yet lost to the faith and indeed that its struggling against Liberal infiltration is a sign that the the true church of Christ is still strong within it. Those on here outside the CoE seem to take a vicarious pleasure in telling us it’s all hopeless like Joe Kennedy did about Britain’s chances to FDR in 1940.

      If the Archbishops simply took their courage in their hands, promulgated the faith, told those unable to accept the Scriptural teachings on essential matters to take a hike; the media would of course would be outraged, but the church itself would win huge respect from millions of people for standing up for its convictions. People have drifted away in part because they see the leadership of the church as not having the courage of their convictions so why should the laity place their trust in it?

      But times have changed. Brexit and Trump showed that a huge constituency are fed up with the liberal leadership elite and are prepared to give a rousing response to those prepared to stand against such. The CoE leadership should grab this mood shift and opportunity with both hands. If they will not, then the evangelical membership should compel them.

      • Anton

        I think that Establishment and the CoE’s unscriptural meaning of ‘episkopos’ means it is doomed in the long term, but I can see why God might call some believers to “come out of her” and shift to the Frees (as I did) and others to remain and Fight the good fight, as you do. That is why I fully support your efforts and have no wish to undermine them.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          Thank you Anton. That is the answer of a sincere Christian from another denomination, not one seeking to undermine or dishearten.

          If we are approaching the end times and God is permitting the corruption of the CoE then there is nothing sincere Christians can do to prevent it. But we do not know the Plan so therefore must strive as best we can to uphold true teaching and interpretation of Scripture.

          BTW, do not assume that Free Churches are immune from this liberal poison.

          • Anton

            I don’t! Satan releases many poisons toward the church. But nonconformism is not a denomination.

            I don’t even preach to those Roman Catholics I know personally. My aim is simply to ensure that as times get tougher they can see by the example of persons such as myself that leaving Rome need not mean leaving Christ.

      • Hi 1642:

        don’t be perturbed , as this discussion here is positively tame compared to years back ! However the people here helped me think and challenged and I feel better for it, in fact whilst I felt at the time I’d be scorched in nuclear fire , they helped me in a way they can’t possibly understand. Although at the time I did not like it, they’ve done me good. The thing is to come back fighting for your beliefs and give as good as you get.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          Thanks and I know that’s kindly meant.

          The funny thing Hannah is that I don’t really care what they say, because they have vested interests in knocking the CoE and frankly these attacks are those of pussycats compared to some of the people with which I’ve had to contend in my business career.

          I know full well the CoE’s issues, experience some of them most weeks, but I and many others on here who attend CoE churches see that the picture is not quite as external detractors would paint and that theiseattacks are highly partisan in many cases. There are one or two exceptions such as Anton who displayed a true Christian encouragement even though not CoE himself.

          • Hi

            Yes it was meant as a kindly statement. I was going to elaborate more, but thought not to do so.

        • dannybhoy

          Amen. Just as I liked to discuss with you and your family and Avi here on the blog. We educate each other.

  • Mike Stallard

    Isn’t it better just to be kind to one another?
    Well, no actually, it isn’t. Gay people – and transgender people – and divorced people rock the fragile boat of civilization in which we sail. How? well, our social mores depend on the correct relationship between the sexes. Query that – and Bingo! The rage starts. Being nice is not the answer.
    Secondly, marriage. Love between two men and indeed two women – is praised highly in the Bible. It is praised highly too in Greek culture. It is wonderful and on it depends the morale of every army and every gang and every company too. Introduce sex into the equation, though, and you threaten the entire relationship. Don’t you. And then to bless this intrusion of sex into it in an underhand way, by confusing the psychological with the actual, is not going to make people be kind.
    It is going to make them fume!
    Hence the 303 comments!

  • Dominic Stockford

    It seems to me that the Lord will shortly say to the panjandrums within the CofE “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” Though he may well say it to the entire CofE.

  • Anton

    That claim was about Rowan Williams, who had been Archbishop of Wales, and went through a ceremony to join something called the Gorsedd Order of Bards. As far as I could see he was not required to say anything that compromised his Christian faith. (As a church liberal he does that for himself!)

    • Dominic Stockford

      He become a druid. That is clearly compromising Christian faith. The theology of modern Druidism is inherently nature-based, equating divinity with the natural world.

