Sunday trading
Church of England

Church condemns Sunday trading measures smuggled in under Enterprise Act

 

Last November the Government halted all attempts to relax Sunday trading restrictions in the face of an “unholy alliance” of Conservative backbenchers, Labour and the SNP, all ranged against the ascent of the market above family and community.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark explained: “The government believe that there is a strong case for local areas to be able to decide if and where extending Sunday trading should be permitted. It could help some High Streets compete with online shopping, for which Sunday is regularly the most popular day.” David Burrowes MP responded that not only is there is no particular demand for the deregulation which was not in the Conservative Party’s 2015 Manifesto, but it “goes against our concerns for workers for small businesses and families”. Indeed, the Prime Minister had written to the Keep Sunday Special campaign only a few months before that there were no plans to relax the Sunday trading laws. In the face of certain defeat in Parliament, the Government backed down.

What do you do when you want to change a law but Parliament won’t allow it? Simple: you smuggle it back as a late amendment to another Bill which has already been debated by the House of Commons and scrutinised by the House of Lords. That way, there’s no prospect of a vote and so no embarrassing defeat. And while we’re all distracted by EU referendum fever, Trumpmania and millions of migrants, there’s not much space for dissection by the media (with scant coverage by the Telegraph and BBC).

The Government is resolute that there’s a growing appetite for more Sunday shopping – that is, beyond the total freedom already granted to small shops to open all day, should they wish, and the six hours currently enjoyed by the larger stores. George Osborne is adamant that DIY enthusiasts want to buy screws and shelves at 9.00am: the extra hour of waiting is a gross infringement of their auto-economic liberty. And Asda is equally adamant that its customers should be able to pop in for a tin of peas all day; not be restricted to 10.00am-4.00pm or midday-6.00pm or whichever six consecutive hours are decreed. No, we must have peas round the clock: the prohibition contravenes the civil rights of homo economicus.

But the sabbath was made for man, not for the amelioration of GDP.

The Rt Rev’d Dr Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, has responded to the Government’s proposals:

In its submission to the Government’s consultation on extending Sunday opening hours, the Church of England voiced concern that changing the law would have a negative effect on community and family life, whilst delivering few, if any, additional benefits for the economy.

Our current Sunday trading laws are built on a compromise, which a majority of the public still back. We have not seen any evidence that further liberalisation of Sunday trading will bring any tangible economic benefit, with the most likely outcome being the same money spent over a greater period of time. The experience of the 2012 Olympic Games is not persuasive, when the growth in business in large shops took place at the expense of smaller ones. It is estimated that 8,800 jobs will be lost from the convenience sector, which will not be fully offset by new jobs in other stores. We know that over half of shop workers in large stores already feel pressure to work on Sundays, and an increase in opening hours will only lead to more people being pressured into spending Sunday apart from their children and families. This can only be damaging to community and family life and erode opportunities for shared time and activity, which is central to human flourishing and the common good.

It is also disappointing that these measures will be introduced to Parliament in a Bill that has already been through the House of Lords. That means that the opportunity for parliamentary scrutiny and revision of these proposals will be severely restricted.

Disappointing? That’s measured mannerly condemnation; indeed, it is scarcely condemnation at all. How about ‘outrageous’, ‘reprehensible’ or ‘invidious’? Or even ‘contemptible’, for to smuggle in a new law which could attract no majority in the House of Commons (or Lords) is surely contempt of Parliament. Why was the proposal to deregulate Sunday trading not included in the original Bill so that it could be properly probed? Why announce it spontaneously during a second-reading debate?

Angela Eagle, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, responded:

Labour has been consistent in echoing the voices of small businesses, shopworkers and their families in support of the current arrangements. It works well and means that retailers can trade, customers can shop, and shopworkers can spend time with their families.

This is at risk under the Tories who are set to make major changes to Sunday trading laws, a policy that wasn’t in their manifesto. They tried it before but wisely abandoned their plans at the last minute in the face of widespread opposition, not least from their own backbenches.

Choosing to include such sweeping changes at this stage in the Enterprise Bill’s passage through Parliament, and at such short notice, shows that Ministers intend to bounce these measures through with minimum scrutiny.

Labour’s Kevin Brennan MP was more forthright in Parliament, accusing Sajid Javid of “a gross abuse of power”. But the BIS Secretary is persuaded that those who object “are obsessed by process”. He proclaimed: “They do not want to focus on the substance at all. They have no respect for the substance.”

No, Mr Javid. Democracy demands due process, which is designed to permit interrogation and proper scrutiny of policy, and ultimately to determine whether our elected representatives believe that proposed legislation has sufficient merit and may contribute to the common good. Those who oppose the further deregulation of Sunday trading are indeed concerned with substance. It is simply the substance of society, family and community; the spiritual well-being of the individual to be able to set aside just one day a week to do something other than work, produce and consume. Man shall not live by grabbing a good deal alone.

  • Albert

    Well if you will vote for people with a track record of saying one thing and doing another, how can you complain? It’s what you voted for.

    • A vote for a party which enacts something that wasn’t in its manifesto is hardly an act of stupidity, as you appear to suggest, rather patronisingly. The complaint is justified precisely because the proposal was denied. There was a binary choice at the last GE: only two possible prime ministers. Augustine exhorts believers to choose the lesser evil. If that lesser evil commits a wrong, it is reasonable to believe that that wrong is still a lesser evil than what could have been inflicted. Presumably you voted for no-one, since all politicians tend to say one thing and do another. The Christadelphian approach to democracy is an abdication of the Christian responsibility to restrain evil whenever and wherever possible.

      • Albert

        A vote for a party which enacts something that wasn’t in its manifesto

        Which was not of course what I said. The complaint is that a politician does something he said he wouldn’t do. Once that happens, on weighty matters, nothing they say means anything. So you do not know what you are voting for, except that you can be sure that it will be different from what they said.

        Augustine exhorts believers to choose the lesser evil.

        I see this claim a lot, but I have never seen Augustine say it. Do you have a source for it? As far as I can see, the claim in the Christian tradition, is that one might have to permit the lesser of two evils, but should never do the lesser of two evils. The latter violates scripture:

        And why not do evil that good may come? — as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

        So if this point is relevant (and I’m not completely sure it is), I think it counts against your position.

        The point I am referring to, as you realise, is Cameron’s behaviour on same-sex marriage. Cameron did that, contrary to what he had said, everyone kicked up a fuss and then he got back in with a larger majority, because all those who kicked up a fuss voted for him anyway. Politicians’ lesson: we can do what we like to social conservatives, and they will still vote for us. Effect: social conservatism is now politically toothless. How is that the lesser of two evils? And the matter is hardly a light one.

        • carl jacobs

          As far as I can see, the claim in the Christian tradition, is that one might have to permit the lesser of two evils, but should never do the lesser of two evils.

          “A thousand may fall at my right hand, and ten thousand at my left – but look at how clean my hands are. Which is of course what is really important. Not what actually happens, or what I could have done to change the outcome. What is important is me.”

          I have always found this “permit” vs “do” argument to be terribly narcissistic. You have the choice you have been given in the Providence of God. You are a citizen with a responsibility to vote. So – vote. Don’t whine about the cleanliness of your hands. Chose the best option available. There is no profit in admiring your pristine reflection in the mirror while the likes of Jeremy Corbyn sits in 10 Downing Street.

          • Albert

            Rather like Dr C’s comment, that completely misses my point. My point is that doing evil that good may come of it, is not only condemned by scripture (a point you avoid in your comment), it also fails to grasp the effects of doing evil that good may come of it. Since we cannot know all the consequences of our actions, it is bizarre to try to make a judgement to do something wrong because of the good consequences that come from it.

            This case is a classic example. Social Conservatives voted for Cameron for short-term gain (he’s better than Miliband). The long term consequences turn out to be that we have now lost the teeth of social conservatism. It would have been better to have Miliband in for a term. All a Conservative Government does at the moment is postpone the next Labour Government. So you end up in the same position further down the road, except that you have lost your social conservatism as well. How exactly is that a good thing, and why should complaining about those who sold us down the line be regarded as whining?

            And if you think having clean hands is narcissistic (as you seem to think that doing evil that good may come of it is acceptable), then I refer you to the scripture that says:

            The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Bit unfair. We would have had a Milibandian tail being wagged by a Scottish Terrier.

          • Anton

            I never liked small dogs.

          • carl jacobs

            Voting isn’t a sin, Albert. Voting for Cameron isn’t a sin. You are choosing between the consequences of electing Candidate A vs Candidate B. You say “Candidate B might do some bad thing, and then I will have actively participated by voting! Better to not vote.” Meanwhile the other guy wins and dismantles your country.

            “Ah! But I have only permitted evil. I have not participated in it.”

            Spinach.

            You don’t maximize your power by not voting. You eviscerate your power by not voting.

          • Albert

            Again, you’re not replying to the thread. I never said it was a sin – it was Dr Cranmer that implied that, when he said:

            Augustine exhorts believers to choose the lesser evil.

            To which I replied:

            if this point is relevant (and I’m not completely sure it is)

            I looked at the situation and judged that it would be imprudent to vote for Cameron for the reason I have given. When I made this point about 18 months ago, you agreed. It’s Cranmer that seemingly indicated it might have been wrong to do so, but nevertheless justified by the circumstances.

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t remember agreeing. I remember arguing in May 2015 that people should abandon UKIP and vote Tory to prevent a Labour victory. For exactly the reasons I have given on this thread. That is my general opinion on elections – “Find the least objectionable option.” Whatever I agreed to, I would need to see the context to understand why. But OK. If you made the decision on the basis of prudence and not moral imperative, then I misunderstood the intent of your post.

            It’s still a futile strategy to not vote. The reason social conservatives are toothless is not that they vote anyways and so can be taken for granted. The reason is that there aren’t enough of us anymore to make a difference. Politicians would lose more votes than they gain by moving in our direction.

          • Albert

            I never said I didn’t vote, but yes, you do now understand the basis of my decision not to vote Tory.

            The reason is that there aren’t enough of us anymore to make a difference. Politicians would lose more votes than they gain by moving in our direction.

            This is not in fact true in Cameron’s case. The evidence is that enough people said they would not have voted for Cameron in 2010 had they known what he would do with marriage to have prevented him getting power. Moreover, in our parliamentary system, although a minority might not manage to determine the outcome of an election, they can limit the size of the majority (which is has direct political effects) or they prevent an outright majority.

            The latter is what happened in 2010 – despite the fact that Cameron was facing the dog-end of a Labour Government which had been in power for too long, had gone into Iraq, and was led by Bigotgate Brown. Cameron failed to win his full majority, and decided that in order to do so, he needed to make a very unsocial conservative gesture in order to gain a full majority.

            So your argument is quite wrong – at least, it is here.

          • carl jacobs

            The evidence is that enough people said they would not have voted for Cameron in 2010 had they known what he would do with marriage to have prevented him getting power.

            Cameron won an outright majority having forced though gay marriage. If what you say is true, he should have been punished by the voters in 2015. Certainly the people who said they would not vote for him in 2010 would have rejected him more vociferously in 2015. But they didn’t.

            Statements about what people “would have done” are not reliable indicators. The Scots could hold a non-binding referendum on independence, and it would win overwhelmingly. Why? Because there are no consequences attached to the outcome. What people really do in a voting booth when consequences attach is a considerable distance from what they might say they “would have done.” The world changes once those consequences have been safely mitigated. You look at what people do. Not what they say they would have done. And what they did was elect him in 2015.

            he needed to make a very unsocial conservative gesture in order to gain a full majority.

            I’m still trying to figure this out. Are you saying he would have lost in 2010 if he had supported gay marriage but needed to support gay marriage in order to win in 2015?

          • CliveM

            Carl

            I tend to agree.

            It is however currently hard to find positive reasons to vote for any party, sadly it is a case of ‘the least bad’.

            Maybe it was always thus, it’s just that age brings greater cynicism (or if you prefer understanding) of the political process.

          • Albert

            I think there is a bit of confusion here.

            If what you say is true, he should have been punished by the voters in 2015. Certainly the people who said they would not vote for him in 2010 would have rejected him more vociferously in 2015. But they didn’t.

            No, that doesn’t follow. There is a difference between the two elections. By the time of 2015, the issue of same-sex marriage had been settled legally. If you voted for him in 2015, Cameron would not be able to push through same-sex marriage, because it had already happened. In the end, people decided they had more to gain by voting for Cameron than by punishing him. So the elections are quite different.

            I’m still trying to figure this out. Are you saying he would have lost in 2010 if he had supported gay marriage but needed to support gay marriage in order to win in 2015?

            I’m saying that the lesson he took from 2010 was that he couldn’t win unless he was socially liberal. The lesson he ought to have been given in 2015 is that he also couldn’t win by being socially liberal. By failing to teach him that lesson, social conservatives turned all their campaigning and noise into just that: noise, something that can be screened out when making future decisions. In the end, they will just do as they are told by the liberals.

          • carl jacobs

            the issue of same-sex marriage had been settled legally.

            Nothing is ever legally settled. There isn’t a law made that can’t be overthrown. And the “legal settlement” of abortion certainly hasn’t made that issue less contentious. It exacerbated the fight. This is exactly the kind of issue that would induce “values” voters to hold a grudge.

            I’m saying that the lesson he took from 2010 was that he couldn’t win unless he was socially liberal.

            Cameron is an experienced politician, Albert. Do you think he doesn’t know the electorate? There is a reason he took that lesson. Your country is socially liberal. That is a direct consequence of its secularization. Politicians cannot run against that broad shared consensus in society and win.

