EU Leavers racist
Church of England

Vicar says EU Leavers are all "a bit racist"

 

The Church of England is officially neutral on the matter of the EU referendum. By ‘Church of England’ here we mean the institution; not its pulpits and people. It is the tombstones and cornerstones that are officially neutral; the living stones are officially perched on their podiums and spouting from their media platforms that it is God’s will that we build the ‘House of Europe’ because Jesus prayed: ‘That they all may be one..’, and told believers: ‘Remain in me..’ In order to remain in him, it follows that we must “remain in Europe”. (Don’t, whatever you do, refer to this as ‘theological illiteracy‘).

Fr Simon Rundell (yes, that one) posted the featured ballot paper to his Facebook page. Apparently, a number of Church of England clergy have done so, but this is the only evidence seen. He doesn’t respond to polite or reasoned enquiry: he just blocks, berates and appeals to his Twitter followers to affirm his poor judgment. Unwilling (or unable) to respond rationally to any courteous objection to his views, he adduces an agitated comment thread as evidence of theological ignorance and moral depravity (please, whoever called him the AntiChrist, please don’t do it again: i) he’s obviously not; ii) it’s not very polite; iii) he simply uses it to bolster his prejudice against Christians of a conservative disposition).

It’s one thing to believe (as he patently does) that Conservatives are racist; it’s quite another to tarnish those who favour leaving the EU as “a bit racist”. On current polling, that’s 49.5% of the country (it may be more if a few undecided’s finally incline toward Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson and Rupert Murdoch). He probably thinks this is funny, and so posted it to his Facebook page as “a joke”. Setting aside the offensive “for fuck’s sake” exasperation and patronising “running home to mummy” characterisation of those who favour Brexit, how is it any kind of acceptable humour in a Christian minister to taunt people for their political beliefs and stain them with the whiff of racism? Really, how is that funny?

Some might call it ‘undue spiritual influence‘ (racism being a manifest sin). Others find it “ugly and uncharitable” and “abusive“.  It is one thing to have an opinion (which clergy should, of course, be free to express); it’s quite another for a member of the clergy to state that opinion in such an obnoxious manner that people find it abusive. Margaret Pritchard Houston, the Children’s Missioner in the St Albans Diocese, leapt to support Fr Simon Rundell, calling Leavers fascists. She is an appointed Church of England children’s missioner, and “is keen to help parishes grow a culture where children and families are fully integrated into the life and worship of the church”. Unless, of course, they want to leave the EU. She doesn’t want to minister to the children of fascists.

The desire to leave the European Union is neither racist nor fascist: it may be reasoned scripturally (see HERE) and contemplated virtuously (see HERE). It is not primarily a question of immigration or economics, but one of democracy, sovereignty, accountability and transparency. It is about how and by whom we are governed. If Church of England clergy and missioners can get away with saying it is ‘racist’ or ‘fascist’ to believe in and advocate for national self-determination and the ability to sack those politicians whose policies or behaviour one finds objectionable, then the glory has really departed. “I believe in Europe…” Ichabod.

  • sarky

    EU leavers say all vicars are “a bit stupid”

  • Anton

    Theological liberals who take a salary from the collection plates of the faithful are parasites on the body of Christ.

    • Uncle Brian

      “Think” is not the right verb to use in this case. In today’s post His Grace confirms what he told us once before. This particular vicar never thinks at all. He just shouts the same mindless slogan over and over again.

  • preacher

    Well I’m not CofE so I guess I can venture the opinion that he’s off his trolley ! & if the ‘Children’s Missioner’ subscribes to the same ideology, then either there’s something nasty in the air of St Albans, or the disease is infectious.

    • Martin

      Preacher

      There’s certainly something nasty in the Abbey.

  • CliveM

    Has he addressed this with Giles Fraser? That well known CofE Priest and racist?

    • Martin

      Clive

      He’s another who blocks those who disagree with him. Mind, he does work for the BBC quite a lot and you know what they’re like.

      • CliveM

        Martin

        So he likes to surround himself with true believers and acolytes. Probably why he has such a healthy, balanced view of the world.

        • Martin

          😉

    • Anton

      Put them together in a room for 24 hours…

  • Martin

    Of course, one who calls himself ‘Father’ as a teacher in the Church is going against Christ’s express command:

    But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:8-12 emphasis mine.

    Nor is the approach, to describe those with whom you disagree as fascist or childish, a reasoned debate. Perhaps he should also learn to make up his mind.

    • Albert

      Same with those who call themselves teacher.

      • Martin

        Albert

        In the Church. It isn’t about authority but about service, hence hierarchies are forbidden.

        • Albert

          Hierarchies are not forbidden, but established by Christ – or at least, one is.

          • Martin

            Albert

            The passage above proves that hierarchies are forbidden.

          • Albert

            How?

          • Martin

            Albert

            “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself
            will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

            So clearly wearing a fancy hat and living in a palace is not the Christian Elder’s way.

          • Albert

            Let’s take this piece by piece:

            “The greatest among you shall be your servant.

            There is clearly no difficulty with a person in a higher position being a servant – Jesus makes this point himself.

            Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

            Exactly. We cannot exalt ourselves. Thus this counts against self-appointed people in their own churches, etc., but it does not count against anyone being exalted by Christ or his Church, provided they follow Christ’s teaching:

            whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

            You can of course therefore criticise those whom you think have not lived up to this teaching, but what you cannot do is claim, as you did before, that this passage or your previous one proves hierarchies are forbidden.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Where does it say ‘the greatest’ refers to rank? No one, by definition, is exalted by Christ. Indeed, God kept the great apostle Paul humble by means of a thorn in the flesh. And the Church is in no position to disobey Christ. Hierarchies are clearly forbidden to the Church, each congregation is to have a number of men who are elders/overseers serving the congregation and answerable to the congregation.

          • Albert

            Where does it say ‘the greatest’ refers to rank?

            Something of this sort is clearly what is meant by the words themselves, it is confirmed also by the passage the where the Lord says:

            Then the mother of the sons of Zeb′edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; 28 even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

            You then say:

            No one, by definition, is exalted by Christ.

            Which is odd, because Christ says:

            whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

            So it is not the exalting itself that is being disputed, but who is doing the exalting. Who is doing the exalting here, if not Christ? But if you doubt it consider:

            “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

            And again:

            He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

            You say:

            Indeed, God kept the great apostle Paul humble by means of a thorn in the flesh.

            And the reason he needed such a thorn was to keep him from becoming too elated – he had after all received revelation which had made him an apostle – the exalted position which comes with authority to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

            Hierarchies are clearly forbidden to the Church

            This has not been demonstrated

            each congregation is to have a number of men who are elders/overseers serving the congregation and answerable to the congregation.

            That’s how it was in the early Church, when each congregation was itself subordinate to the apostle. Thus, it was hierarchical.

          • Martin

            Albert

            That we are told not to seek ‘exaltation’ for ourselves, does not mean we should expect it from elsewhere.

            Of course Christians will judge Israel, by their faithfulness, not just the twelve, one of whom was Judas. God has raised Christians, not though to rule over each other.

            The apostles were a temporary measure that soon passed away and even there it was not rank that gave authority but truth, Peter needing to be reprimanded when he abandoned truth.

            The fact remains, the only form of leadership in the churches was multiple elders who were the servants of the local church.

          • Albert

            Who said anything about expecting it from elsewhere?

            Of course Christians will judge Israel, by their faithfulness, not just the twelve, one of whom was Judas. God has raised Christians, not though to rule over each other.

            I think your reading here is quite wrong, for Israel includes Christians. The Lord is clearly elevating the 12, not Christians in general.

            The apostles were a temporary measure that soon passed away

            Can you not see that my position entails exactly that claim? The point is that what you defend as the NT position is not in fact, and cannot be the position of any modern Church, for the NT had the apostles.

            and even there it was not rank that gave authority but truth

            Or rather “the Truth”, since it is Christ who gives authority, not you.

            Peter needing to be reprimanded when he abandoned truth.

            Of course, as do you.

            The fact remains, the only form of leadership in the churches was multiple elders who were the servants of the local church.

            That’s not a fact – you don’t even believe it yourself, since you have to admit that leadership in the churches included the apostles!!

          • Martin

            Albert

            Israel the nation, those who failed to serve God.

            The apostles were a temporary appointment, and even if Peter was an elder in Rome he was one of a number of elders. There is no hierarchy set up for the Church, it’s leaders are servants. And that doesn’t mean they wash a few people’s feet once a year, they are answerable to the congregation.

          • Albert

            Israel the nation, those who failed to serve God.