      • Anton

        I’m not discounting it but what evidence have you please?

    • dannybhoy

      Yes and it might sound nit picky, but a man of God cannot be seen associating or condoning something essentially pagan.
      http://www.religioustolerance.org/druid2.htm

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090320-druids-sacrifice-cannibalism.html

      • The pagan calendar is pretty cool though.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_of_the_Year

        • dannybhoy

          Probably get one at Waterstones.. You already got half a dead sheep on your head so you’re obviously flirting with the idea..

          • 🙂

            Not really. I just find that “pagan” way of dividing the year into eight roughly equal parts, based on the astronomy of the solar system and the seasons of the non-tropical biosphere, intuitive, elegant, logical, etc. It enables me to guess better what weather to plan for, and with near certainty what daylight hours to plan for. I thank the Creator for this. I may ask Him one day why he ordained such higgledy-piggledy Jewish feasts, instead of synchronising them with the natural clock He had created.

          • dannybhoy

            ” I may ask Him one day why he ordained such higgledy-piggledy Jewish feasts, instead of synchronising them with the natural clock He had created.”
            Good luck with that one. As you say He created it all and the feasts are mainly in line with the seasonal cycle, apart from the ‘nonScriptural’ ones.
            Consider that they divided the day into 12 hours and the night into 12 hours, That was in line with the rising and setting of the sun etc.
            “The Biblical Calendar
            The ancient biblical calendar is identical to the Jewish calendar of these days. The Jewish year has 12 lunar month starting with new moon. This means each month counts 29 or 30 days, which sums up to 354 days a year. To synchronise the calendar with the seasons, an additional month Adar is inserted in leap years (7 times in 19 years).”

            http://www.luziusschneider.com/Papers/JewishFeasts.htm
            http://www.seedbed.com/3-jewish-feasts-old-testament-know/

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘I may ask Him one day why he ordained such higgledy-piggledy Jewish feasts, instead of synchronising them with the natural clock He had created.’

            The ‘natural clock’ went out of synch. After Noah (150 days ref.).

            The Earth’s axis was tilted.

            In the last book, Revelation, the Earth is predicted to go back on its original axis and we shall be back on 360 days years and 30 day months (ref. numbers used in Rev.).

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Hi Hannah

    I think the Archbishop approved of the following during the Paraolympics in 2012. Reminiscent of political-power style ceremonies albeit Druid:

    ‘I call upon the spirit of Autumn. The spirit of water, of the ebb and flow of emotion; of open seas and running streams, of cleansing rain; spirit of the evening sun, of twilight and of Autumn.

    ‘I call upon the spirit of Winter. The spirit of earth, of the womb of creation; of the night and the snows of winter, deep roots and ancient stones.

    ‘I call upon the spirit of Spring. The spirit of air, the breath of life; of sunrise, and of new life and of new growth.

    ‘I call upon the Spirit of Summer. The spirit of fire, of energy of passion; spirit of the noonday sun, the heat of summer, vitality and abundance.

    ‘My friends, let the festival commence!’

    • ChaucerChronicle

      I must confess, Hannah, as I was watching it, many drinkers in my local (The Tame Cat and Playful Mouse), began swaying.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        I also saw, to my astonishment, the landlord’s Rottweiler, cease growling. I recall an eerie silence in the establishment.

        • dannybhoy

          You were struck deaf?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            I dunno, Danny. The whole episode seems to be a blurr.

          • dannybhoy

            (Guffaws and sways slightly)
            I’d like to taste some of that stuff..

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Danny, my Doc said the same thing. All I had was cigars and my favourite tipple.

          • dannybhoy

            I confess I have enjoyed many a cigar, but my lungs didn’t and I pay the price for my foolishness.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Oh, I see.

    • dannybhoy

      His involvement..
      “Monday 5 August 2002

      An ancient early morning ceremony yesterday saw the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury stepping into a circle of Pembrokeshire stones and into a controversy. Rowan Williams donned a long white robe, stood inside the sacred circle in a mist shrouded field in Wales, and became a druid.

      The Archbishop of Wales was one of 50 people to be inducted into the Gorsedd of Bards during the service at the National Eisteddfod, a celebration of Welsh culture this week at St David’s, Pembrokeshire.