          • Albert

            All that is necessary is for people to realise that same-sex marriage was not going to be overturned in this parliament, regardless of who won. For my argument to stand, that is enough.

            Do you think he doesn’t know the electorate?

            On the contrary, he knew it. But what he knew was that if he introduced the innovation between elections and without warning, he would get away with it. That’s entirely different from him winning an election while promising the innovation. And the reason he knew he would get away with it? He knows that most of his core supporters, while opposed to it, are mugs.

          • carl jacobs

            Albert

            Do you deny that the UK is socially liberal, and in general hostile to Christianity?

          • Albert

            I say that is too simplistic – especially in our political system.

          • Findaráto

            The legal settlement of abortion “exacerbated the fight” in the same way King Arthur cutting off the Black Knight’s members one after the other exacerbated that fight.

            Sure, the Black Knight remained as pugnacious as ever. No giving in for him. King Arthur’s actions didn’t end his ferocious and determined opposition. They just made it ever so slightly harder for him to enforce his point of view…

            https://youtu.be/2eMkth8FWno?list=RD2eMkth8FWno

            “Oh I see, runnin’ away are you? You yellow b….s … I’ll bite yer legs off!!!”

          • carl jacobs

            I see we have moved from search to acquisition…

          • You’re right Carl. We are getting the politicians we deserve.

      • chiefofsinners

        This awful ‘binary choice’ version of democracy is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We all look around us to see how everyone else is voting, conclude there is a binary choice and allow our voting to be constrained by that perceived reality. That is a bastard child of democracy.
        Vote for the best candidate, and if there isn’t one then stand for election yourself.

      • Martin

        Cranmer

        You should be voting for the best candidate, not the party or prime minister. You sound as if you are applying the Sun method of voting to me.

      • James60498 .

        Not sure I agree with the first bit.

        Not only was “gay marriage” not in Cameron’s first manifesto, he specifically ruled it out just a few days before that election.

        Even if you still trusted him to that point, and with the obsessive support the BBC gave him during his leadership election campaign, I don’t understand how any conservative could have done, surely that one act in itself is enough to tell you his manifesto is not worth the paper it is written on.

        I have a little sympathy with the second bit of your argument. But to claim the defence that it “wasn’t in his manifesto” is seriously pushing the bounds of believability.

        “Fool me once……….”

        • Albert

          I think the whole thing of “It wasn’t in our manifesto” is like claiming one isn’t bound because one swears by the Temple not the gold of the Temple. Jesus said All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

          Of course, we all understand that sometimes circumstances will cause politicians not to be able to do what they said: an economic downturn requires a change of taxation, a war in near country requires a change of defence budget etc. But Cameron wasn’t forced with same-sex marriage. That places his behaviour in a uniquely bad political, moral category.

      • The perversion of marriage wasn’t in the 2010 ‘conservative’ party manifesto either. I voted UKIP.

  • sarky

    As someone who works shifts and has to work Sundays (working later) then extended opening would be good news. At the end of the day we are only talking about an extra four or five hours.
    Long gone are the boring Sundays stuck in with nothing to do.

    • chiefofsinners

      No need for boring Sundays stuck in. You could go to church.

      • Martin

        CoS

        He might even learn something.

        • sarky

          Doubt it. I didn’t before.

          • Albert

            You were going to the wrong place, then.

          • sarky

            Tried more than one!!! It wasn’t the messenger but the message.

          • Albert

            It has never been obvious to me that you have understood the message. Hence my comment.

          • sarky

            Just because I reject it, it doesn’t mean I don’t understand it.

          • Albert

            Not an argument I used, sarky. It is not evident to me from the things you say that you have understood Christianity. Perhaps certain kinds of evangelical Christianity, but not Christianity itself. On the contrary, from the things you say, it seems evident to me that you do not understand Christianity.

          • sarky

            Im used to that sort of reply. If you haven’t embraced it, you can’t of understood it.

          • Albert

            No, that’s not what I said. I said that from the things you say I do not have evidence that you have understood it, and I have evidence that you don’t.

          • sarky

            ???

          • Albert

            Quite!

          • >>Just because I reject it, it doesn’t mean I don’t understand it.MM

            exactly what I say about evolution.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            But you have to remember, salvation isn’t something you would intellectually assent to, for you are incapable of so doing, being spiritually dead.

            It could be that by coming under the sound of the gospel God would save you despite yourself, just as He did to Saul on the road to Damascus.

            Of course that could happen anywhere, even while you are reading the comments on this blog.

          • sarky

            I wouldn’t put my house on it.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Indeed you shouldn’t.

      • sarky

        Why be bored at church when you can be bored in the comfort of your own home.

        • chiefofsinners

          Maybe you just lack imagination.

          • sarky

            Good point. You do need a very good imagination for church.

  • Anton

    What about Sunday blogging?

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Hannah Out Loud keeps her Sabbath.

    • IanCad

      Bad Man!!!

    • chiefofsinners

      Let him that bloggeth blog unto the Lord.

  • chiefofsinners

    Why should anyone respect the Christian holy day anymore?
    What we have to respect now is the month of Ramadan halal, juma, the hijab etc…

    • IanCad

      Sunday the Christian holy day?
      Darned if I’ve ever read that in my bible.

      • chiefofsinners

        So what is your understanding of the phrase ‘the Lord’s day’ in Revelation 1:10?

        • IanCad

          Chief,

          In accordance with Isaiah 58:13
          “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable;–“

          And, Matthew 12:8
          “For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day”

          • chiefofsinners

            Hmm. So the day which is called the sabbath 60 times in the New Testament is referred to as the Lord’s day on this one occasion. Why?

          • IanCad

            Probably to emphasis the importance of the day – or the provenance thereof.

          • chiefofsinners

            Might I recommend some high quality textbooks on the subject of logic?

          • IanCad

            Now! Now! Chief.
            No need to be Sarky.

          • carl jacobs

            Ummm … you mean “snarky” right? 😉

            Small typo.

          • IanCad

            You’re right Carl – just couldn’t resist stirring up another notable communicant – if he’s around.
            I’ve just noticed it should have been in lower case.

          • carl jacobs

            Deliberately provoking other commenters? Shocked, I am. Shocked and scandalized. Why the thought would never occur to me.

            btw. Where’s the grapefruit? I’m bored and need someone to antagonize…

          • IanCad

            Who? Me!? Meek and mild soul that I am.
            He would normally be on duty by now. I do hope he’s OK.

          • You mean Grouchy? He’s sleeping.

        • Anton

          Have a look at the few minutes from 26:30 of this exegesis by a fine Bible teacher:

          • chiefofsinners

            Yes – I’ve heard that one before. Also the suggestion that John meant he was transported in his visions to the future ‘day of the Lord’.
            Neither is convincing because the early church so quickly adopted the first day of the week as a day of observance. Early Christian writings are littered with the phrase ‘The Lord’s day’ referring to the first day of the week.

          • Anton

            How early, relative to Revelation?

          • chiefofsinners

            The phrase is used in the so-called gospel of Peter, dated between 125 and 150AD, in a sense which indicates it was widely understood at that time. If you accept the reference in the Didache and an early date for that text then possibly 70AD, 25 years earlier than Revelation.

          • Albert

            Here’s an earlier reference, from Ignatius of Antioch who died in 110 AD:

            Do not be deceived by strange doctrines or antiquated myths, since they are worthless. For if we continue to live accordance with Judaism, we admit that we have not received grace. For the most godly prophets lived in accordance with Christ Jesus. This is why they were persecuted, being inspired as they were by His grace in order that those who are disobedient might be fully convinced that there is one God who revealed Himself through Jesus Christ His Son, who is His Word which came forth from silence, who in every respect pleased Him who sent Him. If, then, those who had lived in antiquated practices came to newness of hope, no longer keeping the Sabbath but living in accordance with the Lord’s day, on which our life also arose through Him and His death (which some deny), the mystery through which we came to believe, and because of which we patiently endure, in order that we might be found to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our only teacher, how can we possibly live without Him, whom even the prophets, who were His disciples in the Spirit, were expecting as their teacher?

          • IanCad

            “no longer keeping the Sabbath but living in accordance with the Lord’s day,–”
            Ignatius was one of the early Anti-Semites to whom I was alluding in my earlier resonse to CoS.

          • Anton

            But Christians are not under the Law of Moses and the Sabbath is not one that Jesus repeated to His followers.

          • IanCad

            My Goodness Anton!!
            Christ’s whole teaching was of the currency of the Moral Law.
            The Ceremonial Laws were negated by Our Saviour’s sacrifice.

          • chiefofsinners

            No, that is a distinction which scripture does not make. The law is the law. Some of it is repeated in the NT, some is not.

          • IanCad

            The Decalogue is eternal, unchanging. The Ceremonial Law wasn’t meant to be permanent. They were the “Handwriting of Ordinances” and were temporary, as opposed to the Commandments written by “The Finger of God.”
            It was these latter that were placed within the Ark of the Covenant, signifying their immutability.
            The former were placed in a pocket on the outside of the Ark thus indicating their transience.

          • chiefofsinners

            There you go. A doctrine based entirely on typology rather than actual scripture. It is shot through with holes. For starters:
            1.The manna was inside the ark and that was temporary.
            2.By saying the handwriting of ordinances does not include the Decalogue, you are saying Christ did not take away sins against the Decalogue. No, verse 13 says ‘all our sins’.

            The Sabbath has its origin not in the Decalogue but in creation. And the Lord’s day has its origin in the new creation.

          • IanCad

            I never said the ceremonial law did not include penalties for the violation of the Decalogue. Neither did I in any way imply that the Sabbath only started At Sinai. It was a creation ordinance, along with marriage. Arguably the commandment was part of heaven itself, prior to Creation.
            The manna, along with Aaron’s rod and the two tablets of stone are in the Ark today. There is nothing temporary about the Bread of Heaven.
            Oh Dear, “The Lord’s Day has its origins in the new creation.”
            Not a shred of biblical backup.
            After God had finished His work of creation, He rested.
            So it was with Christ, after His last words “It is finished” He too rested according to the commandment.
            There is no way you can change the Holy Sabbath Day into one of your own choosing Chief.

          • chiefofsinners

            Oh dear. You seem to think that the Decalogue had no penalties except those in the ceremonial law. But of course it always had the ultimate penalty of separation from God, which is the vital part that Christ took away.
            Oh dear. The manna was entirely temporary. It was a provision for the wilderness journey but ceased the day the promised land was entered.
            Oh dear. The phrase ‘new creation’ is itself biblical and evidently points to that first day of a new week on which the Lord rose.
            Oh dear. The tablets of stone in the ark were written by Moses, not by the finger of God. You’re confused with the ones Moses broke.
            Oh dear. The Ark of the Covenant is not around at the moment. Care to spiritualise that?
            Oh dear. ‘A day of my own choosing’? Or the choosing of 99% of Christendom for the last 2000 years?

          • IanCad

            Chief,
            To start at your last point; Any student of the Bible or of the nature of man knows full well that the majority is nearly always wrong.
            The Ark is in Heaven. Rev 11:19.
            The second tablets of stone were written By God. Moses merely hewed them and ought them up Mt. Sinai. Exodus 34:1
            We are a new creation in Christ. It has nothing to do with the changing of God’s law. 2 Corinthians 5:17
            The manna – The Bread of Heaven in the wilderness – was symbolic of Christ. It served its purpose and is in the Ark. Don’t forget there was a double portion on preparation day.
            I don’t make head nor tail of the first paragraph; except that Christ did take the penalty for our sins, for which in gratitude we should at least not try to wring from holy writ what just isn’t there.

          • “And the Lord’s day has its origin in the new creation.”

            Interesting, but is there any evidence from scripture? Although I find much of Seventh Day Adventist teaching confusing, I could never find a proper justification for this change of the Sabbath day.

          • chiefofsinners

            No, there isn’t much to justify it, which is why it’s so contentious.
            The phrase ‘the Lord’s day’ has to mean something and contemporary or near-contemporary evidence points to it meaning Sunday.
            Paul meeting with Christians at Troas on the first day of the week is the only other indicator. (Acts 20:7)
            A day of rest is good for mankind, that’s clear from creation but of course it’s not to be enforced tyrannically – the Sabbath was made for man.
            The theory / typology of the first day of a new creation is no more than theory and typology. Not something to get contentious about.
            Overall, though, I liked it when Sunday was special. I think Christians undervalued it and now we’ve lost it.

          • IanCad

            “No, there isn’t much to justify it, which is why it’s so contentious.”
            I don’t mean to talk for Anna here Chief, but haven’t you grabbed hold of the wrong end of the stick?

          • chiefofsinners

            Amen

          • Thank you.

          • Anton

            I’m not sure what you are saying here. Do you believe that it is a sin for Christians to do any work on a Sunday?

          • IanCad

            Anton,
            As Christians we have to be bound by the Decalogue. It is quite clear from Scripture. As regards the Sabbath commandment it is as valid as the other nine. In all of them we have to obey.
            I can only speak for myself, and in order to be consistent with my beliefs refrain from work on the Seventh Day.
            What others do is up to them; however I do not see how a Christian can claim fidelity to God if he flouts His law.
            I used to believe that Sunday was the day sanctified by God, indeed it is pretty hard to refute when most of the Christian world has swallowed, hook, line and sinker the change of day.
            God has made it quite clear that where there is no knowledge of sin there is no condemnation. However, when we are brought to a knowledge of the truth it is a different story.