            Is that what is meant here? Here’s what scripture says:

            a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved

            The apostles were a temporary appointment

            Certainly. But that does not mean to say that the structure of having a wider oversight than purely congregational is only a temporary one. On the contrary, the most consistent thing would be for that structure to continue.

            and even if Peter was an elder in Rome he was one of a number of elders

            It is ridiculous to pretend Peter was no different from other elders.

            There is no hierarchy set up for the Church

            There manifestly is.

            it’s leaders are servants.

            Certainly.

            they are answerable to the congregation.

            Evidence? It’s just that I would have thought they are answerable to God and the Church.

          • Martin

            Albert

            And a good number of the early Christians were of Israel.

            The fact that the apostles were a temporary appointment says nothing about any wider oversight. Each local church was to be self governing, responsible to their Lord. That is the message of the letters to the churches in Revelation.

            If Peter was an Elder in Rome he was one Elder among others. He had no ruling prerogative. There is no hierarchy set up in the Church, to pretend there is is to be worldly and think how the princes and politicians think.

            As you say, Elders are responsible to God and the Church, and the Church is the congregation of believers, the people.

          • Albert

            Each local church was to be self governing, responsible to their Lord. That is the message of the letters to the churches in Revelation.

            Where?

            If Peter was an Elder in Rome he was one Elder among others.

            Evidence?

            There is no hierarchy set up in the Church, to pretend there is is to be worldly and think how the princes and politicians think.

            There is no lack of hierarchy set up in the Church, to pretend there is is to be worldly and think how the Marxists and Communists think.

            As you say, Elders are responsible to God and the Church, and the Church is the congregation of believers, the people.

            If you make the Church the congregation and nothing more, your argument is question begging and we need evidence. So again, what is the evidence for your claims?

          • Martin

            Albert

            The Revelation letters are written to the churches, individual churches, to those who lead the individual churches, not to any hierarchy, but to the local people. If there were a hierarchy why were they not addressed?

            If Peter were an elder at Rome, and there is no sound evidence that he was, why would that church among the others have a single elder?

            There’s certainly hierarchy set up by men, but the Bible uses the word ekklesia, a congregation of meeting, not a hierarchy of invented ranks and powers. The history of Rome demonstrates that it is about power over the people, in exactly the same way that Marxists and Communists think.

          • Albert

            If there were a hierarchy why were they not addressed?

            Because they are written by the hierarchy. The same thing happens in the Catholic Church now. Several times a year the bishop writes to the congregation. He clearly does not write it to himself.

            If Peter were an elder at Rome, and there is no sound evidence that he was, why would that church among the others have a single elder?

            Exactly what was going on at this time is unclear – as all agree. What is clear is that you attempt to level Peter with other ministers is bogus.

            You have given no evidence for your flat structure – except evidence that is easily answered. However, scripture clearly and repeatedly discloses a hierarchical structure. That may not fit your theology, or perhaps even your own objection to having superiors yourself (if you have such worries), but it is still the case.

          • Martin

            Albert

            God is the author, not a hierarchy. and the letters are written directly to the churches.

            I’m pretty sure Peter would not have raised himself up above other ministers, and he’d not have supported the creation of a hierarchy.

            Scripture provides two roles in the churches, the deacon, who concerns himself with the practical matters, and the elder/overseer who is concerned with spiritual matters such as teaching. There is no hierarchy above this, they are responsible to the people and to God.

          • Albert

            God is the author, not a hierarchy. and the letters are written directly to the churches.

            Just think about what you are saying. Whatever our doctrine of inspiration, the simple fact is the people who penned the letters were human beings. When Paul writes, he does not say “God, to the Churches at X”. He writes “Paul to the Churches at X”. On your argument, it is apparently a failing of my position that Paul does not write “Paul to himself and all the Christians at X.”

            I’m pretty sure Peter would not have raised himself up above other ministers

            How many times do I have to make this point, no one is saying Peter did raise himself up! Besides, it makes little difference how sure you are of a point – that’s a statement of your psychological state, and it is only significant, if your psychological state is similar to Peter’s!

            and he’d not have supported the creation of a hierarchy.

            What, even if God created the hierarchy?

            Scripture provides two roles in the churches, the deacon, who concerns himself with the practical matters, and the elder/overseer who is concerned with spiritual matters such as teaching. There is no hierarchy above this, they are responsible to the people and to God.

            Apostles? Which Bible are you reading?

          • Martin

            Albert

            What is it about:

            To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
            (Revelation of John 2:1 [ESV])

            that you do not understand?

            As for Peter supporting a hierarchy if God created one, God didn’t create one. The apostles were not a role within the churches, they were a temporary role created to oversee the initial spread of the gospel and creation of churches. Once that had been accomplished they ceased.

            And I’m reading a Bible without the imposition of bishops on the text.

          • Albert

            Seriously? Is that your argument? You think that shows there was no hierarchy? Jesus is hardly likely to write to his Church in a diplomatic tone. Whatever the orders he has established (first apostles, then prophets etc.), he is hardly likely to pick out the apostles or other hierarchs since we are all his servants. Thus, you argument does not even begin to get off the ground, because it rests on a false assumption: namely that Jesus would address his flock as one Christian to other Christians (as Paul does).

            As for Peter supporting a hierarchy if God created one, God didn’t create one. The apostles were not a role within the churches, they were a temporary role created to oversee the initial spread of the gospel and creation of churches.

            This is just logically confused, isn’t it? The apostles are some for of hierarchy (that’s what “oversee” means) the fact that their time is limited is irrelevant. Peter knew God had established a hierarchy, he therefore supported that hierarchy, and handed on something of that shape to the generations following the apostles.

            Without an oversight, above local congregations, Christians fragment contrary to God’s express will. While you’re worrying about hierarchy, you ought to worry about the division your allegedly flat structure creates. It is not of the scriptures.

          • Martin

            Albert

            There’s no letter to the hierarchy to tell them to sort these churches out. With the closure of the apostolic age, not only did the apostles cease but also the prophets. Not, of course that the prophets had a position in a hierarchy.

            Nowhere in Scripture is there any command to appoint popes or cardinals. Event the ‘bishop’ was in reality the elder of an individual local church with no authority except within his own congregation with his fellow elders. Each church was set up as self governing, responsible to God alone just as those letters depict.

            The apostles weren’t the overseers, the elders in each local church were, and once the apostles had died there were no apostles. Peter never handed on a hierarchy.

            Christians do not fragment, since they have the Holy Spirit to guide them. Even in the church of Rome, with its massive top heavy hierarchy, there are vast differences of belief between those who are happy to use contraception on the one hand and those who regard it as sin. the differences between your present pope and the previous one are vast. So it isn’t so much a hierarchy that causes fragmentation as a loss of Holy Spirit led biblical authority.

          • Albert

            There’s no letter to the hierarchy to tell them to sort these churches out.

            This is a claim without evidence. You are assuming you know how Jesus would address these Churches if there was a hierarchy. Moreover, you are missing the point that the human writer of such letters was in some kind of hierarchy, and we know from the epistles elsewhere that there was some kind of hierarchy in the local Churches. You’re argument counts as much against those kinds of ministry as any other, which renders your argument absurd.

            The apostles weren’t the overseers, the elders in each local church were

            And who had oversight of overseers and elders and wider communities in the days of the apostles?

            and once the apostles had died there were no apostles

            No one disputes that – instead what scripture shows is Paul handing some kind of oversight on through the laying on of hands.

            Peter never handed on a hierarchy.

            Another claim without evidence. But we know from ancient sources that he did.

            Christians do not fragment,

            This is an obviously false statement.

            since they have the Holy Spirit to guide them.

            But, as scripture shows, there is no guarantee that anyone group of Christians will be in accord with the Holy Spirit.

            Even in the church of Rome, with its massive top heavy hierarchy, there are vast differences of belief between those who are happy to use contraception on the one hand and those who regard it as sin.

            Disagreement in the Catholic Church comes in two types: legitimate disagreement (e.g. should priests be married) and illegitimate disagreement, as when someone disagrees with the Church’s Magisterial teaching on matters of faith and morals.

            the differences between your present pope and the previous one are vast.

            Example?

          • Martin

            Albert

            There is no evidence of a hierarchy in those letters. If there were a hierarchy, appointed by God, it would be counter productive to bypass it. Hierarchies have a purpose, if they aren’t used by the one who created them their purpose is nullified.

            The apostles were only temporary, the witnesses of the events. Once they died their authority passed to the Bible, not some fabled hierarchy of which you can provide no evidence. That Paul had some limited oversight does not validate your claim to a hierarchy of which, again, you can provide no evidence. The idea that oversight came through the laying on of hands is brought into question by the fact that it wasn’t only the apostles who were involved in the laying on of hands:

            Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. (I Timothy 4:14 [ESV])

            Peter had no hierarchy to pass on, there is none mentioned in Scripture and hence there can be none in God’s Church whatever errors the churches later fell into.