      The Gorsedd comprises Welsh-speaking poets, writers, musicians, artists and others who have made a distinguished contribution to Welsh language and culture. But the ceremony was seen by some as too close to paganism for comfort.
      https://adruidway.wordpress.com/druidry/

      • Hi Danny

        of course not. It was blatant paganism. Yet he was still put on that throne of st Augustine. Yet he still rowed the party line of “no gays here”. That’s fine with me if that’s the dogma, but it’s the utter hypocrisy I can’t stand as even I known druids are incompatible with your faith.. No gays and in all honesty no druids. I’d have more respect for the c of e if they’d have excommunicated him. But some things are ok and others not .

        • dannybhoy

          Hey Sweetpea,
          “That’s fine with me if that’s the dogma, but it’s the utter hypocrisy I can’t stand as even I known druids are incompatible with your faith..)
          It’s not the dogma, it’s how we have drifted away and to most Christians it’s wrong.
          You know there are so many similarities between what happens in Christianity (apart from persecution) and what happens in the history of Israel. I’m reading my way through 1st Samuel where he lays into the people for wanting a king like the other nations. I read this morning where Samuel berates the people…
          Samuel 12>
          19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.
          We need a Samuel!

      • Anton

        Your link actually provides no detail that Rowan Williams did that.

        • dannybhoy

          Apologies et voila!
          (I went off on a ramble through the Druidy Woods..)
          https://adruidway.wordpress.com/tag/welsh-gorsedd/

          • Anton

            Robes aren’t really pagan. The question is whether it was a pagan ceremony in which any false deities were addressed or referred to as having authority or with approval. In the absence of that I regard Rowan Williams’ theology as far worse than this induction.

          • dannybhoy

            It’s what it all stands for Anton surely?
            http://www.religioustolerance.org/druid2.htm

  • len

    Christians cannot be druids.
    A Christian is a follower of Christ. Druids are pagans.How a pagan became the A B of C is a mystery (like his religion)

    • Hi

      exactly and you see my point don’t you?

      The church of England had as its spiritual head a druid = cool

      Gays in church = not cool.

      Hypocrisy with knobs on or what?

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Hannah,

        Forgive me, but I don’t think it was cool to use the expression ‘knobs’ on this thread.

        I’m afraid it has particular connotations in England. Nothing to do with butter.

      • dannybhoy

        Definitely knobs..

      • Darter Noster

        There seems to be a huge confusion regarding the Gorsedd of Bards, membership of which is given to people who make an outstanding contribution to Welsh language and culture, and actual neo-paganism.

        The Queen was inducted into the order of Ovates of the Gorsedd in 1946, following in the footsteps of King George VI, and the Duke of Edinburgh is also a member. I have searched in vain for the contribution to Welsh language and culture that these have made, and it seems to be a pretty standard case of royal toadying, but they have not in any way, shape or form converted to paganism. Rowan Williams is not the only Christian bishop to be a member of the order; many celebrities and sports stars are also members. None of them have converted to neo-paganism.

        If I wanted evidence of Rowan Williams’ unsuitability as Archbishop of Canterbury, I would focus on the complete crock he made of the job, rather than his membership in a Welsh cultural organisation with no religious significance and a penchant for robes. Lovely and deeply scholarly man, but as much use as a chocolate teapot when it came to standing up to creeping secularism.

        • Pubcrawler

          Yes, especially your final paragraph, to which I would add only (putting it diplomatically) “… and the increasing influence of Islam in this land.”

      • len

        The Cof E has some very muddled thinkers, they seem to be’ winging it’ when it comes to theology.

        • Hi

          Well I’m trying to figure out exactly how they work our their theology…

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Hannah,

    I refer you to the posts by len, Danny and Anton below. They seem to know a lot more about it than I do. Sorry. Can’t assist further.

  • dannybhoy

    They can be homosexual as long as they have renounced a homosexual lifestyle to follow Jesus. Just an adulterer or a murderer or a thief or indeed anyone must symbolically die to their old life and embrace new life in Christ Jesus.

    • Hi Danny ,

      “They can be homosexual as long as they have renounced a homosexual lifestyle to follow Jesus. Just an adulterer or a murderer or a thief or indeed anyone must symbolically die to their old life and embrace new life in Christ Jesus.”

      And that’s the jackpot answer to the rhetorical question on the blog post about being kind to one another.