          • Anton

            Do you believe we have to obey all of Mosaic Law? If not, what are your criteria for which laws we have to obey and which we don’t, please? For me the answers are No, and only those laws Jesus repeated to his followers plus the ones decided in the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. As the Sabbath is part of Mosaic Law and the only one of the Big Ten not repeated to his followers, I consider myself not under it.

          • Albert

            The question was simply to do with how early Sunday Sabbath started. I’ve given evidence of it being earlier than you said, and this, it seems to me, is strongly suggestive of apostolic practice.

          • IanCad

            I’ve said before Albert – it doesn’t not take long for change to occur. In less than a generation can tremendous changes can be wrought. Look at our own times. Quite likely First Day worship was practiced by some within the early Christian Church.
            Point is though – there is no scriptural authority for it.

          • Albert

            Yes, but there’s no scriptural authority for the canon. I don’t say scripture gets its authority from the Church, rather that tells us which writings are scripture and therefore authoritative. I don’t see how the Church can have it so wrong, so soon, in one area, but still be so right, much later in another.

          • IanCad

            Just caught this Albert. Weak men can get things wrong in a hurry.

          • Albert

            Would you include yourself under the title “weak men”? And what of the Holy Spirit?

          • Anton

            Thank you!

          • IanCad

            It doesn’t take long for error to creep in no matter how clear the truth. Certainly, your references to some early writers would attest to such.
            Sunday was the day of celebration in the Roman world. Those pesky Jews – then, as now in some quarters, were despised – Anyway Sunday’s a lot more fun; we’re still worshipping God aren’t we?
            By no means did the light of truth dim suddenly. Not meaning to be repetitive but Ambrose, of, “When in Rome Do As The Romans Do” fame, wrote in the 4th century that it was only in Rome and Alexandria that the Christians worshipped on Sunday.
            Strangely, it wasn’t until 1998, in his apostolic letter, “Dies Domini” that Pope John Paul veered from the traditional Catholic claim that Rome arbitrarily changed the Sabbath, and attempted to justify the blasphemy by adopting the same well established Protestant machinations that so warp the Word and Commands of God.
            Ecumenism anybody?

          • chiefofsinners

            This argument was inevitable in response to today’s article.
            Colossians 2:16 and Romans 14:5 tell me it’s time to shut up about it.

          • IanCad

            Neither verses can be evidence for the changing of God’s Sabbath.
            The Moral Law is not the Ceremonial law to which these passage relate.

          • chiefofsinners

            I am citing them as evidence that I should respect your point of view rather than being divisive.

          • IanCad

            No, I never thought that Chief.

          • Albert

            The Sabbath is part of the Ceremonial Law, ergo…

          • IanCad

            I’m going to have to do a little digging on that Albert.
            Certainly, the penalties for breaking the Sabbath were harsh as they were for murder and other violations of the Decalogue. That said, No! The Sabbath is part of – the very centre of – the Decalogue and I don’t think they were re-written by Moses. I could be wrong however. Got to go out shopping for supplies so may not get back to you – or if I don’t, this post stands as it is.

          • Albert

            Fine – but even if we agree that morality requires a day off a week, it is hard to see any moral reason why that should be the first day, rather than any other. Therefore, the choice of day is ceremonial. In Judaism it reflects the creation of the world, in Christianity, is reflects the recreation of the world, in Jesus Christ.

          • Albert

            It doesn’t take long for error to creep in no matter how clear the truth.

            If you attribute this kind of thing to the Church, then on what basis do you believe the canon of scripture is not the product of creeping error? The canon is much later than Sunday. I think there is some confusion over your quote from Ambrose, since, as I have shown, above, Ignatius was worshipping on a Sunday much earlier than that, and took it as obvious that others were. And there are numerous other sources on this.

          • IanCad

            I’m not about to question the canon of scripture. It is of sufficiency – without the Apocrypha.
            I’m not arguing that, in some cases, Sunday worship started PDQ.

          • Albert

            If the Church (under the Holy Spirit) cannot be trusted in one area, it is hard to see how we can have much confidence in the Church in other areas.

          • IanCad

            Thanks for the link Anton. I’ve watched the first 30 minutes or so and I see where the “Lordy Day” could, in this case refer to the Sunday as commanded by Diocletian.
            I don’t think that any prophets were given visions only on the Sabbath day. It will be interesting to see where Pawson is going with this as he obviously knows that Sunday is not the Sabbath. Or even more interesting; if he knows it was not then, how he could possibly reason that it is now.
            Not sure when I’ll see the rest of the vid. And there are nine more of them!
            Thanks again for the link.

          • Anton

            It’s a great series. David Pawson speaks for 6 hours on two chapters of scripture and makes it interesting! Most of the historical facts about the towns named in Rev 2&3 he clearly got from the relevant volume of the William Barclay Daily Study Bible series. Barclay rarely gives the ancient Greek writers he in turn got it from (for Philadelphia he names Strabo) but for Sardis it is Herodotus and Polybius, according to Hewer’s much drier study of the seven letters.

            I have a book called “From Sabbath to Sunday” by Samuele Bacchiocci, an Italian Jewish Christian, and this book is fascinating for its history too.

          • Pubcrawler

            Bacchiocchi is one of the better-known SDAs. I make no comment on his research as I haven’t read the book, but there’s a chance he has a ’cause’ to promote. (One wonders what the peer review process is for a book published by one’s own publishing house…)

          • Anton

            He certainly did in another of his books, in which he claimed that Christians should not touch alcohol and that oinos in the New Testament meant non-alcoholic unfermented gape juice, not wine. The number of exegetical errors in that claim is legion.

          • IanCad

            Anton,

            You are right; they have the making of a fascinating six hours or so and I do intend to view them all.

            I had the privilege, on several occasions, of meeting Sam Bacchiocchi, and maintained a sometime correspondence with him in the nineties.

            Some in the SDA church regarded him with a degree of scepticism. I was not among them and hold him as a deeply religious man whose talents were cut short far too soon.

            His writings are a great source of information when needing a little backup on this blog.

            Here is the link to that valuable resource:

            http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/

          • Anton

            He made obvious errors in his book about Christian abstinence from alcohol, though – see my comment to (appropriately) Pubcrawler.

          • IanCad

            Agreed. Unless modeling one’s lifestyle on that of a Nazirite there is no biblical admonition regarding abstinence.
            In his defence, and that of the many others who hold such restrictions as being an essential part of their faith, I must say that to have scriptural backup would be a mighty help in resisting such temptations of the flesh.

          • Anton

            You think we shouldn’t drink? I think we shouldn’t get drunk. Jesus drank.

          • IanCad

            I did not suggest such a thing. A re-read is in order!

          • Anton

            I took your words “to have scriptural backup would be a mighty help in resisting such temptations of the flesh” as meaning that there were binding reasons from outside scripture not to touch alcohol. Glad to resolve the issue with agreement.

  • David

    There was a time when a majority of the Conservative Party was conservative. To them conservatism involved respecting and broadly supporting the maintenance of the Christian religion. As the C of E was established by law they tended to give particular respect to that Church. But not any more.
    The truth is that the Conservative Party has, with a few notable exceptions, been taken over by international corporate types who are not remotely patriotic or Christian. Some seem quasi-Marxist in terms of social policy. Marriage, family, faith and nation have been “relativised”. The result is that, those loyalties that could be expressed as “faith, flag and family” mean nothing to this new breed of MPs, including of course our beloved leader, Cameron. Because of this money making, especially by the big faceless global corporations, and the ever multiplying and morphing needs of tiny but shrill interest groups, take absolute priority over the needs of the vast majority of the populace.
    My continuing puzzlement is why so many sound, seemingly intelligent people continue believing their spin, whilst ignoring the accumulating mountain of evidence pointing to all this, and voting for them. The simple truth is that we get the country that reflects of the values of those that the majority voted for.

    • Albert

      Excellent comment.

      • David

        Thank you.
        I hope I haven’t upset ultra-loyalist Ian, and I don’t want to, but reality must be faced.

        • Albert

          It’s the wrath of Dr C you have to worry about – see below!

          • David

            Greetings !
            Yes I noted his comments.
            But you’re a big, strong boy and you’ll be fine I’m sure.
            Best wishes.

    • IanCad

      Indeed David, I am a loyal CP member. Loyal enough to recognize that it needs reformation. Complete reformation; a top to bottom house cleaning. The leadership has to go. There are a few tried and true left. It is from that remnant that a new party must arise.

      • Albert

        I’m astonished.

        • IanCad

          Albert, I’ve never written anything that should accord you such surprise. I like to believe myself at least consistent -some of the time

          Here’s a post from several years back referring to Cameron and Brown:

          “I’m sorry Your Grace, but if physiognomy has any validity then these two are one and the same. Vapid, weak and wholly unfit to serve. Neither of the sorry wretches are fit to run a bath.
          I read “The Speech” Cameron is a sixties labourite. Read this drivel—-“

          And this from last week:

          “We need leadership and even though a CP member I see no hope in the present crop of wretched conservative MP’s. There are a few standouts – very few. There must be reform within the CP. Most of the new MP’s need weeding out.
          What to do?? A Conservative Reform Party? A Sovereignty Party? A String Up The Bastards Who Got Us Into This Mess Party?—-“

          I will accept the charges of occasional rudeness, stridency, plain wrong-headedness, but inconsistency – No Way!

          • Albert

            I’m not accusing you of inconsistency! You’re just someone here who’s writing I respect, and I find it odd that you come to the conclusion that you can be or even want to be part of the Conservative Party!

          • IanCad

            Thanks for the kind words and I have a great admiration for your reasoning most of the time.
            I must confess that in its present iteration it is almost embarrassing to admit membership in such a fallen body.

          • Albert

            Thank you.

            I have to confess that in its present iteration it is almost embarrassing to admit membership in such a fallen body

            Then you will understand (and perhaps forgive) my astonishment. 🙂

      • David

        Well said Ian.
        That is a brave, truthful and patriotic statement to make.
        Reform it as thoroughly as you seek to do, and many genuinely Burkean conservatives like me would become interested again.
        More power to the genuine conservative remnant like you I say.

        • IanCad

          That’s nice of you David.
          As probably among the most fervent on this blog in the cause of regaining our sovereignty I’m in a pickle. I am absolutely against the idea of any sort of referendum – except in our right to select our representatives. Burke clearly defined the role of our MP’s. and in that there is no resort to mob rule, which is what, essentially, a referendum is.
          “The people Sir, the people, are a great beast.” So said Alexander Hamilton.
          I will not betray my principles by voting in the upcoming referendum.
          O for the day when we will be governed by men of character.

          • David

            Yes, but I for my part would not do exactly as Burke did as we live in such a very different age.
            Then few outside the very restricted voting class could read or write, whereas now, as a matter of fact, everyone does have a vote.
            Moreover it is the silent, usually passive, majority that are more conservative than the political elite, who are imposing unwanted, rapid change on society, to satisfy very narrow interest groups, which are globalist and elitist in nature, not national, ethnic, religious or even territorial, in any way.

            So in conclusion, I’d say, that to be true to the spirit of Burkean gradual change, and supporting the “small battalions”, it is to the judges “reasonable man”, or “the man on the Clapham omnibus” that we now have to look, and not the cultural elite. Therefore if one accepts that very short analysis and conclusion, referenda as a mechanism, is not as undesirable as undoubtedly Burke considered it in that society, at that time. Indeed contemporary Switzerland is the most conservative country in western Europe, largely, it may be argued, because it employs a referendum for each and every significant national law-making decision. So the methods for achieving a conservative outcome, for the governing and guiding of our society must change over time, from age to age, to reflect the reality of the society we are considering. I rest my case.

          • IanCad

            Thanks David. I will indeed vote. Your points are well taken, appreciated and will be acted upon.
            Yes!! Let it be known! I am not unreasonable, stubborn, or pigheaded.
            At least, not on this issue.

          • David

            Oh good ! That’s very fair of you. Each vote counts !
            Have a restful Sunday evening, Ian.

          • IanCad

            Well, I’ll try David. Things are a little hot and heavy down the thread a bit but my mind is now at ease over the referendum.
            Thanks again.

  • IanCad

    Another reason for disestablishment.
    The CofE should have no influence regarding the regulation of commerce.
    As far as I know we have the perfect right to not shop on any day we please. Why on earth make Sunday an exception?

  • Findaráto

    Saturday trading is pretty much unrestricted, which means that observant Jews lose out on a day of business every week by refusing to work on their sabbath. It’s their choice and they appear to be willing to make it. They don’t demand restricted trading on Saturday. They just take the hit of losing a day’s business and get on with it.

    I wonder why Christians can’t do the same. So what if they’ll be pressured to work on Sunday? If their faith forbids them from doing so, they won’t work on Sunday. They’ll take the economic hit as part of the obligations of their faith.

    I certainly support extended Sunday trading hours. If Christians don’t want to work on Sunday, all well and good. They don’t have to. They may be pressured to, but that’s no concern of mine. A Christian’s religion is his own business. It’s certainly not mine. It certainly shouldn’t interfere with my freedom to shop at whatever hour shopkeepers are willing to open until, any day of the week.

    Let Christians do as Jews do and adapt themselves to the society in which they live, which does not imply being forced to give up their faith. Rather it implies being forced to live by it rather than just talking about it all the time. Christ said you would be persecuted for your faith. Why don’t you believe him?

    • Albert

      What about if we think having a shared day off spending serves the common good (regardless of when that day is)?

      • Anton

        And not only that, but a day which all members of a family can share together, whatever their faith.

        • Pubcrawler

          Not to mention friends and neighbours, to encourage community, not indulge solipsism.