            Christians, all Christians, have the Holy Spirit inside them. If they are not in accord with the Holy Spirit there is reason to question whether they are Christians.

            You paper over the divisions in the church of Rome, but the cracks show. How can there be legitimate disagreement if the church is the only interpreter of Scripture? Is there uncertainty in the interpretation? I wonder if you would expect the previous pope to speak of needing to apologise to homosexuals because the church had condemned them

          • Albert

            There is no evidence of a hierarchy in those letters. If there were a hierarchy, appointed by God, it would be counter productive to bypass it. Hierarchies have a purpose, if they aren’t used by the one who created them their purpose is nullified.

            Well, let’s see:

            I take it that you accept the apostles as a hierarchy?

            Then consider these passages:

            Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philip’pi, with the bishops and deacons

            We don’t need to fret over the meaning of “bishops” here, we just need to note that there is clearly a hierarchical distinction between them and “all the saints”.

            Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.

            The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church?

            And again:

            Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands

            and

            I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.

            And

            This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you, if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate. For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.

            And

            Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account.

            How is this a non-hierarchical structure?

            The apostles were only temporary, the witnesses of the events. Once they died their authority passed to the Bible

            Bogus and without evidence. I accept they were temporary, but the idea that their authority passed to the Bible is obviously bogus, for several reasons:

            1. The Bible is a text – it needs interpreting and applying. Thus the authority of the apostles does not pass to the Bible.
            2. The canon of scripture is not self-evident, so although the Bible is the word of God because it is the word of God, nevertheless, we cannot know what the Bible is without having an authority tell us. But you say there is no authority. Therefore, we cannot know what the Bible is.
            3. There is nothing in the Bible to defend your claim.

            not some fabled hierarchy of which you can provide no evidence.

            Poor logic. Just because, at the time of writing that I had provided no evidence, it does not follow that I can provide no evidence.

            That Paul had some limited oversight

            What do you mean by limited, and what is your evidence for it being so limited?

            does not validate your claim to a hierarchy

            No, but it does invalidate your claim that there is no hierarchy, and as such, it shows that the model of local church you follow, is not that of scripture. It is thus a human tradition.

            The idea that oversight came through the laying on of hands is brought into question by the fact that it wasn’t only the apostles who were involved in the laying on of hands:

            If that’s the best you can do, give up now. In a Catholic ordination priests lay hands on as well as the bishop. It proves nothing.

            Peter had no hierarchy to pass on

            Would you accept that Peter had an authority which was not shared by all Christians?

            there is none mentioned in Scripture

            I wonder which Bible you are reading.

            Christians, all Christians, have the Holy Spirit inside them. If they are not in accord with the Holy Spirit there is reason to question whether they are Christians.

            Indeed so, which is why scripture warns us of the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. And points out that not all interpret. Thus having the Holy Spirit, is not by itself sufficient to know the truth.

            How can there be legitimate disagreement if the church is the only interpreter of Scripture?

            This is not an honest question, is it? If you asked it honestly, you would be able to answer it yourself. There is no need for agreement about all things, only about essential things.

            I wonder if you would expect the previous pope to speak of needing to apologise to homosexuals because the church had condemned them

            There are two things wrong with this. Firstly, I see nothing in Pope Francis’ idea of apologising to homosexuals that could not be said by Pope Benedict. Secondly, the fact that a Pope apologises for something, does not make a teaching, so your argument is doubly false.

            Why don’t you do some research before sounding off like this?

          • Martin

            Albert

            What do you not understand about the apostles not being part of a permanent hierarchy? The multiple elders in each congregation doesn’t amount to a hierarchy either since they are responsible to the congregation as well as to God. In any case, in no way could the creation of elders amount to a justification of super congregational authority. While Peter had authority as an apostle this did not amount to authority over any fellow elders where he is one among equals. The limitation on the authority of apostles is seen in the formation of the Jerusalem Council, which was headed by one who was not an apostle, Jesus’ brother James.

            Those who are described as “twisting to their own destruction” are clearly not believers without the Holy Spirit. Indeed it can clearly be seen that those who have twisted Scripture, such as the popes, have not been Christians.

            You complain that my question is not honest. The problem for you is that it exposes the nonsense of your claim and the studied vagueness of your use of the term ‘Church’. The claims of Rome are simply equivocation, the idea that it is the only one able to interpret both Scripture and it’s own statements is pure doublespeak.

            And, of course that doublespeak is clearly obvious in your comment relating to the current popes apology to homosexuals. Honesty appears to be foreign to you.

          • Albert

            What do you not understand about the apostles not being part of a permanent hierarchy?

            I completely understand that. What I don’t understand if how you move from:

            1. The apostles represented a unique ministry

            to

            2. Therefore, there is no apostolic succession.

            You seem to think that 2 follows from 1. But not only have you not demonstrated this, it would be absurd for you to try, for apostolic succession presumes the uniqueness of the apostles.

            The multiple elders in each congregation doesn’t amount to a hierarchy either since they are responsible to the congregation as well as to God.

            More than the congregation, they are clearly responsible to the apostle.

            In any case, in no way could the creation of elders amount to a justification of super congregational authority.

            Perhaps, but then my case does not require that. Consider this:

            This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you

            Now, to whom are the elders responsible, if not to Titus, who is responsible to Paul? How else are we to understand the distinction between amending what was defective and appointing elders?

            While Peter had authority as an apostle this did not amount to authority over any fellow elders where he is one among equals. The limitation on the authority of apostles is seen in the formation of the Jerusalem Council, which was headed by one who was not an apostle, Jesus’ brother James.

            Again, you seem to think you know what things would be like if Catholicism is true. Are you aware that Popes even today, do not normally take the role of James as ecumenical councils? You just virulently oppose what you do not trouble to understand.

            Those who are described as “twisting to their own destruction” are clearly not believers without the Holy Spirit.

            This presumes that all believers will be able to interpret. But this position is explicitly refuted in scripture.

            You complain that my question is not honest. The problem for you is that it exposes the nonsense of your claim and the studied vagueness of your use of the term ‘Church’. The claims of Rome are simply equivocation, the idea that it is the only one able to interpret both Scripture and it’s own statements is pure doublespeak.

            I’ve answered your question, and yet you’ve carried on as if your point is established.

            And, of course that doublespeak is clearly obvious in your comment relating to the current popes apology to homosexuals. Honesty appears to be foreign to you.

            Well, give the evidence to show: 1. Pope Benedict could not assent to what Pope Francis has said and 2. that I know this, and am deliberately covering it up.

            Now, in my last post, I provided 6 scriptures to show the NT Church was hierarchical. As is your custom, you have provided not one answer to that or even one scripture in response and in defence of your human tradition. Why not?

            So your post is what your post always are, a consistent failure to answer scriptures posted against you, a consistent failure to post scriptures in your own defence, a consistent failure to reason logically from premises, a consistent failure to understand the positions you despise, and therefore a consistent failure, actually to address those positions. But as a Protestant of course, there is no one to correct you.

          • Martin

            Albert

            If the apostles represented a unique ministry then there can be no apostolic succession. 2 does follow 1. If the apostles are unique there can be no succession, that’s what unique means.

            There is no evidence that the elders are responsible to the apostles nor to Titus. What you are doing is trying to justify a super elder with authority over the other elders.

            All believers are able to interpret, that is why they have the Holy Spirit. That’s what this passage means:

            And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
            (II Peter 1:19-21 [ESV])

            My point is established, your answer did not address it.

            I think it is pretty obvious that your two popes are not in agreement on the nature of homosexuality and other matters.

            You have not posted scriptures that show the NT Church was hierarchical because you have tried to show that apostles were part of the hierarchy when the apostles were only a temporary role and could not pass their authority on to anyone else.

            I have consistently answered your points from Scripture, posted scripture to support my position, reasoned from my own premise and I have understood your position and addressed it. You, however, are not prepared to accept anything that does not accord with what your authority, the church of Rome says.

          • Albert

            If the apostles represented a unique ministry then there can be no apostolic succession.

            Jesus had a unique ministry, but he was still able to say As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. So your argument fails.

            There is no evidence that the elders are responsible to the apostles nor to Titus.

            You are joking! How desperate is that! Paul write all those letters, sends all those commands, and the elders are just able to say “You know what Paul, we don’t have to accept your authority.” Anyway, Acts 15 clearly shows the local churches and elders are not autonomous. In 1 Tim 5.19, we read: Never admit any charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. So in the presence of two or three witnesses, Timothy is able to admit a charge against an elder, and thus he has jurisdiction over them.