      One group says homosexuality- whether that’s a sex act and or the orientation – is a sin and therefore needs repenting of with celibacy (same guys who strangely also say enforced Catholic priesthood celibacy is wrong).

      The other group say that homosexuality is not a sin ,either sex act or inclination and therefore there is no need for repentance.

      When there is such a zero sum dichotomy and mutual incomprehension , there’s not going to be much leeway in this discussion. Hence the descent into gays as Satan’s tools or evangelicals as bigoted homophobes.

      I cannot see how in good conscience either can coexist in the same organisation. Yet they do , just about.

      • dannybhoy

        A stated position does not mean we go about dissing, ill treating, persecuting or abusing those we disagree with. I would treat a gay person with the same kindness and hospitality as I would anyone else. I would stick up for them too.
        Society has provided civil partnerships for homosexuals who want to enter into a contract with each other and that’s the same as what my wife and I have as done through a Registrar’s Office, because we are both divorcees. I have never even considered trying to get our civil union blessed in a church. We don’t feel we need to.
        I cannot see why those who just wish to be ‘married’ can’t be content with a civil partnership when they know that neither Christianity nor Judaism allows for it. And that’s not an attack on you, because I know how you struggle with it as a devout Jewish woman.

        • Hi Danny

          I don’t disagree with any of that. I was thinking not of the secular outside but viz a viz the church’s teaching and debates within it.

          Also being Jewish I see no issue as such with divorce , but I respect your beliefs in that regard.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, the New Testament is clear about divorce and we respect that, but we also know that we will give account to God, and of course He knows out hearts. The two books are also clear about the practice of homosexuality..

          • Hi Danny,

            Well I just don’t rock boats and live in a quiet , non acknowledged relationship with my partner. What matters to us our community, which emphasises family and tradition against liberal / reform heretics who lead Jews astray from traditional Judaism..

            As Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar wrote- can you imagine the archbishop of Canterbury writing such an epistle?-

            “My brothers and friends, the rabbis and leaders of Israel,

            I am addressing you at this time and in this season, which is a difficult one in every way, as our ears hear and our eyes see that difficult things are afloat in the world, and we mustn’t be silent, and we must awaken and awake others and pray much in this month of mercy and forgiveness, and to come before the King, our Father, without whom we have no Redeemer, to fall flat on our faces and weep and beg with a broken heart, and let us not be cruel at this hour not to ourselves and not to our people.

            And it’s no secret that our spiritual state is low and demeaned, be it in the relations between people or in the increasing violence and cruelty, even murder, which has reached the lowliest state, God save us.

            And also in the other commandments that bind us, the levels of modesty and morality have decreased exponentially, and the most difficult plague is that of hitbolleloot [abandoning the Jewish law and adopting a western way of life] that everywhere plagues our holy and pure people, as is the case in other countries in which the dilution has reached terrible ends, so is it now in our holy land, this ill is everywhere and nobody pays attention.

            And those who call themselves liberals and Reform, and their friends and supporters, they are responsible for this terrible crime, they support it openly and without shame.

            And now they dig their claws into the people who live in Zion, and they try to dictate to us a lifestyle, that Israel should be like all other nations, God forbid, and they terrorize us in various ways, and they formed legions of warriors inside the land of Israel whose sole purpose is to rip the Torah out of Israel and defile the religious courts and everything that’s holy, and they’ll use whatever ways and means they can, by threatening and exerting influence on ministers and members of Knesset and by appealing to the courts. Things are getting worse and worse.

            And it is the duty of every Jew who can influence the members of Knesset and ministers in any way that’s honest and right, even just to awaken them and support them in writing or with a kind word, and to awaken, each one of us, their communities, so thatwe know the dangers we face, and so that they pray much and beg God, until God hears them from the depth of their sorrow, until he hears our cry and have mercy on us and fortify us and raise the Torah and its flag-bearers in all truth.

            And we pray to God, blessed be he, to infuse us with the holy and pure spirit, so that we may pass these abominations from the land, and turn the hearts of those wayward sons back to our father in heaven, because they are our brothers and our flesh and blood, and even if they strayed far from the ways of the Torah and the tradition of our fathers, they’re still our brothers and we love them truly and pray for them that the Lord turns their hearts back to the righteous path, as the gates of heaven aren’t yet locked.