          • IanCad

            Good fences make good neighbours.

          • Pubcrawler

            And no man is an island.

            Argument by aphorism is so enlightening…

      • IanCad

        Such as “Sustainability Sunday”
        I hope that doesn’t have legs.

      • Findaráto

        By all means, think whatever you like. And if you want your thoughts to become public policy, vote for a party that supports them. And then hope that your chosen party wins a majority at the next General Election AND that they don’t do a U-turn on Sunday opening once they take over the reins of government.

        That last hope might well be in vain. Any Chancellor of the Exchequer who’s fit for the job realizes that VAT receipts are a crucial part of the liquidity that keeps day-to-day government functioning. Maximizing the potential for VAT collection is therefore a vital part of sound financial policy.

        Sunday opening may not provide an immediate source of extra funds, but the experience of other countries has shown that it does enhance growth potential. To start with, consumers spend the same amount of money more evenly spread, but longer term consumption does rise. And every penny extra in VAT receipts is a penny less the government has to borrow.

        It’s your civic duty to consume. Spend up a storm and help to fund all those public services you’ll certainly have no qualms about using when the time comes. You think the NHS can survive on Income Tax receipts alone? How’s that for a blatant example of Christian naivety, if any were needed?

        • Albert

          I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, and expressed what I have been arguing here this afternoon: the problem of parties saying one thing and doing another.

          As for the funds thing, who knows? Economics is hardly a science! The following outcomes seem plausible and neither is good:

          1. People spend the same amount of money, so shops increase their staffing overheads without increasing prophet.
          2. People spend more money – on their credit cards.

          I don’t see the benefit of that.

          You think the NHS can survive on Income Tax receipts alone? How’s that for a blatant example of Christian naivety, if any were needed?

          The naivety is in you for making such a claim on zero evidence of what I think (I think that’s the third or fourth example of you doing that).

    • Lienus

      Non, non mon ami. Christ never said anything because there is no evidence that he existed. I know this because someone called Bob said so, and Tutenakai, although there is no evidence that they ever existed either…

      • Lienus, one shouldn’t really up-vote one’s own comments.

        • carl jacobs

          No, no, no. That is sheer genius! He absolutely must upvote his own comments. It fits perfectly.

          • The Explorer

            It wasn’t by any chance an ancestor of yours who wrote the Book of Revelation?

          • Yes …. a German could well have been behind it.

          • carl jacobs

            btw Jack. When is your Super Bowl Party starting? Kick-off is in less than four hours.

          • Jack will be staying up to watch.

          • Pubcrawler

            Be sure to avert your eyes from the cheerleaders, old chap.

          • carl jacobs

            Lady Gaga! Who thought it was a good idea to let Lady Gaga sing the National Anthem? I would have to shoot myself if I didn’t have a mute button. For the record, the National Anthem should never be sung, and it certainly should never be “performed.”

        • carl jacobs

          btw, Jack. The auto-correlation taps are starting to show some power. Yes, I’m being deliberately enigmatic.

          • So enigmatic it’s way beyond Jack.

          • carl jacobs

            He who has Engineering ears, let him hear.

          • Find-a-rat-o is Linus. Is this what you’re alluding to?

          • carl jacobs

            Possibly. The evidence accumulates.

          • You are a very cautious man.

          • The Explorer

            If it’s too enigmatic for you, it’s way too enigmatic for me.

          • carl jacobs

            If one auto-correlates certain posts with a Generalized nth-Order Linus Detection Code, then one can reliably identify Linus as he seeks to lurk below the noise. Linus can’t help but embed a Gold Code in his posts.

            Simples, really..

          • The Explorer

            Are you saying Lienus is Linus?

          • carl jacobs

            Absolutely not. Lienus is a genius. I offered Eccles as a suggestion for the identity of Lienus.

          • The Explorer

            Glad to hear it: although Linus might see an implied insult. Eccles as Lienus is very plausible.

          • I think Lienus and Findarato are the same… two different styles to confuse. Time will tell.

          • The Explorer

            We’ve got so good at Linus spotting that simultaneous identities to confuse us are certainly to be expected. Linus is certainly clever enough to be Lienus, but I would not have expected that degree of self-mockery.

          • He just can’t help himself. So amusing too. This time his efforts at apology and being eva so ‘umble had Jack in stitches.

    • carl jacobs

      You think either the Labour Party or the SNP supports Sunday closing laws for the sake of Christian doctrine? That’s funny. It has to do with creating competitive advantage for certain stores and a general hostility to the market overall. Your “freedom to shop at whatever hour shopkeepers are willing to open until, any day of the week” requires someone to serve you. That’s what the SNP and Labour Party are fighting against – yet one more concession to market efficiency. Christian doctrine has almost nothing to do with it. And anyways. A gov’t enforced Sunday closing law isn’t Christian doctrine.

      Christ said you would be persecuted for your faith.

      How does persecution get introduced into this subject? Allowing stores to open on Sunday is not persecution. It’s not even in the same universe as persecution.

      • Findaráto

        I didn’t mention the Labour Party or the SNP. All I mentioned were Christians who want to keep Sunday “special” because it’s their holy day.

        I also mentioned the Jews, who don’t whine like Christians do when others work on their holy day.

        Of course this is about persecution. Persecution is what Christians will cry when employers pressure them to work on Sunday, and pass them over for promotion or find ways of firing them when they won’t. It’s the same old story any time religious privileges are eroded: losing the right to impose his beliefs on others is persecution as far as a Christian is concerned. We saw it with equal marriage. We’ll see it with Sunday trading.

        No reasonable person can regard losing an unwarranted privilege as persecution of course, but we’re not talking about reasonable people here. We’re talking about Christians.

        • carl jacobs

          I don’t suppose you would be able to explain how a Sunday closing law is an “unwarranted religious privilege” when the people supporting it are doing so for decidedly non-religious reasons. Hrmmm? Could you manage that?

          And just to completely sink your ill-formed and highly ignorant stereotype, I will state for the record that the Gov’t should not impose a Sunday closing law. If Bob wants to open his store on Sunday, that’s fine with me.

          • Findaráto

            A law closing shops on Sunday has its origins in the Christian religion. Many who are no longer Christian may still support it for other reasons, but only Christians have the unique privilege of having their Sabbath enforced by the law. This is clearly not equitable.

            The Church would do better to hold its tongue rather than draw even more attention to its privileged position. Its holy day sees other people’s activities limited by law, it has unelected representatives in Parliament, what more does it want?

          • carl jacobs

            Christmas has its origin in the Christian religion as well. That doesn’t mean the modern celebration of Christmas has anything to do with Christianity. In 2016, there are precious few politicians or citizens who give a tinker’s dam about any origins of Sunday closing laws. The law fulfills a secular purpose, and it is that secular purpose that both politician and citizen so inclined will defend. If the law didn’t serve a fundmantally secular purpose it would have been abolished long ago.

            If you wanted to speak out of the other side of your mouth, you would promptly say that because so few people go to church, there is no purpose for a Sunday closing law just to allow people to attend a worship service. Well, if no one is going to church then a Sunday closing law isn’t being enforced to privilege Christians.

            You are arguing that an incidental relationship is somehow essential. It isn’t. It’s like saying “Christians get Christmas off. They are privileged.” Well, yes, we get Christmas off. But so does pretty much everyone else and it has nothing to do with the religious nature of the holiday. It does not constitute a unique privilege.

          • Findaráto

            You’re right, it’s absolutely iniquitous that Christmas should be a public holiday. It should be a working day like any other. Christians who want to celebrate it should take a day of annual leave.

            I’m not against public festival days per se, but they should not favour one religion over another. Whatever criteria are used to choose them, they should not be partisan expressions of religious belief.

            I quite like the idea of replacing Christmas with a Solstice Day, and another one in June. Equinox Days would make the cycle regular. A day off every three months, for no reason other than it’s nice to have a day off every now and again. Sprinkle a few more throughout the year to mark other cyclical events or anniversaries that are of general relevance to everyone and then religion will be relegated to its rightful sphere and all will be well with the world…

          • carl jacobs

            Hrmmmm….

          • Four days a year isn’t much, now is it? What about supplementing these with a series of Pride Carnival Days where we get to worship ourselves as supreme beings? Hand mirrors to be handed out to one and all. It would be a narcissists absolute dream. Sure you agree.

          • Findaráto

            Four days isn’t much time off, agreed. That’s why I suggested that other days could also be arranged as public festivals.

            I don’t agree with your idea for a day of worship of Man as the Supreme Being however. Worship is an ancient tribal ritual designed to appease a god, and as we’re not gods and there’s no need to appease ourselves, what would the point be?

          • How boring. Jack was sure you’d want to worship yourself. You do it on here all the time. It’s not about appeasement it’s about admiration. Surely you lurve yourself? The intelligence, wit, knowledge. Then there’s those physical attributes. On the wane admittedly but still the lank, lean, mean, under nourished look. Reconsider, do.

          • Anton

            Olympic opening and closing ceremonies are very obviously secular humanist religious ceremonies.

        • Albert

          equal marriage is an oxymoron.

          • Findaráto

            Equal marriage is the law.

          • Albert

            And your point is?

          • carl jacobs

            Well, it’s obvious Albert. All laws are good. Don’t you see?

          • Findaráto

            My point is that equal marriage is the law. What’s yours?

          • Albert

            It’s obviously the law. What point do you draw from that? My point is that it isn’t equal.

          • Findaráto

            The point I draw from equal marriage is that gay couples can now get married. Their relationships are of equal dignity and standing to any other relationship before the law.

            What private individuals believe and the points they draw from those beliefs are entirely up to them. If your morals are determined by Christianity, you won’t like same-sex marriage. But that’s your problem. It’s nobody else’s.

          • Anton

            it’s society’s problem, for no man is an island. Promiscuous post-1960s Western society has yet to prove it can last an an entire lifetime and I doubt it will last two. Contrast that with its predecessor.

          • Albert

            But that’s your problem. It’s nobody else’s.

            Well that depends on whether the law is right to regard same sex relationships as being equal to heterosexual ones. Equally what? It’s pretty obvious that there are some ways in which they are not equal, and therefore, the law, in treating them equally has created a privileged minority at the expense of everyone else. That’s why we should not call it “equal marriage” that’s just a piece of rhetoric to avoid the discussion. We call it “unequal marriage”.

            You don’t have to be a Christian to see that as a problem, you just need to believe in equality.

          • Findaráto

            Yes, the Church trotted that argument out when equal marriage was debated in Parliament. It didn’t do them any good then and certainly hasn’t acquired the power to convince now.

            Marriage is what the law defines it to be: a legal contract regulating the pair bond between two adult individuals of whatever gender. Some marriages produce children, others don’t. Those that do include specific provisions regulating the status of childen born during the marriage. This in no way makes them superior to any other marriage. It just means that marriage law adjusts to the specific circumstances of each couple.

            Whatever the religious believe marriage to be is their affair. They can no longer impose this Christian version on society, but if they themselves want to live by it, all well and good. There’s no skin off my nose if an opposite sex couple wants to have a priest chant some mumbo-jumbo over them so they can consider their union as sacred and therefore better than everyone else’s. Narcissistic pride and delusions about the magic powers of priests are more amusing than irritating.

          • Albert

            Yes, the Church trotted that argument out when equal marriage was debated in Parliament. It didn’t do them any good then and certainly hasn’t acquired the power to convince now.

            Of course it didn’t do any good – as I’ve pointed out same-sex marriage isn’t about equality, except insofar as equality is good rhetoric. So for someone to point out the fairly obvious point that such relationships are not equal to heterosexual ones, and that equality hasn’t been defined, was obviously not going to convince anyone. It wasn’t ever about argument or truth, from the point of view of the innovators.

            Marriage is what the law defines it to be

            That’s manifestly untrue. Marriage pre-existed the state, and so cannot be reducible to the state’s wishes.

            a legal contract regulating the pair bond between two adult individuals of whatever gender.

            If that is meant as a statement of general fact, about what marriage is (as opposed to what the law unjustly defines it as at the moment), then it is manifestly untrue.

            Some marriages produce children, others don’t.

            This is true, but it makes no difference. Marriage concerns the type of relationship that creates children. Otherwise, why have it at all? Why burden society with rules and privileges for some people and not others? The sensible position for homosexuals was to campaign to abolish marriage – which they did at first of course. The trouble with this policy was that it made people think about why we have marriage. And thinking about this topic was the thing that needed to be avoided, hence the rhetoric of “equal marriage”.

            Whatever the religious believe marriage to be is their affair.

            That’s not true. Marriage is not a private thing, it is a public thing. Marriage requires, through the law, other people to treat a particular couple differently from other couples. It requires other people to give them privileges. I don’t think people of the same sex are married, but I will be punished if I refuse to treat them as such. So same-sex marriage is doubly unjust (i) because it extend equal privileges where there is no equality, thus unjustly privileging the couple and (ii) because it punitively forces other people to treat them as equal, even when they are not. Thoughtful, fair-minded people cannot support the innovation therefore, regardless of their religious beliefs.

            There’s no skin off my nose if an opposite sex couple wants to have a priest chant some mumbo-jumbo over them so they can consider their union as sacred and therefore better than everyone else’s. Narcissistic pride and delusions about the magic powers of priests are more amusing than irritating.

            You can be as abusive as you like – you need to be, to make up for the lack of argument. But however abusive you are, it doesn’t take away from the logical fact that same sex marriage is an unjust, incoherent mess.

          • Well said, Albert.

          • ROFL ….

          • Anton

            Do you follow the Pöpe?