            All believers are able to interpret, that is why they have the Holy Spirit.

            When Paul says:

            And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues.
            Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

            His questions are rhetorical. The NT Church would have realised it was obvious that the answer to each question is no. But since Protestantism relies on individual interpretation, it is clear that Protestantism contradicts scripture.

            that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.

            This is a clear mistranslation – it is the interpretation of scripture that is not an individual matter:

            First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation

            So there are two clear passages undermining both the position you are defending, and the basis of Protestantism.

            My point is established, your answer did not address it.

            Which point would that be?

            I think it is pretty obvious that your two popes are not in agreement on the nature of homosexuality and other matters.

            If it is obvious, you should be able to show it. Here’s about your fifth opportunity to do so.

            You have not posted scriptures that show the NT Church was hierarchical because you have tried to show that apostles were part of the hierarchy when the apostles were only a temporary role and could not pass their authority on to anyone else.

            You seem determined to shut down an argument without hearing it. The point I am making (and I would have thought it was clear by now) is the NT Church in the days of the apostles was hierarchical. Do you accept that? The rest of the argument can follow once this premise is accepted. Besides, the passages I cited did not only speak of apostles, but of other ministers.

            You have sometimes posted scripture – as in this post. But the passages often do not say what you think they mean, and you do not answer the passages I give often.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Funny thing is, none of the apostles are recorded as appointing successors nor do they make suggestions as to the requirements for the successors.

            Acts 15 shows that the churches met together, there was no hierarchy to adjudicate.

            I see you are still lazily not including the reference. May I suggest you examine the context of 1 Corinthians 12. When you do so you will see that Paul is not talking about whether the individual can understand Scripture but the separate roles that the Holy Spirit had created in that church. Curiously these days the church of Rome claims for itself the role of interpreting Scripture but goes around bowing to idols as if Scripture does not forbid it. Funny how any Christian can see that the lies surrounding mariology and veneration of the saints are just that, lies.

            No, it is not a mistranslation, it is just that you don’t like the real meaning.

            You have claimed the NT Church was hierarchical, but you have not demonstrated that claim. I’m afraid you simply do not understand Scripture.

          • Albert

            Funny thing is, none of the apostles are recorded as appointing successors nor do they make suggestions as to the requirements for the successors.

            Timothy?

            Acts 15 shows that the churches met together, there was no hierarchy to adjudicate.

            It says it is the apostles and elders. That’s a hierarchy.

            When you do so you will see that Paul is not talking about whether the individual can understand Scripture but the separate roles that the Holy Spirit had created in that church.

            I’m amazed that you think that gets you off the hook. The whole point is that whether one interprets is one of the separates roles that the Holy Spirit has created. And not all have that gift.

            Curiously these days the church of Rome claims for itself the role of interpreting Scripture but goes around bowing to idols as if Scripture does not forbid it.

            We do not worship idols. Images are possible (you have them on your PC), because God became human making an image of himself, as St Paul says. Perhaps you would like to take your complaint to God? Besides, in the OT some images are even commanded.

            No, it is not a mistranslation, it is just that you don’t like the real meaning.

            What are your arguments for forcing your translation on me? Which Greek word are you translating as “produced”?

            You have claimed the NT Church was hierarchical, but you have not demonstrated that claim. I’m afraid you simply do not understand Scripture.

            It’s obvious to me that you don’t even know scripture – this is why you keep saying things that I can immediately refute from scripture and why you keep needing me to give you references. Do you accept that the apostles had an authority that others did not have?

          • Martin

            Albert

            So where does Paul speak of Timothy as his successor. Of course, Paul does not have the authority to appoint a successor since he was appointed by God who gets to say who, if anyone, should succeed him.

            Do not imagine that the Holy Spirit only allows certain people to interpret. Some may have a special gift in that direction, as some may well be remarkably gifted preachers, but that is not to say that only they may interpret.

            Of course you worship idols, despite your pathetic attempts to hide behind words like venerate.

            In the case of II Peter 1:21, where you seem to dislike the word produced it seems to me that it is a synonym for came.

            The apostles had an authority, but then so did others. And since the apostles’ authority only lasted while they lived I fail to see how it is relevant.

          • Albert

            So where does Paul speak of Timothy as his successor. Of course, Paul does not have the authority to appoint a successor since he was appointed by God who gets to say who, if anyone, should succeed him.

            I think you may not understand what apostolic succession means. It does not mean that those who follow the apostles are themselves apostles. It means, to use your language that they are agents of the apostles and carry some of their authority.

            Do not imagine that the Holy Spirit only allows certain people to interpret. Some may have a special gift in that direction, as some may well be remarkably gifted preachers, but that is not to say that only they may interpret.

            I think I’ll stick to what the Bible actually says, thanks.

            In the case of II Peter 1:21, where you seem to dislike the word produced it seems to me that it is a synonym for came.

            Yes. But why translate it either as came or produced?

            The apostles had an authority, but then so did others.

            How precisely is that an answer to the question I asked:

            Do you accept that the apostles had an authority that others did not have?

          • Martin

            Albert

            So tell me, how does the apostle tell them what to do when he is dead? Unless, of course, you are going to say that the apostles writing carries his authority, in which case anyone can be the apostles agent by means of using that writing.

            It’ll be a big change if you you only stick to what the Bible says.

            Since the overall meaning is the same why not translate as “had its origin”, “came”, “produced” or “made”?

            Do you not think that those who prophesied or had the power of supernatural knowledge had an authority? And tell me, why do you preface the names of Paul and Peter with ‘St’ when all Christians are saints?

          • Albert

            So tell me, how does the apostle tell them what to do when he is dead?

            That is a question you need to answer as much as I do. The difference is, that I assume people carried on, following the practice of the apostle – those to whom he had given authority for the good of the Church continued to have that authority. Your position requires a change – all offices lapse and a new arrangement is required.

            Since the overall meaning is the same why not translate as “had its origin”, “came”, “produced” or “made”?

            I think you’re just not getting this point. The difference is over whether Peter is saying it is the utterance of scripture that comes by the Holy Spirit, or the interpretation of the utterance of scripture. So, for example, here’s the ESV:

            knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.

            This claims that the text of scripture does not come from someone own interpretation. Her’s the RSV:

            First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation

            This is saying that the interpretation of scripture is not a matter of one’s own interpretation.

            Do you not think that those who prophesied or had the power of supernatural knowledge had an authority?

            Yes. But it was clearly subordinate to the apostles.

            And tell me, why do you preface the names of Paul and Peter with ‘St’ when all Christians are saints?

            All Christians are saints in the sense that all the people of Israel were holy. But that is to use the word in a different way.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You assume, right, that pretty much follows all your comments, you assume. You assume Peter was the leader of the Church, that he was the first pope, that there is a continuous line of popes leading back to Peter. Curiously you ignore what Scripture says, the Pornocracy, the periods when multiple popes vied for power.

            Precisely, the interpretation of Scripture isn’t something that is left to men, nor is a prophets words the result of their own thought, it is in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

            It’s very strange that you think that the prophets words were subordinate to the apostles’, after all, did the prophets words not come from God? And certainly, those prophets that foretold Paul’s imprisonment do not seem to have been under his authority.

            No, there is no different way to use the word saint. Paul was not a saint in any different way to any Christian today. Every Christian is a saint in exactly the same way that Mary and Peter are saints. This is yet another example of you inventing a hierarchy that the Bible does no permit.

          • Albert

            You assume, right, that pretty much follows all your comments, you assume.

            It’s a little hard for you to critique me for assuming things. You have to assume as well. When the apostle dies, I assume those he appointed retain their positions. You assume they don’t. Yours represents the greater change, therefore, but they are both assumptions. BTW, whenever one does history, one has to assume things.

            You assume Peter was the leader of the Church, that he was the first pope, that there is a continuous line of popes leading back to Peter.

            Now this is ironic. You are assuming that this is what I am assuming, just as you assumed that when I spoke of the development of the canon, I was speaking of a council. But, as there, you are wrong. I do not assume Peter was the leader of the Church – I think that is evident from the scripture itself and you don’t have to be a Catholic to see it. I don’t assume that he was the first pope (technically, he wasn’t!), there is clear evidence of him being at Rome and of Rome being senior. I also don’t assume there was a continuous line of popes going back to Peter, that too is what the ancient sources tell us. So I’m not assuming, you are!

            Curiously you ignore what Scripture says, the Pornocracy, the periods when multiple popes vied for power.

            I do not ignore scripture. I do not ignore what you call the pornocracy. Rather I observe that scripture teaches the unfaithfulness of a minister, does not hinder Christ working through him:

            “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’

            Why do you ignore scriptures like these to follow your Donatist heresy?

            the periods when multiple popes vied for power.