            And let us all turn with all our hearts, all as one, with true love of God and his Holy Torah, and love each other without limits and boundaries.

            And let us live to see the days of God returning to his people, let Jacob and Israel rejoice in our days and without haste, amen.

            Wishing you a good month and ketivah and hatimah tova,

            Shlomo Moshe Amar
            The First of Zion
            The Chief Rabbi of Israel”

          • dannybhoy

            “Well I just don’t rock boats and live in a quiet , non acknowledged relationship with my partner. What matters to us our community, which emphasises family and tradition against liberal / reform heretics who lead Jews astray from traditional Judaism..”
            Hannah I think you’re exactly right and that’s what I would have advised you to -had you ever asked me, It’s that old thing “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” You and Sarah know your own minds and feelings towards each other, and as I often say, it’s to the Lord God we give account..
            Be as happy in your life as you can Mowtek, be as devoted to God and your people as you can be.
            As to the letter from the Rabbi, it is indeed full of passion for God and that His people will keep themselves faithful to His word and commandments. I found it very touching -a bit like that bit I quoted from 1st Samuel 12>
            God bless you both. Remember that He knows your hearts. Like Samuel said to the people when they admitted their sin,
            “20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.”
            Danny

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Hannah,

    Please see Mr Stockford’s contribution, below.

    • Hi

      o.k. I shall read.

      • Grouchy Jack

        Don’t bother. It’s all guff.

  • Hi All,

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Hello Hannah,

      As usual, I’m rather late for the conversation. However, if I may drop in a couple of thoughts:

      Trying to resolve this by logic, one may find oneself trying to square the circle, which was only proved impossible in the 19th century. Thomas Hobbes thought he had succeeded, in spite of being repeatedly shown up by one of England’s greatest mathematicians, John Wallis. I learned of this in Great Feuds in Science: Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever by Hal Hellman: a great read if you get hold of it.

      Regarding the more secular aspects of it, the BBC in their efforts to promote love, understanding or whatever, repeatedly score own goals.

      I have spent an awful lot of thought on this subject, but with so many orcs about (people who viciously promote their own point of view) and possibly some trolls (who seem to be in it mainly for the pleasure of winding people up) it’s hard even to get started.

      Not to mention what a friend drew to my attention concerning Donald Trump. Still waiting for an appropriate outlet.

  • Growing up, Happy Jack had a homosexual uncle. It was never mentioned; just was not an issue because he kept it to himself. He was welcomed as a good friend into our home by Jack’s parents and regularly attended Mass on Sunday with us. Sometimes he went to Holy Communion; sometimes he did not. In those days, many who attended Mass did not receive the Eucharist. There was a fast from midnight to contend with, later reduced to 3 hours, and now one. Respect for the Real Presence was also much more evident. Attendance at Confession was also regular for a Catholic too.
    Jack found out many years later when the father of his first girlfriend, who did not like Jack courting his daughter, informed him his much loved uncle was a “dirty queer”. When Jack asked his father about this, he was informed that this was none of my business and his uncle, like all of us, is loved by God and faces trials. What the bastard who told Jack this

    • dannybhoy

      Welcome back Jack.. you ain’t leaving us hanging are you?

    • dannybhoy

      He salved his conscience by pointing the finger elsewhere..
      My Goodness, what a burden for those girls to carry.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Maybe they both did.

        • Grouchy Jack

          How terribly pastoral, loving and compassionate ….scrote.

      • Not evidence of a conscience. He wanted Jack out of the way so his abuse of his daughter could continue. Jack was a well known amateur boxer in his hometown.

        • dannybhoy

          Guilt surely?
          But you were there, you know better than I. I am sorry that the woman lost her faith, but then again God knows her heart and why she turned away. You should intercede in prayer that He will begin to move in her heart and draw her back to His love and forgiveness and healing.
          Perhaps you already do..

  • Dominic Stockford

    After a fashion – many thanks for the light relief.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector isn’t going to make too much of this as apparently he’s gone OTT these days and is probably quite mad in a eye swivelling way, but there is a skilled groomer posting here. You have been warned…

  • Inspector General

    One supposes you realise that Ben Cohen proprietor of Pink News gets much stick for being Jewish. The Gay Left cabal rule the comments section, you understand….