          • chiefofsinners

            Why does Harry Secombe come to mind?

          • Peter Sellers came to Jack’s mind.

          • chiefofsinners

            It was in Oliver, I believe : “the law is a ass”

          • chiefofsinners

            Inspector Clouseau? Ah, the sweet image of Cato attacking Linus during an intimate moment.

          • Can you make it the law that same sex acts produce children?

          • The Explorer

            You can make it the law of the land, but not the law of nature. (Massive surgical intervention does not count.)

          • Findaráto

            Reproductive technology is in the process of bypassing the sex act as the only means of producing children.

            It’s now possible to create ova and sperm from stem cells. It’s already been done under laboratory conditions. Soon it may be no more complicated for two men or two women to have a child than it currently is for opposite sex couples using IVF and, when necessary, surrogacy.

            How will the Church cope with children who have two fathers and no mother, or two mothers and no father? And with the disconnection of reproduction from sex? The argument that every child needs a mother and a father to exist will soon be demonstrably untrue, and the principle argument against same sex marriage – that it is not open to life – will evaporate into thin air.

          • Linus, we had this debate months ago. You live in a dark and disordered world. Jack doubts the world will ever become as depraved as you suggest. Normal, everyday folk will see the horror in it.

          • “Soon it may be no more complicated for two men or two women to have a child than it currently is for opposite sex couples using IVF and, when necessary, surrogacy.”

            Even if that becomes possible, producing a baby will be much simpler and cheaper for heterosexuals. So gay marriage will still not be equal to heterosexual marriage. Further proof that God’s way is always best.

          • IanCad

            A terrifying prospect Anna,
            And, in this new technology will emerge the rebirth of eugenics.

          • By then, the earth will be ripe for judgment, I think. Just as the Nephilim in Noah’s time were the final straw.

          • Findaráto

            Straight couples who have difficulty conceiving are willing to pay thousands for IVF treatment. So if you judge the superiority of a marriage by the amount of money it takes to produce a child, with those who spend more being inferior to those who spend less, then you clearly must condemn all infertile marriages as inferior.

            I wonder, is this what you say to childless straight couples? That their relationships are inferior because they have to contract out part or all of the reproductive process? I bet that wins you lots of new friends…

            In any case, money is a bit of a red herring when talking about reproductive technology. Several countries already offer it on their versions of the NHS, and where others lead in terms of social innovation, Britain is usually quick to follow. So cost won’t be a limitation for lesbian couples. Indeed with double the number of wombs available in which they can gestate their stem cell derived embryos, they’ll be able to get much more bang for the taxpayer’s buck than a straight couple.

            Parenthood will, it is true, be a more expensive proposition for gay men. Until, that is, some bright spark spots the hole in the market and invents the exo-womb. For a modest sum, you’ll be able to carry your fetus around in a contraption that I imagine will probably resemble a cross between a forwards-oriented rucksack and a hot water bottle. Available to all couples (not just the gay ones), many straight women (lesbians too) will also prefer this less labour-intensive method of having children. All of the pleasure of motherhood without any of the stretch marks and varicose veins! Their husbands (or wives) might also decide to have a go, or they could take turns and make pregnancy a far more equitable affair than it currently is.

            We’ll have to see where technology takes us. But in the meantime, if you’re going to judge marriages by the amount of money it takes to produce children, stay away from people like Sarah Jessica Parker…

          • The Explorer

            “Double the number of wombs”. If you want value for money, why stop at two? Polygamy is obviously the way ahead: after all, marriage is not about one man to one woman.

            The Turkish sultans would have all four wives pregnant simultaneously. Potential heirs to the throne might be born within days or even hours of each other. It’s why the first act of the successful heir was to strangle his brothers to limit disputes.

          • Findaráto

            If you want polygamous marriage, you need to lobby your MP and persuade him or her to introduce a private member’s bill. Then you’ll need to lobby all members and try to persuade them that polygamy is a good thing.

            Good luck with that. I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation at being able to take on multiple spouses any time soon…

          • The Explorer

            The Muslims are making a pretty good case for it in Canada.

            Myself, running one woman is expensive enough.

          • The Explorer

            What effect will these portable exo wombs (which radical feminists have been agitating for for years) have on those who want to change sex? Surely the unisex human will be the future, rendering sex change unnecessary? Parthenogenesis beckons for the human race. You, too, can become a snail or a slug.

          • Findaráto

            We’re not talking about parthenogenesis, although cloning technology has been around for years and it’s possible that human clones already walk among us. There’s no fundamental reason why, if a sheep can be cloned, a human can’t be. Has it happened yet? Who knows?

            As for “unisex” humans, they exist too, and always have. A small but significant number of intersex babies are born every year. If there is a God, and he “knits babies together in their mothers’ womb”, intersex individuals must be part of the divine plan. So why do you react to the idea with such horror? Are they not God’s children too?

            There’s little danger of everyone becoming intersex however. Once gametes have been produced from stem cells, they fuse in the same way all gametes fuse. The majority of the resulting babies will be either male or female and only a tiny percentage will be intersex.

            But that won’t stop you predicting an intersex zombie apocalypse, will it? Gotta scare people into seeking shelter in your imaginary God somehow, don’t you?

          • The Explorer

            I know we’re not talking parthenogenesis. As I said, that’s the future: when something beckons, it hasn’t yet happened. Think big!

          • Samuel

            Dude

            If you said blue was the colour of the sky the rat would say it’s orange . Then smugly call you a xenophobic whatever.

          • Findaráto

            Nothing about the technology that will permit same-sex couples to have children makes it more likely that intersex individuals will become more common. So your fears are unfounded.

            I suspect you know this and are merely trying to whip up fear and ill-feeling with a ridiculous dystopian image. Typical…

          • The Explorer

            Not intersex: unisex.

          • Samuel

            Dude

            I agree this world is Chaotic! Wake up, finrato! You know, and I know, that chaos and bedlam are consuming the entire world! UV light waves are only the beginning, fin . We have an inch of topsoil left: Sexually transmitted diseases, deforestation, global warning , irreversibly progressive depletion of the global gene pool. It all adds up to oblivion, pal. Governments will fall, anarchies will reign. It’s a brave new world!

          • Samuel

            Dude

            The rat’s dystopia would be like Logan’s run , a classic film alongside starship troopers and night of the lepus .

            But to answer your question. We’d be able to halt immigration, breed sex slaves, soldiers and provide a food source for vampire aliens all in one go: you’d get a choice(because of welfare concerns ) of battery, barn, free range or organic humans . Insane? I’ve been proof reading Hannah’s novel manuscript all day.
            I won’t confuse you with the alien shapeshifting race which in their natural form are blobs of liquid metallic hydrogen come angels. . Still it’s a good read. I cannot decide if it is a chick lit, social commentary, humour or military sci fi.

          • So, a gay couple trying for a baby would have the same difficulties as an infertile heterosexual couple. Doesn’t this prove, beyond all doubt, that no political leader can decide if the two are equal, and dignify gay marriage – for such things have been decided by a much higher authority?

          • Findaráto

            Marriage is not “dignified” by children. Children result from sexual intercourse whether it takes place in a marriage or not.

            If children dignify marriage then they also dignify binge drinking, incest and rape.

          • The Explorer

            Never mind the Church. How will society cope?

          • Findaráto

            Society will cope perfectly well, as it always does.

            Christians will freak out and predict the end of the world, just as they always do whenever social innovation threatens their rigid and unbending moral code devised for Bronze Age patriarchal herdsman, which cannot be adapted to the needs of a modern, technological society.

            Muslims will probably have a hissy fit too. They seem to over most things.

            The rest of the world will shrug its shoulders at the histrionics, sweep up the mess left by various bombers or theatrical public suicides (remember Notre-Dame in Paris?) and carry on.

            Christians will probably refuse ro have anything to do with same-sex couples and their children on the grounds that their very existence is anti-Christian “persecution”, and will retreat even further into the martyrdom complex that characterises their faith in this day and age.

            And the world will continue to turn…

          • The Explorer

            Those who haven’t become the mess left by various bombers.

          • Lienus

            Notre Dame! You remembered! The place where we first trysted our love! You were the priest, I came in to confess sins of the flesh, neither of us could control our pissoires!
            And soon we shall hear the pitter-patter of our offspring, little Findus and Lino! Yes, mon cherie, I am pregenante!
            Je t’adore! X X X

          • Do the right thing. Hand the child over to the Church for adoption by a mother and father. Then the pair of you repent and enter separate cloistered monasteries.

        • “We saw it with equal marriage.”

          Linus, what is this talk of equality?

          Can same sex couples consummate their marital promises? No. Can same sex acts of mutual masturbation produce the fruit of children? No. Can same sex couples commit adultery? No.

          Looks like God gets the last word over man after all.

          • Albert

            And that’s precisely the point. Since same sex relationships are not equal to heterosexual relationships, to treat them as such is an unjust privilege, which counts both against heterosexual couples and other relationships.

          • chiefofsinners

            I emailed the PM at the time, asking if he could arrange for me to marry my Guinea pig, which I love very much. He must be very busy because he still hasn’t replied.

          • Albert

            Cos, isn’t it obvious that you cannot possibly marry your guinea pig, because it isn’t possible, even in principle for you to consummate the relationship and have off-spring together…oh no, hang on…that’s not an objection any more.

          • carl jacobs

            The offspring would obviously be a chief pig whom he would obviously name Napoleon

          • chiefofsinners
          • Albert

            Nice.

          • Anton

            Your Guinea Pig still hasn’t replied? Just playing hard to get, don’t worry.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I just knew there was something very odd about you apart from the hairdo !

          • Indeed – it is an unwarranted privilege.

            And: “No reasonable person can regard losing an unwarranted privilege as persecution of course, but we’re not talking about reasonable people here. We’re talking about homosexualists.”

          • Albert

            What’s sauce for the goose…

    • IanCad

      Persecuted for not allowing others the freedom of choice?

    • Anton

      Slaves got a day off each week after the Roman Emperor became a Christian.

      • David

        That’s an amazing fact !
        Undoubtedly life improved with the faith’s arrival, but the secularists deny all that.

    • Malcolm Smith

      If shopkeepers have willing to be open on Sunday, then their staff will need to be rostered on for that day. Apart from the fact that even staff members might like to go to church, did it occur to you that even the most irreligious might like to have a day off when he can be guaranteed to be with his family? After all, your children aren’t going to be at school on Sunday. Also, all too often, both husband and wife are working. If one is rostered for work on Sunday, then the spouses cannot be together. Indeed, part of the impetus for Sunday trading is the convenience of two income families. But one person’ s convenience becomes another person’s inconvenience.

      • Tom

        Malcom, the NHS is (I believe) the third biggest employer in Europe. A huge number of NHS staff have to work on Sundays; if you deny them the ability to pop in to the supermarket on the way home from work, they will have to spend *their* rest days/family day/Sabbath day shopping, just so you can have your tradition enshrined in law?

        I’m a Christian, and an NHS employee. I benefit greatly from Muslim and Hindu colleagues who are happy to work on my high days and holy days.

        Some sort of Sabbath rest is a wonderful idea, spiritually, mentally and physically. But it today’s modern world it makes no sense to insist everyone rests on the same day (everyone that is apart from those providing services *I* want to use…!), and anyway, you cannot force someone to observe healthy rest! The online shopping figures speak for themselves. Those who want to busy themselves on a Sunday and ignore the spiritual imperative to cease will do so, whatever the government says.

        • Malcolm Smith

          In that case, do you think there should be special schools open on Sundays and closed some other day in order to cater for those whose parents work in the NHS?
          Before we were married, my wife worked in a nursing home, and was rostered on every second Sunday, which meant she was forced to miss every second church service.
          There will always be people who have to work on Sundays, and that is an inconvenience for them. However, the point I wanted to make is that a lot of other people are going to be inconvenienced if they are forced to work in shops on Sundays.

          • Tom

            Re. schools, no, but for reasons of organisation, not religious tradition.

            I’m not telling people they should work on Sundays. But there seem to me to be two options: give everyone the freedom to shop or work any time (or, according to whatever demand exists), or limit everyone based on the preferences of a few. I see no mandate for this in the New Testament.

            As another commentor mentioned, if it is such a vital part of one’s religious observance, surely one will be willing to take the economic hit? Why does everyone have be limited so that your religious observances aren’t detrimental at all to you?

      • Findaráto

        And while the husband and wife in your example above are busy arranging things for themselves in a way that selfishly supports their own chosen lifestyle and dictates to everyone else when they should be able to earn and spend their money, the rest of us can’t buy a loaf of bread on a Sunday afternoon.

        If they want children and want a day off as a family, they should arrange with their employers to have Sundays free. If the employers won’t cooperate, they’re free to seek alternative employment. I doubt they will though. Most families are far more concerned by earnings potential than religious observance or even shared leisure time. If they weren’t, why in most families would both parents work?

        • The Explorer

          What did people do in the unenlightened days before Sunday trading? Put a spare loaf in the freezer? Get it on Saturday? Starve? How did housewives manage to cook a Sunday roast if they couldn’t get the ingredients on Sunday? Anyone know?

          • Anton

            Go to Israel and see what they do (and don’t do) on the Sabbath – and the day before.

          • The Explorer

            Your last four words are crucial.

          • Findaráto

            Beats me. They probably went hungry. People did in those days, you know…

          • The Explorer

            Indeed. I can still remember the British Sunday famines pre 1994. But I recently visited a stately home that had a thing called a larder. Food was stored in there in the days before fridges. That might have been a solution for some.