            This is just ignorant. There can only ever be one pope, but that does not stop other people claiming to be the pope.

            Precisely, the interpretation of Scripture isn’t something that is left to men, nor is a prophets words the result of their own thought, it is in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

            And as we know from scripture, not everyone has that gift of interpretation from the Holy Spirit. This is why Peter, in the same letter, warns:

            the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures

            You say:

            It’s very strange that you think that the prophets words were subordinate to the apostles’, after all, did the prophets words not come from God?

            It’s not particularly strange, given that that is what scripture says. Firstly, the fact that someone has the gift of tongues, does not mean they can just speak at any moment, secondly, that those who prophecy must have their pronouncements weighed:

            If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silence in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

            And then thirdly, there is the problem of whether someone who claims to be a prophet, really is:

            If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized.

            Now if the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophets, and if Paul can command them to be silent, and if Paul has to set out apostolic criteria over whether someone is a prophet or not, what else can this mean but that the prophets are under his authority. Of course, if their words genuinely come from God, that is another matter, but that seems to be a question Paul is discussing in 1 Cor., not assuming, as you do. Indeed, if it was so straight forward for a prophet simply to resolve a problem, why does Paul need to write in the first place?

            No, there is no different way to use the word saint. Paul was not a saint in any different way to any Christian today. Every Christian is a saint in exactly the same way that Mary and Peter are saints. This is yet another example of you inventing a hierarchy that the Bible does no permit.

            So Christians who are unfaithful are still saints? And what about the fact that scripture says:

            To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints

            Such people are Christians, but not yet saints. We use the word “saints” thus to mean the spirits of just men made perfect. This is a category scripture clearly has, it is presumably what Paul has in mind in that Romans passage I just cited. What’s your problem (apart from the fact that it’s Catholic, I mean)?

          • Martin

            Albert

            Of course those appointed retained their posts, the deacons and elders wre appointed by the local churches they served. Why else would the apostle give instructions on how to choose them?

            It’s pretty hard to see Peter as the leader of the Church when he sided with the judaizers and had to be reprimanded by Paul. And there is no line of popes leading back to Peter.

            Remember, God could work through even king Saul and the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar but that does not mean there is an unbroken line.

            If someone is truly a prophet what they are saying comes directly from God, that Paul puts forward a test does not mean that the prophets authority is diminished.

            Saints are those who God has saved, they can never be lost. They may sin but they remain saints. They are the called, the elect, those chosen before the foundation of the Earth. The words Christian and saint are synonymous.

            And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
            (Romans 8:28-30 [ESV])

          • Albert

            Of course those appointed retained their posts, the deacons and elders wre appointed by the local churches they served.

            Fine, and so, by your own logic, Timothy and Titus retain their additional authority.

            Why else would the apostle give instructions on how to choose them?

            Exactly. Paul is handing on to Timothy and Titus instructions, instructions, which on your own logic continue after the death of the apostles. Why else give that authority?

            It’s pretty hard to see Peter as the leader of the Church when he sided with the judaizers and had to be reprimanded by Paul.

            The situation in Galatians is complicated, but, unless you completely misunderstand the Petrine office (which I’m sure you do), you will find nothing to contradict that office in Galatians.

            And there is no line of popes leading back to Peter.

            I suppose you might know better than the early Church, but I doubt it. What’s your evidence that there is no line of popes leading back to Peter? Is it something the elders of your congregation told you?

            Remember, God could work through even king Saul and the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar but that does not mean there is an unbroken line.

            ?

            If someone is truly a prophet what they are saying comes directly from God, that Paul puts forward a test does not mean that the prophets authority is diminished.

            You are hard work. The question is, how does anyone know they are speaking from God? That is why Paul gives criteria to know.

            Saints are those who God has saved, they can never be lost. They may sin but they remain saints. They are the called, the elect, those chosen before the foundation of the Earth. The words Christian and saint are synonymous.

            And yet I gave a scripture which indicated not.

            And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

            A curious choice of passage to demonstrate your previous point, given that it contains neither of the two key words: saint and Christian.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Timothy and Titus were assisting Paul, they were probably elders within their own congregations but they had no additional authority.

            And Timothy and Titus would pass these instructions on to the churches that would appoint the deacons and elders. They were not apostles.

            There is no Petrine office, Peter was an apostle, like Paul.

            Where is there evidence of such a line of popes, where is the evidence that Peter was more than one of a number of elders in Rome. You’ve been told this is so by your church and you’ve believed it.

            It isn’t only Paul that gives criteria, earlier in the Bible we have that as well. It doesn’t mean Paul is part of a hierarchy.

            I’m afraid your Scripture did not ‘indicate not’ and why do you not understand that the called, foreknown, predestined, conformed brothers who are justified are the Christians.

          • Albert

            Timothy and Titus were assisting Paul, they were probably elders within their own congregations but they had no additional authority.

            I really don’t think you know the Bible that well. Clearly they are not simply elders within their congregations. Acts, for example shows Timothy to be very much a minister on the move and Paul’s own letter show Timothy and Titus to be on the move. There’s a clear sense in the Pastorals that Paul has parachuted them into particular local churches. Moreover, you point is plainly falsified by Paul’s comment about Titus in Crete – there was presumably more than one congregation in Crete, I assume? Yet Titus apparently has a role throughout the island. They clearly had the additional authority I have repeatedly referred to.

            And Timothy and Titus would pass these instructions on to the churches that would appoint the deacons and elders.

            And why is it Paul’s agents who are appointing deacons and elders?

            They were not apostles.

            You are such hard work – obviously I don’t think they were apostles, that is not the idea you are challenging, and if you think it is, you need to understand it better.

            There is no Petrine office, Peter was an apostle, like Paul.

            There is clearly something different about Peter.

            Where is there evidence of such a line of popes, where is the evidence that Peter was more than one of a number of elders in Rome. You’ve been told this is so by your church and you’ve believed it.

            I did all my academic study of the early Church when I was an Anglican. Here’s Irenaeus:

            But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition.

            The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spoke with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

            If I thought historical evidence would be useful to you, I would give historical evidence for apostolic succession, as well.

            where is the evidence that Peter was more than one of a number of elders in Rome

            Well, there’s the biblical evidence that he is more than one of a number of apostles in the Church’s apostolic group.

            It isn’t only Paul that gives criteria, earlier in the Bible we have that as well.

            Would you care to say where?

            ‘m afraid your Scripture did not ‘indicate not’ and why do you not understand that the called, foreknown, predestined, conformed brothers who are justified are the Christians.

            It was your passage. The burden of proof rested on you to prove that it did!

          • Martin

            Albert

            So Paul used Timothy and Titus as his agents on occasion. I’d expect there to be congregations in a town, and they needed some settling in. Paul needed to move on so he left Titus behind as his agent.

            I’d suggest that it was the members in the churches that did the appointing, rather than Paul or those with him. Indeed, when they had gone it would only have been the churches who’d appoint.

            That Irenaeus was an advocate of one bishop in every church is well known, it doesn’t mean that was the original pattern.

            I thought you knew your Bible.

            when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.
            (Deuteronomy 18:22 [ESV])

            It is plain that

            And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
            (Romans 8:28-30 [ESV])

            refers to Christians.

          • Albert

            So Paul used Timothy and Titus as his agents on occasion. I’d expect there to be congregations in a town, and they needed some settling in. Paul needed to move on so he left Titus behind as his agent.

            Which is enough to demonstrate that Paul can hand on his authority. But the idea that that authority when handed on ceases when he dies, is bizarre. The authority is there for the Church and the need would continue.

            I’d suggest that it was the members in the churches that did the appointing, rather than Paul or those with him.

            I think you need to read the text again, then – in fact, I’m surprised you can still think that, after my previous argument (which is unanswered, of course).

            Indeed, when they had gone it would only have been the churches who’d appoint.

            Why think this? This is the conclusion you began with, not came to after looking at evidence.

            That Irenaeus was an advocate of one bishop in every church is well known, it doesn’t mean that was the original pattern.

            You said there was no evidence and that I believe it simply because Rome says so. Now you seem to concede there is evidence.

            I thought you knew your Bible.
            when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

            You need to explain whcih comment of mine this refers to. I can’t work it out.

            It is plain that
            And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
            (Romans 8:28-30 [ESV])
            refers to Christians.

            Certainly, but your purpose in citing this passage was to show that the terms “Christian” and “saint” are synonymous (contrary to a passage I had cited). But since it uses neither word, it shows no such thing.

          • Martin

            Albert

            No, Paul wasn’t handing on his authority, he was using “Timothy and Titus as his agents”. Elders’ authority is based on the Bible. Since the pope cannot demonstrate his authority from Scripture he has no authority.

            You think your arguments are persuasive? Since there was no one there who’d there be to appoint other than God’s saints. If they’re good enough to judge Israel they’d certainly be good enough to appoint elders.

            Irenaeus isn’t evidence.

            I was using that passage to show you that every Christian is made perfect.

          • Albert

            No, Paul wasn’t handing on his authority, he was using “Timothy and Titus as his agents”.

            But an agent necessarily has authority from the author of the agency! So you agree with the point, even while you deny it.

            Elders’ authority is based on the Bible.

            But the Bible doesn’t say that. It says things like:

            stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

            You say:

            Since the pope cannot demonstrate his authority from Scripture he has no authority.

            That would only be true if two further assumptions are true: 1. That the Pope cannot demonstrate his authority from scripture and 2. Sola scriptura is true. Well, it’s obvious that sola scriptura isn’t true, so your argument fails even if the minor premise is correct.

            You think your arguments are persuasive?

            Yes, when they are unanswered.

            Since there was no one there who’d there be to appoint other than God’s saints.

            I don’t know which part of my post you think this answers. You don’t give a quotation.

            If they’re good enough to judge Israel they’d certainly be good enough to appoint elders.

            The apostles can certainly appoint elders, but the passage says

            Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

            This is plainly referring to the 12 not to everyone. This is the problem of your interpretation of scripture, you think that anything positive said to anyone, necessarily applies to everyone – even when the words themselves exclude this.

            Irenaeus isn’t evidence.

            Why not?

            I was using that passage to show you that every Christian is made perfect.

            Obviously every Christian is made perfect – eventually. But that’s not what you were using the passage to demonstrate. You were trying to show that, contrary to what scripture says, the word “Christian” is synonymous with “saint” in every respect.

          • Martin

            Albert

            An agent acts on authority of the holder of the authority. The holder of the authority does not relinquish his authority to the agent.

            I’m afraid sola scriptura is true and hence the pope is unable to demonstrate his authority. There is no evidence of a passing on of apostolic authority.

            Actually I don’t see this claim of apostles appointing elders. You will note that those seven deacons were not picked by apostles, And the same process is given for the appointment of deacons as elders.

            It is quite clear that it is not the twelve disciples who do the judging. For one thing Judas is clearly rejected and Paul says:

            Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? (I Corinthians 6:2 [ESV])

            So clearly it is all Christians.

            Every Christian is made perfect, so that when they die they go straight into God’s presence. But a saint is not one who has been made perfect but one who will be made perfect, one chosen before the foundation of the Earth. Every Christian is a saint, it isn’t a special category.

          • Albert

            An agent acts on authority of the holder of the authority. The holder of the authority does not relinquish his authority to the agent.

            Where have I or the Catholic Church argued that he does? How is it entailed by our belief? If you bothered to find out about what you so vehemently reject, you would know that our faith entails that the apostles maintain their authority (at least, while they’re alive!).

            I’m afraid sola scriptura is true and hence the pope is unable to demonstrate his authority. There is no evidence of a passing on of apostolic authority.

            I have given plenty of evidence for the latter claim, and you have given no evidence for the former claim. Because you can’t.

            Actually I don’t see this claim of apostles appointing elders. You will note that those seven deacons were not picked by apostles, And the same process is given for the appointment of deacons as elders.

            Appointing and picking are not the same thing. But if you say that the same process is given for the appointment of deacons as elders (I’d like to see the evidence for that, BTW), then of course, since Paul is clearly appointing Titus to a particular role in Crete, then Titus is not simply an elder like the rest. Instead, he is (as I have been arguing), a minister who has been appointed with some of his authority.

            It is quite clear that it is not the twelve disciples who do the judging.

            Jesus is clearly talking about the college of the 12. If you’re going to pick at his words every time Judas is present and apparently addressed, you’ll end up picking hole through the scripture.

            Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

            This is the reverse point of the previous one! Clearly, they aren’t all going to judge the world, if some of them go to hell. In any case, you cannot assume that Israel and the world is judged in the same way, for scripture distinguishes between them:

            We know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who do such things. Do you suppose, O man, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume upon the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

            So clearly, it is not all Christians.

            Every Christian is made perfect, so that when they die they go straight into God’s presence.

            What’s your evidence for this? And yet, the Bible says:

            For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw — each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

            So no, it is not evident that every Christian is made perfect, so they go straight into God’s presence.

          • Martin

            Albert

            If Paul were to give authority to Timothy or Titus so that they had the authority on their own behalf he would have relinquished his authority.

            You have given no evidence of the passing on of apostolic authority.

            Actually appointing and picking are the same thing in this context. The Church chose the seven and they were duly appointed. The appointment of deacons in Timothy 3:8 speaks of it being a similar process to the elder/overseer.

            Paul could have sent a letter to the churches, telling them to appoint elders. Since he’d have to send a person to deliver the letter anyway the instructions came by the person.

            As I pointed out, the twelve clearly cannot refer to the disciples, it must, instead, refer to all the saints.

            Why would any of the saints in Corinth go to Hell?

            I’d suggest that both passages have pretty much the same meaning.

            Romans 2 is not referring to Christians but to unbelievers.

            1 Corinthians 3 does not say that Christians will not be made perfect, they will even if their works are imperfect.

          • Albert

            If Paul were to give authority to Timothy or Titus so that they had the authority on their own behalf he would have relinquished his authority.

            So when the foreign office sends an ambassador to country X, the Government loses that authority to the ambassador? Jesus said, If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? And yet you think yourself able to judge these things!

            You have given no evidence of the passing on of apostolic authority.

            Paul’s authority to command is given to Titus, his authority to judge is given to Timothy.

            Paul could have sent a letter to the churches, telling them to appoint elders. Since he’d have to send a person to deliver the letter anyway the instructions came by the person.

            Are we reading the same Bible? Timothy plainly is not arriving with a message from Paul only. He is given authority to act, to make decisions etc. And the letter is sent to Timothy, not via Timothy to the Church.

            As I pointed out, the twelve clearly cannot refer to the disciples, it must, instead, refer to all the saints.

            I’ve answered that.

            Why would any of the saints in Corinth go to Hell?

            For same reason as anyone else: Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

            Do you not think these things are going on at Corinth? !

            I’d suggest that both passages have pretty much the same meaning.

            Which two passages?

            Romans 2 is not referring to Christians but to unbelievers.

            Then you are committed to pelagianism, not grace, for it says:

            There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

            You think pagans who do good, but are not Christians will be saved, apparently.

            1 Corinthians 3 does not say that Christians will not be made perfect, they will even if their works are imperfect.

            What? Why then are they being saved, but only as through fire

          • Martin

            Albert

            No, the foreign office does not cede their authority to the ambassador, like Timothy and Titus he has instructions. Paul does not pass on authority.

            My point exactly, but Timothy does not gain authority, he carries Paul’s.

            You answered the point about the twelve incorrectly.

            The saints in Corinth are saved, they will not go to Hell. That’s what salvation is, the forgiveness of all our sin.

            Your semi pelagianism is very obvious. In dealing with the unbelievers Paul contrasts them with believers. No unbeliever does good, but every believer will, at death, be made perfect.

          • Albert

            No, the foreign office does not cede their authority to the ambassador, like Timothy and Titus he has instructions. Paul does not pass on authority.

            An ambassador has authority, but not at the expense of the government, that is my point. He is able to act in certain ways for the British government. Sometimes they act simply on instructions, sometimes they get plenipotentiary powers and sometimes it is somewhere in the middle. When it is plenipotentiary powers this is because of the government’s authority, not in spite of it. So your comment about Paul not passing on authority makes no sense of the argument or (which is more important) of the evidence.

            My point exactly, but Timothy does not gain authority, he carries Paul’s.

            When Christ sends out apostles with authority, they genuinely have authority, but not at his expense. Rather through them, there is an extension of Christ’s authority.

            You answered the point about the twelve incorrectly.

            Is that an infallible definition?

            The saints in Corinth are saved, they will not go to Hell. That’s what salvation is, the forgiveness of all our sin.

            That plainly contradicts the passages of scripture I cited. So clearly your doctrine is wrong.

            Your semi pelagianism is very obvious. In dealing with the unbelievers Paul contrasts them with believers. No unbeliever does good, but every believer will, at death, be made perfect.

            I never said unbelievers do good – that was the logic of your position, as I explained.

          • Albert

            Of course you worship idols, despite your pathetic attempts to hide behind words like venerate.

            If you mistake veneration for worship, it can only be because you do not worship.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Yeah, right.

          • Albert

            If someone accused me of that, I would give a more robust defence than this.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I’ve heard it all before.