            Re both parents working, the Soviet Union deliberately pitched the industrial wage at a level that required two incomes to survive. That way, the State could instruct the kids in proper doctrine, free of parental interference. After experimenting with a six-day and a ten-day week, the Soviets tried to ensure that the day of rest for husband and wife (different sexes in those days: the Soviets were not enlightened about everything) did not coincide. In that respect, at least, they declared war on the family.

          • Lienus

            Findarato does not remember because he is the ‘butch’ one in our relationship. But I remember… Romantic picnics under the poplars along the Loire…We didn’t care if the Camembert was rank, not in those heady days when lurve was young. Oh, the halcyon days before Tutenakai came along and uttered those three little words: ménage a trois…

          • …. and then Bob was recruited too.
            Can one ask, in strictest confidence, what sort of ‘husband’ Findarato is proving to be?

          • Lienus

            Very YMCA, with a fine pair of handlebar moustaches, which he might have taken from the corpse of the Inspector General. Not big in the pantaloon departemente. More what you eenglish call smuggling a budgie than bagging a ferret.

          • Ah … but is he a sensitive and caring person? Does he treat you well?

      • Lienus

        My husband, Findarato, and I will shortly be adopting two children who have been removed from a Christian ‘male-female’ couple by social services. These two boys have suffered terrible abuse. They were taken to a non-Ofsted registered Sunday school where they were told they were ‘sinners’ and were not even allowed to explore possible alternative gender identities for themselves.
        What is this ‘family time’ nonsense? The kids will be with childminders while Findarato and I are out getting pissoired, taking recreational drugs and going on gay pride marches. Merde, you eenglish are so dumb.

  • Lienus

    Mon Dieu is materialism. Je demande the right to worship 24/7 and two fingers to anyone who disagrees with me.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      “Nowadays we worship at Saint Tesco” (Pam Ayres).

  • Smuggling it through the back door added on to another Bill is downright cheating! But then one can expect no less from a second generation Pakistani who doesn’t really understand democracy. It’s the sort of stuff they get up to in Pakistan.

    • Lienus

      Why do you discriminate against those of us who smuggle through the back door?

      • That’s very rood.

        • chiefofsinners

          Probably not a saved pusson

          • Jack is not saved yet but is working at it.

          • chiefofsinners

            In accordance with the scriptures, I am saved, am being saved and will be saved. Kind of what you’d expect from an eternal God.

          • “But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
            Matthew 24:13:

            “Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”
            1 Corinthians 10:12

          • chiefofsinners

            1 Corinthians 10 describes what happens to all Christians: we fall sometimes.
            Matthew 24 describes end times, and the more general truth that those who fall away were not genuinely saved.

            Titus 3:4-5, 2 Cor 2:15, Romans 13:11

            And we have the Holy Spirit, the earnest. Eph 1:14.

          • As you said initially scripture is written from the eternal perspective of God. We don’t know how predestination of the elect works but there is enough in scripture to inform us that God wants all of us to arrive in Heaven, that not all of us do, and that we have to freely cooperate with God’s grace to be saved.

          • chiefofsinners

            Amen. A whole lot of common ground.

        • carl jacobs

          [Tap tap tap tap …]

          There was no reason to interpret that remark in that way. You should be more charitable.

          • The Explorer

            Yeah, there was every reason. Remember who Lienus is pretending to be.

          • Lienus is Lienus ….

          • The Explorer

            Well, yes, but before he was Lienus he called himself Linus. That suggests satirical emulation to me.

          • CliveM

            Not convinced. Lienus has a sense of humour…..

          • He is his own character … that is what Jack meant.

          • Samuel

            Dude

            Ask your contact from The Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano , but I suspect the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure is something to do with this matter? Ten minutes till the new” x files” start….

          • CliveM

            Doh!

        • Anton

          Un holy rood

        • You have a rood mind HJ tut tut.

      • It’s got nothing to do with discrimination. Smuggling is a crime. This undermines the system we have in place for proper scrutiny and debate. If this is allowed then we might as well not bother to have a democratic system at all.

  • preacher

    Perhaps it’s time to examine more closely our faith. This issue certainly raises some important questions for all of us. My main concern is that we have sunk into a state of spiritual lethargy, that has robbed us of the power that the early Church possessed. My own belief is that when our Lord fulfilled the requirements of the Mosaic law, He heralded a new & living way to know & Worship God. When the promised Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, the way was opened to know the Living God personally.
    As time went by, the Church gradually lost the connection & reverted to tradition & custom to fill the gap. Time went by & the desire for Knowing God waned until the fire of Pentecost was almost extinguished, save for times when Spiritually live men,, the likes of the Wesley’s found their hearts ” Strangely warmed ” like the Disciples on the Emmaus Road. Regrettably the ” Organisation ” that the majority of believers now followed resisted change, despite the obvious positive results of the so called ” Revivals ” even to the point that the Wesley’s found themselves barred from most pulpits.
    If believers wish to continue meeting & worshipping on Sundays then they should be free to do so, obviously there are benefits of being able to meet together in one common place to pray & worship, thus legislation would be needed to protect the rights of those that so wished from discrimination & the loss of employment.
    Personally I feel that many attend Church as they feel it’s the religious ;’ bit ‘ in their week, then back to ” Normality ” on Monday to Saturday.
    The Lord is available 24, 7, 365, we need to make every day a day of Worship & prayer. Meeting & loving, listening & serving Him. Enjoying Him daily. Seeking & receiving His Blessings. Smaller, more intimate meetings for payer & fellowship could be organised & arranged.
    Then we would feel the benefit & see the difference that only He can make.
    If Sunday can make us feel good, imagine what seven consecutive Sundays every week will do.

    • Albert

      Time went by & the desire for Knowing God waned until the fire of Pentecost was almost extinguished, save for times when Spiritually live men,, the likes of the Wesley’s found their hearts ” Strangely warmed ” like the Disciples on the Emmaus Road.

      I’m guessing you’ve not read many accounts of Catholic religious experience if you think the fire of Pentecost was almost extinguished save for people like Wesley having their hearts strangely warmed.

      • preacher

        Good Morning Albert. You are right in your guess, but we can’t read everything & as only the Lord is all knowing we are all in the same boat.
        I have read accounts of some of the so called Catholic Mystics, but as most of them were opposed by the main stream Catholic Church & they lived long ago, one cannot honestly pass comment on their validity.
        I chose the Wesley brothers as an example because their are many accounts of their ministry & preaching of the gospel, plus some very fine Hymns & songs of Worship that are still popular today.
        Also they were rejected by the Anglican mainstream, ( mainly through fear I feel ). I could have chosen General Booth or any other well known revivalist leader.
        I am not a great believer or supporter of any denomination as I see the Church as a living organism rather than an organisation so more often a hindrance to the spread of the gospel than a help. When it becomes a business run by men I find the Holy Spirit tends to leave them to it.
        Have a good week brother, Blessings. P,

        • Albert

          I have read accounts of some of the so called Catholic Mystics, but as most of them were opposed by the main stream Catholic Church & they lived long ago, one cannot honestly pass comment on their validity.

          I don’t think that’s a very convincing response. Effectively it means that we cannot know about these accounts because they were a long time ago. But that wasn’t the conclusion you drew? You said Time went by & the desire for Knowing God waned until the fire of Pentecost was almost extinguished . Well how can you know that if you say you do not know about their validity? You cannot say the fire of Pentecost was almost extinguished. You can only say “Our records for this time are doubtful.” To which I would add, given the promises of Christ, we ought to assume that such things were going on (not that the fire of Pentecost was almost extinguished). And if one begins with that assumption then we can know, that some at least of the experiences are authentic.

          BTW, I don’t agree about institutions. Institutions are part of human society, and since the incarnation means the gathering up of all humanity into God, except for what is sinful, it must be that institutions can be a vehicle of grace.

          Blessings to you!

          • preacher

            Hello again Albert. I can only write about what I know & what I believe. I can indeed say that the fire of Pentecost was almost extinguished & indeed add that the devil has worked hard in every revival to smother the flames of spiritual life, he can’t ultimately succeed though, because the fire will break out again & be even hotter than before. Any fire fighter will agree that a blaze will often continue to burn, even when it appears to be out.
            I don’t use the word institutions, but organisations as I see that many support the organisations rather than the Lord & this is what stunts spiritual growth in the Church.
            Many of the records you refer to were very sketchy & quite contradictory, depending on their authors & the view held by them, Whereas the later records of say the Wesley’s are much more historically accurate, even if the writers didn’t hold with their teaching.

      • len

        I suspect’ the Fire of Pentecost’ would cause those within the RCC some serious doubts as to their position?. Indeed anyone to question as to where their true allegiance lay…

        • Albert

          Actually it would be the other way around: the fire of Pentecost in the Catholic Church might cause you to wonder about your judgement of us.

          • Anton

            Indeed. It is the charismatic Catholics with whom I find that I have much in common, because they know Jesus and know that they know him.

    • David

      The institutionalisation of The Church, which perhaps started under Constantine, has much to do with the loss of vital energy. Institutions tend to accumulate influence, which over time morphs into power. Then they start attracting people who want power, and so it goes on, pushing too many further and further away form the energy that only The Spirit gives us, based on Truth. That’s why in the early Church, the Desert Fathers left civilisation, that was rapidly making Christianity institutionally the norm, and struck off into the quiet places to find and serve God – not my choice but I can understand theirs. And so it has continued down the ages to us.
      Strangely I think that the fact that the governments of the west are turning against the Faith, may in time strengthen it. I am not a martyrdom seeker, but just trying to see things as they are.

      • Anton

        Yes. There will not be a revival, but of quality not quantity.

        • David

          Certainly within my denomination, the C of E, the future will see rapid decline of the liberal congregations, as they die, accompanied by the continuing modest growth of the conservative, evangelical wing. The denomination as a whole will shrink but grow more faithful. That is the scenario over the next half century I believe. So yes you may well be right across the Churches.

      • preacher

        Absolutely agree David see my reply to Albert below. We now live in a society that makes it well nigh impossible to follow the example of the Desert Fathers & I feel that the Lord now requires us to live our faith in the spotlight of modern society, to shine the light by our actions & love for one another which will lead many to seek & follow the path of the gospel.
        As the World becomes more selfish, sinful & avaricious, governments will continue to encourage mankind to jettison the things of the Spirit & turn to organised religion or myths, fables & cults as these pose no threat & Are easily controlled. While the rest continue the fight to be top dog.
        The real believers will have a mighty job to do & will need all the support of the Holy Spirit, but the truth of the gospel will prevail despite all the opposition. ” Cometh the hour, cometh the man ” , we should be ready for exciting times ahead
        Blessings. P..

        • David

          Agreed ! Many thanks.
          God Bless.

      • Coniston

        I believe that Dante, a devout Catholic, believed that Church and State had distinct spheres – there should be close co-operation, but each had its own work to do. Of course he was thinking of a State imbued with Christianity, not hostile to it. Though he was a devout Catholic he had 3 Popes in hell in his ‘Inferno’.
        Incidentally, does anyone now read T. S. Eliot’s long essay ‘The Idea of a Christian Society’ (1939)? It is in a collection of his essays, entitled ”The Idea of a Christian Society and other Writings’, dealing with Christianity; another essay is called ‘Towards a Christian Britain’ (1941). They do seem now to be from another world.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    How’s this for an amendment? From Wikipedia:

    Henry Du Pré Labouchère returned to Parliament in the 1880 election, when he and Charles Bradlaugh, both Liberals, won the two seats for Northampton. (Bradlaugh’s then-controversial atheism led Labouchère, a closet agnostic, to refer sardonically to himself as “the Christian member for Northampton”.)

    In 1885, Labouchère, whose libertarian stances did not preclude a fierce homophobia, drafted the Labouchère Amendment as a last-minute addition to a Parliamentary Bill that had nothing to do with homosexuality. His amendment outlawed “gross indecency”; sodomy was already a crime, but Labouchère’s Amendment now criminalised any sexual activity between men. Ten years later the Labouchère Amendment allowed for the prosecution of Oscar Wilde, who was given the maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment with hard labour.

    And also Alan Turing. The “narrative”, if I may call it that, is much more convoluted than the noisy voices would allow.

    Cannot decide on anything more to say about this at present.

    And now good night
    It is time to sleep
    And we will sleep with our pet Zeep.
    Today is gone
    Today was fun
    Tomorrow is another one
    Here there to here
    From here to there
    Funny things are everywhere.

     

  • Jill

    Who on earth eats tinned peas? They’re horrible at any hour of the day or any day of the week.

    • The Explorer

      I’ve had tinned mushy peas with fish and chips. But those aliens aren’t eating peas: they’re worshipping them.

  • len

    What Satan cannot kill outright he corrupts. We see this happening within the Church when it became married to the State under Constantine.The Reformation attempted to reclaim the Church from the shackles of the State and succeeded for a time but that time seems to be slipping away as ‘compromise’ within the Church has once again reclaimed what ground was won back by the Reformers at such a cost of life and limb.

    Sunday trading will not kill the Church because what of the Western Church that is not already dead or dying is asleep.Compromise is killing the Church .Compromise fed into the church by being linked with the State.

    The’ Church’ ( I hesitate to use that word because ‘the Western church’ to my mind seems to consist mainly of the State ordained religious organisation which bears little or no resemblance to the group of Spirit filled believers which Jesus ordained to carry out the great commission)The Church needs Life and only the Holy Spirit can give Life. No religious organisation can give the Life that the church desperately needs. The Western Church needs a revelation of its true condition from the Lord Himself from Jesus who ordained all who place their trust in Him to be ‘His Church’. I emphasize HIS Church. Jesus sends a letter to the Churches which are entirely relevant today (Revelation 2)

    • preacher

      Right on target Len. When men get involved, God stands back. The old War of Flesh V Spirit.

      • Albert

        I find this distinction unhelpful. What about the possibility of men get involved because of the Spirit? So often I find Protestants seem too dualist to be biblical both in terms of their doctrine of creation, incarnation and salvation.

        • preacher

          I’m afraid you would have to expand on your criticism of the Protestant view of dualism Albert.
          Men Do get involved because of the Action of the Holy Spirit, but in doing so they usually are rejected by the ” organised ” Church who see them as a threat.

          • Albert

            The difficulty is knowing what is and what is not the action of the Holy Spirit. One of the interesting things about Catholicism, is when the Church clamps down on someone and then says “Actually, we got this wrong, this man/woman is a saint.” But then there is still the Montanist heresy. As the Church is the body of Christ, we cannot divide all this into bald categories: individuals good, organisations bad. Most things are about avoiding extremes.

          • preacher

            Some good points Albert, if I may I will try to answer them.
            I believe the Church, especially those in pastoral positions desperately need the hardly ever mentioned gift of discernment. A close relationship with the Holy Spirit is the only way to receive this or any other gift. He will quickly show false teaching & error, whether intentional or not.
            When we rely on others to make decisions on our behalf we are in danger of being misinformed or misled, once more —– either intentionally or not.
            Often in the past, the Church has clamped down on people & even caused their martyrdom. Then years or maybe decades later have announced their mistake & as you rightly say, made them saints.
            A living relationship with the Lord doesn’t guarantee that we won’t get things wrong, but eliminates the possibility of error by trusting a third party’s claim of infallibility. Organisation in Churches I feel contributes to the possibility of this & stifles the Moving of the Spirit in individuals by ebcouraging lethargy.

            Blessings. P.

          • Albert

            I believe the Church, especially those in pastoral positions desperately need the hardly ever mentioned gift of discernment.

            But in the Catholic Church, we talk about discernment all the time!

            A close relationship with the Holy Spirit is the only way to receive this or any other gift. He will quickly show false teaching & error, whether intentional or not.

            On a personal level, this is true. But from the point of view of the Body of Christ, more is going on, because of Christ’s providential care.

            A living relationship with the Lord doesn’t guarantee that we won’t get things wrong, but eliminates the possibility of error by trusting a third party’s claim of infallibility.

            For us, the third party is Christ. Do you mean to exclude his gift of infallibility.

            Organisation in Churches I feel contributes to the possibility of this & stifles the Moving of the Spirit in individuals by encouraging lethargy.

            I think it is lack of organisation in Churches that contributes to this, and results in people confusing their own spirit with that of Christ’s Holy Spirit: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

          • preacher

            Sorry for the delay in answering Albert. May I take each point in turn ?.
            1/
            Discernment : Talking about any gift does not meaning one has received that gift. Example A child wants a new bicycle for a birthday present & Talks about it constantly – the Bike exists but until he receives it he doesn’t have it or own it.
            2/
            The Holy Spirit was given to all believers to equip them for the Lord’s service. His presence in all believers is as essential as a soldiers full kit to all of us in the spiritual battle with the devil. Paul lists the need for every believer to be fully ready & armed for the conflict in Ephesians 6: 10 – 16.
            3/
            Christ is infallible, man is not. Christ is sinless, man is not.
            When we elevate any human to act as an interpreter of the Lord’s will, we place an unbearable load on him & open ourselves to the possibility of deception.
            God gives equally to all that ask, no man is holier than any another. – ” All have sinned & come short of the glory of God, There is none righteous – not one ! “. The Lord appoints leaders but no human is infallible.
            4/
            The Lord says that He has come to set the captives free !
            The Jewish faith was, & is more organised then than any other belief that existed, yet much of His criticism was for it’s leaders. If organisation produced the desired result & the Church needs more of it we should all revert to the Judaic roots that the Church was born from.
            Organisation by men from the top of any Mega sized group is open to corruption because man’s nature is sinful. As was proved by the necessity of the Lord’s cleansing of the Temple.

            Blessings. P.

          • sarky

            As for point 1, the child could pray for a bike, when he realises it doesn’t work like that, he could steal one and pray for forgiveness.

          • preacher

            LOL ! Hi Brother – but if he receives it after praying for it he’ll be legal, happy & free. If he steals it, it is still not legally his & if he’s caught he’ll be prosecuted, incarcerated & sad.
            But first he needs to be really sorry & to ask the forgiveness from the person he stole it from. Keep smiling. You know where this is leading !.

          • len

            True repentance means a change of heart and a change of direction.If child had this revelation about repentance after stealing bike said child would give the bike back to whoever he/she stole it from.

          • IanCad

            There has been a precedent for that; in the form of indulgences.

          • Albert

            1. This is what you said: I believe the Church, especially those in pastoral positions desperately need the hardly ever mentioned gift of discernment. And I simply replied: that we talk about discernment all the time. I find therefore your reply a bit odd. I was pointing out that your statement contained a factual error. Moreover, you appear to assume that you have the gift of discernment and we don’t (otherwise why make the comment). I wonder what St Paul would say about that.

            2. The Holy Spirit was given to all believers to equip them for the Lord’s service. True, but it is not individualistic. Scripture makes it clear that gifts are complimentary, no one has everything.

            3. Christ is infallible, man is not. But Christ can speak infallibly through man if he chooses. Ditto your comment about sin.

            When we elevate any human to act as an interpreter of the Lord’s will, we place an unbearable load on him & open ourselves to the possibility of deception.

            Obviously, but you seem not to notice the possibility that perhaps Christ has elevated someone that way. You know you Protestants sometimes come across as being Protestants because you don’t believe in grace and that “all things are possible to God.”

            4. I think this is logically fallacious. Clearly there are a range of reasons why we need to move beyond the OT law. Being without commandments is not one of them, and being anarchic is not another.

            Organisation by men from the top of any Mega sized group is open to corruption because man’s nature is sinful.

            And the same is true of men acting anarchically or individualistically.

            As was proved by the necessity of the Lord’s cleansing of the Temple.

            I think these comparisons with the OT give the game away. We have grace that they did not have, so although there is sinfulness, we can expect more from the Church than from the Temple, which is, after all, only a shadow of good things to come.

          • preacher

            Albert, why do say you are only talking about discernment instead of asking to receive this gift ?. I don’t remember stating that I had been given the gift of discernment or not, or what gifts I have or have not received, I simply point out that all those in God’s service need all the gifts to work effectively, so are you saying that you have been blessed with this gift then ? If so, Good ! .
            I disagree that the gifts of the Spirit are not given to individuals, but then if you don’t believe that you can receive any gifts as an individual that would explain your confusion above. I believe they are given as the Lord wills,- as many or as few as each person needs, to equip them for the particular service they will render to God.
            Christ is infallible but man is not. The important words in your reply are ” probability ” & ” perhaps ” which imply a vague hope that the Lord will appoint the right man for the job even if those that appoint him get it wrong.
            Of course All things are possible for God. But He does things His way, not ours. We all are sinners saved by grace – so do those statements in your opinion eliminate me from being a Protestant ?.

            So are you saying that your Church is the only one that has never been used by unscrupulous leaders for personal gain & to achieve power & wealth, or that she no longer needs to obey God’s law because of God’s grace ?.
            Although the Lord came to fulfil the demands of the law, He didn’t give us the right to disobey or cancel it as we wish.

            When the Lord cleansed the temple He acted as an individual & He was denounced by the High priest as a blasphemer a heretic & a dangerous anarchist for protesting at the corruption that had been encouraged by the religious leaders for their own benefit.
            That alone should surely be a warning not to let the Church become a business enterprise or organisation that is run by chosen executives as it may grow rich in earthly terms but become spiritually bankrupt in the process.

          • Albert

            Thank you Preacher. I’ve decided to give up blogging for Lent, so I won’t reply, if you don’t mind, beyond saying that you attribute to me and to Catholicism things we don’t hold (and which I have not said).

    • Anton

      This is why I am in a congregation that answers to God directly and is not collectively involved in politics. How ironic that those who are in politicised and hierarchical churches say that such congregations aren’t proper churches!

      • “I am in a congregation that answers to God directly”
        How does that work? Does He visit you on a weekly basis for you to give an account to?

        • Anton

          We understand that we are all priests and He is our great high priest. We therefore stick to the New Testament and it works very well, unsurprisingly.

        • preacher

          H.J that was a facetious remark & really unnecessary !.
          Hope you are keeping well & recovering from your recent health problems. God Bless you. P.

          • Too difficult to resist. Jack is a sinner.
            Mea culpa ….

        • len

          Jesus knows what is going on in all the Churches (see revelation 2)

  • Multi-party systems in democracies have outlived their usefulness and are no longer effective – we need a new model. Meaningless and wasteful – in many countries there are no significant differences between competing parties; they are all equally corrupt and self-serving. Much of the taxpayers money goes into holding expensive elections periodically, at the end of which, you have 5 more years of the same. Nearly all parties in a democracy have sold themselves to special interest groups – otherwise they will have no money to campaign or remain in power.

    Sadly, some of these interest groups now include the media – who no longer work to expose the truth and keep politicians under check. They prefer to use blackmail or otherwise manipulate politicians. So, a ‘free press’ is equally ineffective – they also have masters to serve.

  • jsampson45

    What is the evidence that the people want democracy anyway? If “democracy” means rule by the people, the matter is up to the people. As it is, see above, and also it seems that Mr Cameron has lied to Parliament about his “legally binding” deal with the EU. Who cares?

  • Darter Noster

    Removing any religious principles:

    When I was driving buses, Sunday was just another working day. In any given week, I could be called on to do a 9 to 11 hour Sunday shift. “Rest days” could be assigned on any days of the week, and were often not on consecutive days, so I would have one day off on, say, Tuesday, and another on Saturday. In theory one could work out one’s rest days several weeks in advance, but in practice shifts changed and it was not a good idea to plan anything more than a week in advance.

    This had a hugely corrosive effect on family life, because one could rarely plan anything, and when my girlfriend was off on Saturday and Sunday I could well be working one or both of those days and would never know for sure more than a few days in advance.

    As a libertarian type, I support the principle of being able to work any day of the week should one wish, but I also know from experience that people will come under severe pressure to work irregular times and that this totally disrupts family life. Big employers like the regularising of Sunday working because they can make their employees work odd days without being obliged to pay overtime – 11 hours driving a bus on a Sunday brought no more money than the same on a Monday.

    Workers need protection from exploitation, and guaranteed time around which they can plan family life is part of that – time which matches up with the rest of their relatives. If people wish to work weekends then there should be nothing to prevent them, but religious or atheist we all need time off for family life.

    • IanCad

      A good, informative post Darter, and one that exposes the difficulties shift work gives to employers who may wish to grant “Reasonable Accommodation” to those employees whose religious observances would be violated by working on a particular day.
      Liberty – religious or civil – has to be fought for, and sometimes requires sacrifice. That’s the way it is.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    I guarantee that none of the rich businessmen behind this evil proposal will be working on Sunday themselves.

    • IanCad

      Evil??!!

      • Dreadnaught

        Exactly: what a detached world some people live in where all sense of proportion let alone reality is extinct.

  • michaelkx

    And what did you expected from this government honesty? They do not know the meaning of the
    word.

  • Busy Mum

    “I hold the Sabbath to be the most valuable blessing. It is the cornerstone of civilization.
    It is a great change, and those who suppose that it could be limited to museums will find they are mistaken.”

    Disraeli, 1882, on the proposal to open museums on Sundays.

    • IanCad

      As much as I admire Disraeli he seems, on this issue, rather blinkered.
      All British subjects, of all religious persuasions are granted the right not to go to museums on Sundays if that is their wish. Closing the museums on that day would abolish that right.
      Civilization should be all about letting folks do as they please if it is not overly harmful to others.

      • Busy Mum

        But Disraeli correctly foresaw where the opening of museums would lead. So although I exercise my freedom to not shop, not work and keep Sunday as a day of rest, that level of rest and quiet is less than it would be if my neighbour did not have the freedom to mow his lawn on a Sunday. I daresay his level of rest and quiet during his Staurday morning lie-in is also disturbed by me washing the car. For optimum peace and quiet in a civilisation, the day of rest must be uniform throughout.

        • Anton

          Exactly how did the opening of museums led to the present degeneracy?

          • Busy Mum

            I think it legitimised the leisure and pleasure-seeking which humans will always prefer above worshipping God.

          • Anton

            What would you like the law to do to somebody who washes his car on a Sunday afternoon?

          • Busy Mum

            Nothing. I would like him to refrain from doing so from love of God, not the fear of man.

          • Anton

            I think that that sort of thing is what God gave the day off your regular work for. Sports?

          • Busy Mum

            Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work.

            God gave us Sunday off, we’ve given ourselves Saturday off too; I now notice a lot of people giving themselves half of Friday off….all this technology, labour-saving devices etc and spare time… and yet people still need to do their own thing on a Sunday? You would have thought people could make more time for God, not less!

            Sports – whether for the fun of it or for the worship of the human body, I cannot see anything holy about the world of sport….

          • IanCad

            God never gave us Sunday off.
            The weekend – Saturday and Sunday is owed to the conflict between Paganism and Christianity. The Pagans won because they offered sports and fun on their celebration day. It took several centuries.

          • Busy Mum

            Whether it was the Saturday or the Sunday, God never gave us both off. A two-day weekend off work is a man-made invention but, I suppose, it reflects the Jewish and Christian positions…and caters for SDA’s too!