          • Albert

            That’s the problem. You may have heard the attack before, but I haven’t heard your defence.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I never make one.

          • Albert

            I know you don’t.

  • IanCad

    What a wonderful example he sets for the children of his parish.
    Silly priests, with-it vicars, or just plain old false shepherds?

  • If we vote Leave, Britain will become, once again, a self-governing democracy and power will be returned to the people. But the conjunction of ‘power’ and ‘people’ triggers a blind panic in the progressive liberal Left, which knows full well that its nation-wrecking agenda can only be completed if people power is stifled.

    The Church of England first betrayed the British when it sided with multiculturalism and Islamization, and now its clergy, from priest to archbishop, wish to deny us our freedom. My residual affection for what was once my church has perished.

    • Altesegel

      It’s the start of the fightback – making Britain a self-governing democracy again. The next step is to take power from the Blair/Cameron elite that wrecked our politics in the first place Vote Leaver

  • David

    Thank you for this article Your Grace.
    There is now much about the C of E that is somewhere between disappointing and repellant, and it extends from the two Archbishops downwards.
    Of course there are still good priests and ministers going about their Lord’s business, but it seems that they are becoming few and far between.

    • bluedog

      One suspects that the Brexit campaign, irrespective of the outcome, will prove to be the CofE’s paedophile moment, when it finally loses its congregation.

      • David

        You may have a point there.

  • bluedog

    In the topsy-turvy world of the CofE one suspects that Fr Rundell will now be ear-marked for accelerated promotion, with a bishopric on offer if he meets certain key performance indicators. In the real world, any client/customer facing individual who gratuitously insulted 50% of the target market would get the sack. What makes the CofE leadership think their Church can survive this sort of stupidity and retain any vestige of credibility?

    • Old Nick

      To answer your question, bluedog: the effortless superiority of the Guardian-reader. No wonder the Remain folk are all getting so upset that we have introduced anger and argument into this debate – they are not used to having people disagree with them.

  • CliveM

    This campaign has been full of invective, lies, insults and anger. Each side has been called either racists, bigots or traitors. Families, communities and in a sense the country have become divided into two unfriendly camps.
    When this is all over and the votes have been counted, there needs to be reconciliation.

    Just how well placed would we say the main Churches, particularly the CofE and this idiot Priest, are to aid this process?

    • bluedog

      Too incompetent to mediate would be this communicant’s conclusion. If the CofE leadership are stupid enough to put their reputation on the line for a 50/50 bet, they cannot be taken seriously.

      • CliveM

        They needed to stand back and only speak out against the gross distortions of both sides. They should have worked at keeping the campaign civil.

        Instead they decided to support one side and some at least have joined in the invective.

        That has to be a mistake.

    • preacher

      The E.U was born in deceit & lies it’s continued it’s ambitious progress by the same currency, it’s a destructive unclean thing, that blatantly exhibits its source by the emblems it uses ( the copy of the tower of Babel painting in its architecture & the statue of Europa seduced & raped by the Minotaur ) as we discussed on a previous post.
      It will fall, just as the statue of Daniel did when the feet of Iron & clay are struck by the stone, & believe me when I say we don’t want to be a partaker in it’s destruction.
      Until then it will continue to revel in it’s work of separation by lies, deceit, division & confusion – & we all know who is named the Father of Lies don’t we?.
      Bless you Clive. P.

    • IanCad

      I promise you Clive; If we remain there will be no reconciliation on my part. I consider those who choose to honour a foreign power the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.

      • preacher

        The Battle lines are drawn Ian. We pray & fight for victory but no matter what the outcome – it’s only one battle in a war, & we must continue the campaign until we are called from the field to our rest, or the Lord returns victorious.
        ” We wrestle not against flesh & blood, but against principalities & powers in high places ” The Lord died to save the spiritually blind & the lost in sin, we must not draw back or resort to hatred as this is part of the enemy’s plan.
        Blessings. P.

        • IanCad

          You are so right Preacher but, until Our Lord returns with his angels, we are citizens of this world and our endeavours must be directed towards making our country the best it can be.

          • preacher

            Totally agree. Whether we like it or not, we are involved in the war & must arm ourselves with the full armour of God & fight valiantly against an enemy who we can’t see with powers that are mighty, he is cruel but cunning, even able to appear as an ‘Angel of light’.
            Not a campaign for the faint of heart eh ?.

          • IanCad

            Definitely not for the feeble knees.
            As this campaign winds down I would like to thank HG for doing so much to enlighten us, steer us on the right path, and having so much fortitude.
            He has done sterling service.

          • preacher

            I’ll say Amen to that.
            Here’s a thought – Maybe the Lord has bought about this referendum to draw out the enemy & force him to show his hand. Otherwise this country may just have ambled along in the E.U until it was too late.

      • CliveM

        Wow! You have no doubts then. I have to say I know a lot of people on both sides of this argument and some who have still to decide.

        Most of them are taking this referendum seriously and are attempting to vote in an honest manner. I don’t agree with those voting in, but I don’t believe all of them to be ‘odious vermin ‘.

        • IanCad

          Jonathan Swift had a way with words. He could put it far better than I.

          • CliveM

            Well that goes for both of us :0)

  • Malcolm Smith

    Whenever I hear the insult, “racist” used, I immediately think of Pavlov’s dogs, who were taught to salivate whenever they heard a bell. These people are victims of a conditioned reflex along the lines: any reference to other ethnic groups perceived as negative = racist = bad, and therefore there is no need to develop a rational line of thought.
    Fortunately, I am old enough to remember what the word originally meant. Indeed, I remember when the word was “racialist”. I was brought up with stories about the evils of racial segregation in the U.S. “Racialism” or “racism” meant mistreating people because of their race, the mistreatment, rather than the race, being the operative negative. Members of a certain part of the political spectrum have gone from the reasonable proposition that people shouldn’t be mistreated because of race, to the questionable conclusion that all disparate treatment of different races is automatically wrong, to the ridiculous position that everybody has an equal right to migrate to the U.K.

    • Old Nick

      As you say, the notion was invented to object to an American phenomenon and has now been incorporated thoughtlessly into English discourse concerning entirely different circumstances.

  • Stig

    Well, if you want a scriptural basis for Brexit, I suggest Revelation 18, particularly Verse 4!

  • Old men plant trees

    I would not welcome the risen host of heaven into my village and that is, I suppose, blasphemy and nimbyism with racist overtones. I cannot speak to the vicar about my numeric heresy because he declares me apostate and wishes no further discourse.

  • David

    The EU advances using lies, deceit and threats.
    At its heart is the evil wish to dominate, for ever more and more power.
    Many good but naive people are being taken in by this, as is its intention.
    But unless we Brexit this struggle will not be over, in fact it will only just have started.
    Although there are good people on the Remain side and bad ones on the Brexit side, slowly, surely the battle lines between good and evil are becoming more pronounced, more obvious, with each passing year.
    The divisions between those who believe that, after God, all power must be vested in the people, as opposed to those who want to hand it over to the elite and powerful are very strong now. Those divisions will not heal unless we set off on the path to freedom.
    Having posted the last leaflet, until tomorrow when my work at our local Leave HQ starts up again, I will pray for conditions that favour Vote Leave.

    • preacher

      Well done David & thank you for your determination.
      As I posted below to Ian, It’s possible that the whole referendum was the Lord’s wake up call to make the enemy show his hand.
      Blessings. P

      • David

        It is beginning to look that way.
        We fight against evil forces.
        God bless you.

        • preacher

          thank you Brother.

  • Albert

    The bit that amuses me is the bit that says we should stay because we should try to fix the faults of the EU. Anyone who thinks that is possible is either stupid or ignorant. There may be good reasons to vote to stay in, but the idea that we can fix the problems is not among them.

    • Anton

      Quite so. Cameron has done SUCH a good job at fixing them to date…

      • Albert

        Yes, like Wilson before him. The EU is like a psychopath: it is hard to treat because it does not want to be better.

        • Old Nick

          And the judicial doctine of the European Court of Justice makes Ever Closer Union a one way street: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/22/the-eus-court-is-picking-apart-our-laws/

          • Albert

            Yes. In the end, if you don’t want to be part of European Superstate, you should vote out.

          • Old Nick

            I agree. In the end all the other arguments (economic, comity of nations, immigration, bent bananas) are fluff. Self-determination by the Grace of God is your man.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Well, he has told us that we should vote to remain in a “reformed” EU. I haven’t heard Angela Merkel or François Hollande or any other EU leader congratulate Cameron on his achievements in reforming the EU. Do they know that it has been reformed?