          • IanCad

            The Jewish and Christian positions on the Sabbath question should be as one. The Seventh Day.

          • Anton

            But starting from when?

          • IanCad

            From Creation first although – this could lead to an entirely new conversation – arguably from since the beginning of time itself in Heaven,
            The Jewish people were reminded of it again when God, through Moses, restated His Eternal Law. Christians through the example of Christ followed it although error quickly crept in among the various churches. Not universally however. In our own land the Seventh Day was observed by many up to, and after the Synod of Whitby. From his writings it has been suggested that even St. Patrick followed the commandment.
            After Augustine landed things went downhill fast.

          • Anton

            Well I agree that the wrong choice was made at Whitby. The question I was asking was how do we know which of the days WE call Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday etc is a multiple of seven since the creation began, and does it matter?

          • IanCad

            Anton,
            Even though there have been changes in the calendar the weekly cycle of days has never been altered. There were some pretty drastic corrections as in the Gregorian calendar; days were skipped, but again, not the weekly cycle.
            That’s not very clear. Let’s say forty days were cut out tomorrow would still be the next day. Oh Dear! That’s even worse, but you get my drift.
            If the cycle was changed or lost between Genesis and Sinai – I don’t think it was – it most certainly has not been tampered with since the tablets were last hewn.
            Does it matter? Picture Moses up the mountain with the thunder and lightning and the Glory of God. I’m sure when the Fourth Commandment came up Moses didn’t ask if it really mattered.

          • Anton

            But it’s part of ancient Israel’s law and has never been a command to the church. Blessed is the gentile country that enacts a family day of rest but that’s wise precedent not divine command.

          • IanCad

            “But it’s part of ancient Israel’s law and has never been a command to the church”

            That’s not what’s in the bible Anton.

            Unless your embrace of antinomianism is so absolute as to deny scripture these few verses must surely vouch for the currency of the Decalogue:

            “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3

            “If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

            “–the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Rev 12:17

            “—here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Rev. 14:12

            God has a particular dislike for sun worship. In Ezkiel 8:15,16 it is defined as the greatest abomination. It was the practise of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Mithraism is condemned utterly throughout scripture. To worship on Sunday is a tip of the hat to the superstition of the ancient world.

            Of some further importance; it should be noted that there are no Gentile gates in the New Jerusalem. Rev. 21:12

          • Anton

            Keep the Sabbath (never mind whether Saturday or Sunday) and you must keep the rest of Mosaic Law; they apply or do not apply together, and Paul answers which for the Christian.

          • IanCad

            Don’t you guys ever sleep, or have to get up for work?
            I need my nine hours.

            The Decalogue and the Mosaic Law are two clear different ordinances. The one contained on tablets of stone within the Ark; the other outside the Ark. One written by God the other by Moses. Deut. 31:26

            The Mosaic law encompassed the entire economy of Jewish life. Legal, social, and sacrificial. Within the scope of the legal, the Decalogue was, of course, repeated. Not word for word; but the requirements of the ordinance were emphasized over and over again.

            That the Law of Moses was temporary there is no doubt. Hebrews 8-11 makes that plain.

            Now if, as you seem to suggest, the laws are a duality and inseperable then not only would the Sabbath commandment be abandoned, but also, those pertaining to murder, theft, and all other transgressions recognized as such today.
            I do not consider that is a tenable position to hold.

            Not to get personal Anton, but you have stated that you are a physicist. A discipline that requires discernment, knowledge, and proof. The latter, if not obvious, must be assessed by weight of evidence. Not to be rude; But I believe your position is based largely on weight of opinion.

          • Anton

            Well spotted Ian (in your first para); my sleep pattern had suffered from a surfeit of pancakes.

            For some physics contributions (or at least maths), have a look at my comments to Ivan on this thread. Where you and I differ is this: you say that the Decalogue and the Mosaic Law are two clear different ordinances. I regard the Decalogue as being the chapter headings of (and within) Mosaic Law. If the Decalogue were to all mankind, why were they given to Moses at Sinai, not Noah in the earlier covenant with all flood survivors and their descendants, ie everybody today? And why were the Ten followed immediately by “small print” of Mosaic Law? (See Exodus 20 onwards and note that our chapter headings are merely mediaeval.)

            Do you believe we Christians have to obey all of Mosaic Law? If not, what are your criteria for which laws we have to obey and which we don’t, please? For me the answers are No (witness St Paul); and we are under only those laws Jesus repeated to his followers plus the ones decided in the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. He repeated nine of the decalogue, the Sabbath being the exception; that’s why I must not commit murder, adultery etc. What are your criteria, please?

          • IanCad

            Just stumbled upon a box of Bisquick – about three years old. When Momma gets back from Portugal I also look forward to a surfeit.

            I did read your dialogue with Ivan. I know my limits. I’m a good and quick approximater, the higher forms of sums are quite beyond me though.

            To keep this brief I shall not resort to text or verse but just make some comments. Paul observed the Sabbath. If God is immutable, then so must be His law. Sin reigned from Adam. No law – no sin. Cain not only dishonoured God as did Eve but was a murderer as well. Marriage and Sabbath were the two great ordinances of the creation week. Things got pretty much out of hand prior to the flood. I’m sure things were worse then than now.

            Christians only have to obey the Ten Commandments (all of them) not the Mosaic laws.

            I shall after all, cite a couple of texts:
            “If ye love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15

            For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 15:18

            “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3
            Not only no chapter and verses; no punctuation either, and also a ton of supplied words. All without WordPad.

          • Anton

            Greetings Ian, I’m in an internet café (too?) while my car is serviced/MoT’d today. God gave the Decalogue at Sinai to Israel, and the Israelites accepted it together with [the rest of] Mosaic Law by acclamation subsequently. God never gave it to gentiles in any covenant, and covenant seems to me to be the key notion that you are not taking into account. God never spoke into a vacuum but to specific individuals, and through them their nation or their descendants. The Sabbath obviously echoes the pattern of the 6+1 YOM of creation but it’s made for man, not vice-versa, and is not a command given as part of a covenant to anybody except the nation of ancient Israel.
            Paul explained that he kept Mosaic Law tactically rather than because he was bound to, after the crucifixion and for the purpose of winning Jews.
            When we start to go round in circles is probably the time to agree to disagree, but the notion of covenant is new to this discussion.

          • IanCad

            I do hope your car passes without too much expense.
            This subject has been beaten about several times before on this blog and doubtless will be again.
            Till next time. Enjoyed the chat; but it is hard work, this blogging.

          • Anton

            Two tyres was half the expense, from which you can estimate what it all cost!

          • Pubcrawler

            “Mithraism is condemned utterly throughout scripture.”

            Please expand.

          • IanCad

            I repeat my same preamble to Anton (below) to you.

            Most surely it is. Sun-Day, Saturn’s-Day, Woden’s-Day, Thor’s-Day. All represent dieties with the Sun being grandaddy of them all. Mithraism being a generic for the pactice as would Baal or Babylon be thus.

            The naming of days: You are correct on Sunday. Not so sure about Easter. Let’s dig further and address their numbering.

            Throughout history Sunday has been the first day of the week. Only recently – in compliance with EU uniformity – has it now designated as the seventh.

            With that in mind a review of the various names for the Sabbath may be enlightening. Here:

            http://www.angelfire.com/la2/prophet1/sabbath2.html

            I must point out that there is a serious mistake in the document that addresses part of your final paragraph. It should be Sozomen not Socrates

            The correct source is here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/26027.htm about two thirds down ch. 19.

            Although Paul was known as the Apostle to the Gentiles the above link should show that Sunday worship was not a widespread problem in his day. Rome was referred to as “Babylon” indicating the same heathen habits were common in both places.

            It was axiomatic to the early Christians as to what the day of worship should be therefore in the NT there is not a lot about it.

          • CliveM

            Busy Mum

            Not to be rude, but what are you talking about? My ‘work’ doesn’t stop because I’m no longer at the office. There are a continuous stream of jobs that need to be done at home. Frankly my problem is finding time for any time off.

            Also with regards Friday afternoons off, this isn’t free. It’s to stop people having to take time off during the week for dental appointments, bank appointments, doctors etc and doesn’t mean a shorter working week. Same hours, simply compressed into a shorter period.

          • Busy Mum

            Presumably you mean same amount of work compressed into a shorter period…like I will have to do now having ‘wasted’ my time on this thread….dinner still needs to be done etc:)

          • CliveM

            No I mean my minimum 37hr week compressed into 4.5 days not 5.

            Have a good evening!

          • Busy Mum

            Evening is the busiest part of my day – as a full-time mum I don’t think in terms of 37.5 hrs per week :)) See you on another thread – got to dash out.

          • Anton

            There are several issues here, some of which we agree about, some of which we disagree about.

            The Sabbath is part of Mosaic Law given to ancient Israel and was not repeated by Jesus to his followers; we are not bound by it as a regulation. And those Christians who think they are would do well to do to Israel where the Sabbath is understood as a day of gaiety (in the correct sense) rather than a day of wearing jacket and tie and sombre behaviour. Sport is part of relaxation and fun.

            I’d say Blessed is the gentile nation that enacts a national day of rest on which families and friends can be together. I support a national day off. But that is simply wise precedent, not divine command.

          • Busy Mum

            I know things have moved on in the blog – and I have to dash out in a bit – but I must respond to this….! The Sabbath, like marriage, was surely instituted at the Creation. The ten commandments simply reminded the Israelites about it and reinforced it – it was not a new concept. And Jesus came to fulfil the law, not to destroy it….I agree that we are not bound to the Sabbath as a regulation, but we are bound to it by love. Isn’t that the difference between law and grace?

          • Anton

            There’s no covenant that binds anybody or any nation to the Sabbath except ancient Israelites. I mean covenant of law (OT) or covenant of grace (NT), so that covers your comment about love.
            I gladly repeat, Blessed is the gentile nation that enacts a national day of rest on which families and friends can be together. I would not require any employee of mine to work 7 days/week, or on Sunday as it is in the UK today. But if I choose to work on a Sunday, I do not believe it reflects badly on my commitment-love (agape) to God.

          • IanCad

            Good Lord!! I would hate to have you in the corridors of power Busy Mum.

          • Busy Mum

            Why?

            You have nothing to fear, I am not planning on a career in politics.

          • IanCad

            Generally Busy Mum, I would prefer your usual good sense and fairness to any politician I can think of.
            I must say though, that on this issue your wonted wisdom is taking a back seat.

          • Busy Mum

            I think it very wise to have a uniform day of rest for all human beings within a single civilisation. Unless it is uniform, not one single person gets a day of rest – ever!

            p.s. I guess you pity my children – I stalk the corridors of power in my own house, I can tell you that much 🙂

          • IanCad

            No I don’t Busy Mum, your many wise posts over the years display a character that could only be a great blessing to any child who would be fortunate enough to have you as a mum.
            Even though we are somewhat at odds on this thread.

          • Busy Mum

            Thankyou – got to go now as children will start coming in from school. It’s been fun coming here again – had a busy start to the year what with GCSE options, A level choices etc for the older ones and quite missed my regular Cranmer dose!

        • IanCad

          So, you would make it illegal for him to mow his lawn on Sunday or any other day the government decides?
          Germans like that kind of thinking.
          So do the Greenies and the energy freaks with the new “Sustainability Sunday.” Keep an eye on that one. The Pope sure approves.

          • Busy Mum

            I wonder whether God sees anything holy about mowing one’s lawn?
            I hadn’t heard of the Sustainability Sunday but I guess ‘Remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy’ is an exercsie in sustainability in the first place…

          • IanCad

            Prior to The Fall it was probably a necessity.
            Your second point is right on the money. Be very sure though, that it is the day God ordained.

          • Busy Mum

            …but it is no longer a necessity so can easily be left until another day….
            We have discussed the Saturday/Sunday issue before now…..let us just be glad that we are both still free to rest/worship on either according to our consciences. It may not be long until we have a holy Friday imposed on us all, and I doubt there will be much flexibility for any of us then.

          • IanCad

            But Busy Mum, your comments suggest that you are quite content to enforce the observance of Sunday on others.
            Yes we’ve discussed the issue before but you have failed to show any scriptural authority for the changing of the day of worship.

          • Busy Mum

            “The religious observance of Sunday is a main prop of the religious character of the country. From a moral, social and physical point of view the observance of Sunday is a duty of absolute consequence.” Gladstone

            If we replace Sunday with Sabbath in that quote, it will do for both of us!

            I think it risible – and a waste of parliamentary time! – that politicans in 2016 are quibbling over the extent to which one may desecrate the Sabbath when the politicans of 1882 lost the argument as to whether one should desecrate the Sabbath at all.

          • IanCad

            Yes, but when Gladstone was very likely unaware his advocacy of the First Day Sabbath was in direct conflict with the Fourth Commandment. No such excuses can be offered today.

          • Busy Mum

            The real question is whether or not a day of rest, every seven days, is beneficial to the common good?

          • IanCad

            It is assuredly beneficial for all. God made that perfectly clear.
            The collectivist dimension of a day set aside by the Gov. for all to heed is too much for me to stomach though.

          • Busy Mum

            Oh, I agree; I would be the first to fight against a govt-imposed holy Friday. But the collectivist dimension of a govt allowing people to do things which God has forbidden in the first place??……that is the real problem with society today…if people heeded God’s laws, there wouldn’t need to be so many man-made laws…and that is why it is in the power-hungry-state’s interests to discount God and cater to man’s baser instincts.