        • Anton

          Ev’rybody’s doing a brand nEU dance, now
          Come on baby, Do the reformation…

  • dannybhoy

    Definition of Racism (UK)
    “1.1The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races: theories of racism.”
    Oxford Dictionary

    By that definition all ‘races’ are ‘racist’.
    It is not racist to observe and recognise differences, nor to prefer the company of people with whom we share similar characteristics, a common history and cultural values. Many other communities do the same.
    We should treat all people with respect and courtesy and help where necessary.
    This does not mean we have to live cheek by jowl, nor apologise when we state that actually, we prefer this way of life over that.
    The very fact that many people from very different cultures and religions want to come and live amongst us demonstrates that they have chosen our country over theirs.
    Is that racist?

    • Inspector General

      The Inspector is no stranger to beer drinking circles, Danny. Sometimes, contributors therein are so unintelligent as to be almost unable to get a sentence out, but one has never heard any of them denigrate the other races. Indeed, a common courtesy deployed is to prefix “I’m not racist, but” before a criticism and true to their word, the individual is not. Criticism is quite acceptable. Hatred is not.

  • IanCad

    I have just seen some pictures from Glastonbury. Rather encouraging. They all appear so idiotic and dopey. More like termites than free-thinking sovereign persons. Surely they must all be Remainers. If that is so, are there 150,000 or so potential Europhiles whose votes won’t be cast? Could that be enough to tip the scales?

    • sarky

      Anyone who would crawl through mud to watch Coldplay deserves to be deported!

  • Dreadnaught

    Only 3% of the Turkey landmass is actually on the continent of Europe but that won’t stop anything from interfering with the bigger EU plan, there is nothing in the rules against changing the name of the EU to ‘The Wider EU’, ‘The New EU’ or the ‘EU Asia Alliance’ or what ever.
    Jordan which is sheltering vast numbers from Syria has recently been exposed to a car-bomb attack. This is indicating that ISIS may be shifting its murderous operation into new territory which will generate more mass movement of refugees toward Europe and the jump off point will be Turkey.
    How in the name of sanity can admitting that nation into the EU be beneficial to the future of Europe, let alone the future of the UK. Once they start blowing up the refugee camps and digging into the chaos how the hell can anyone strike back without major devastation of a million desperate civilians?
    Useful Idiots like this prattling priest are undermining common sense when it comes to assessing international security which is being held to ransom for the desire of big business. Why else would the EU have moved Ford Transit production from the UK to Turkey if accession was not imminent? and that is where our new external border will be next to Iraq, Iran and Syria.
    Cameron is blatantly telling LIES; he knows that the EU and France in particular is keen to reconnect its influence in the Middle East as it was during its colonial period.
    Cameron and Remain are usurping our nation’s independence for ‘5 magic beans by Duff’, and jeopardising the peace of what was once a stable Europe.

    Even so, as if this scenario isn’t bad enough, there is still the prospect of bringing in Ukraine

  • Goodness, the way some are commenting today, one would think the EU is the seat being prepared for the Son of Perdition.

    • Anton

      It’s not impossible. But it’s not certain either. A wise man said that Christians seem either to never get their heads into the Book of Revelation or never get their heads out of it.

    • Albert

      Between 2008-2010 as a result of the Euro, Greek infant mortality rates rose by a shocking 43%. Let me take out the soft language: between 2008-2010 death rates among Greek children rose by a shocking 43%. They’d cut health spending by 25% you see, so they couldn’t keep those kids alive as previously. EU response: austerity which will not work for decades, and which will make the country poorer in the meantime. Greece: 25% unemployment, 50-60% youth unemployment. And all for what? To protect the European project.

      If you wanted to place the Son of Perdition somewhere unpleasant, I would recommend EU impoverished Greece might be a good place to start. Of course, there would be other worse places. Syria, for example, a country to whose desperate people we are only to give minimal hospitality (20 000 refugees over 5 years), because we have already let in 3 million EU citizens and are expected to let in 3 million more. The Parable of the Good Samaritan works the other way, it says we should help people according to need, not their ethnicity.

      Don’t get me started on the Common Agricultural Policy which actively impoverishes the poorest farmers in the world, in order to protect the livings of the rich.

      These are some of the reasons why I am voting leave tomorrow.

      • grutchyngfysch

        Greece is also my reason. Their government shares in the responsibility for causing the crash, but it was the Troika who, for institutional pride, could not allow the country to bow out of the Euro, and so demonstrated that when it is a choice between Mammon and the Demos, the EU casts aside the Demos.

        • Albert

          There’s a further problem that it would actually be hard for Greece to come out of the Euro. And this is the trouble with the EU, the further you go in, the costlier it is to come out. If we were not already a member, there would be no doubt about how tomorrow’s vote would go. The reason the country will probably vote to remain is because of the pain (real or imagined) of extracting ourselves from it.

          • Old Nick

            Yes, all that misplaced anxiety about how the pound will go up or down by a couple of US cents in the next three weeks.

        • Anton

          Greece could have quit the Euro and defaulted if it had chosen to. The price would have been lockout from the world financial markets. Didn’t do Iceland much harm…

          • big

            Iceland has its own currency ,Greece doesn’t.

          • Anton

            That’s why I said Greece could have quit the Euro and defaulted.

  • David

    What a hateful, ignorant fool of a priest we have displayed here with his nasty little “Voting Slip”. Clearly he knows absolutely zero about the EU, its methods and its devastating effects on so many communities and even entire countries. Has he no Christian compassion for the suffering of the southern nations, especially its long-term unemployed youth ? The answer must be a resounding “No, none at all !”

  • Royinsouthwest

    We have heard a lot recently from Remainiacs about how Brexitiers have lowered “the tone” of the debate and have promoted hatred and therefore are at least partly responsible for the murder of Jo Cox. Strangely we have not heard from them yet on who they blame for the attempt to murder Donald Trump.

    Fr Simon Rundell and Margaret Pritchard Houston presumably think that we should all copy their “tone” in this debate.

    • James60498 .

      I am sure that they will tell us that Trump’s behaviour is so appalling that it has driven an otherwise wonderful young man to such extremes.

    • Old Nick

      The Tonus Omnisciens you mean ?

  • Inspector General

    Where are four knights when you need them…

    But seriously, how do you deal with an errant priest who insults the flock?

    Well, the Inspector is one to cut to the chase, so this is what you do. You grab the wretch by his collar, and shout at him. “Stick to priesting, damn you!” or some such. Then you send him on his way with a well-aimed kick up the arse. See, swift and effective, and you don’t even have to bring the matter before the bishop, for all the good that would have done…

    • Anton

      I’d have posted “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest” but for Jo Cox’s murder. You seem to be made of tougher stuff…

    • Sounds like he’s in the wrong job Inspector.

      • Inspector General

        If he was a Roman Catholic priest Marie, he would indeed be looking for employment better suited to his talents as this is typed…

        • I think he ought to look for another job regardless of which denomination he’s in. He’s just not suitable for this kind of work.

          • Inspector General

            He might want to go to work for Terence Higgins, or Stonewall. Of course, he’ll end up HIV+ as a result of ‘meeting’ new friends but under the circumstances, it’s for the best…

          • it’s a viable alternative Inspector. Hope he’s reading this blog.

  • Inspector General

    As an aside to this topic, the Inspector is delighted that Reich’s Kommissar Juncker has come forward and told the world what a lucky boy Cameron was to go home with the nothing they gave him the other day, as that was all that was on offer. Ever. Rather pisses on the argument that ‘we can change the EU if we stay in’ that the scare people are using…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36599300

    • IanCad

      I heard that as well. What planet is he on. Can think of nothing that could get the dander of a red-blooded British fence-sitter (Jack) up more than Herr Juncker’s remark.

      • Inspector General

        It’s a racial trait, don’t you know. You see, continental types take immense reassurance when they hear their betters spouting such arrogance. It means they’re in control. Everything is on course as planned. Nothing will upset progress.

        What the bureaucrat doesn’t realise is that British backs get arched on hearing such rot…we just don’t appreciate having our noses rubbed in it…

  • David

    Junker has spoken – there will be no further concessions, thus directly contradicting Cameron’s narrative that discussions on border controls is a process – it isn’t !
    What Cameron has grovelled for, which is approaching zero – that’s it ! Zilch !
    Only OUT can restore control over our own destiny.
    Please speak to and convince any of your still doubting, uncertain friends and neighbours – to save their country – Vote Leave !

    • Anton

      Good old Juncker! That gives Brexit a few more votes!

      • David

        Yup !
        At least drunkard Junker speaks truth unlike mendacious Cameron.

  • Watchman

    I do not think the apostle Paul was too happy with some of his fellow Europeans:
    Titus 1:11-13 KJV
    [11] Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. [12] One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. [13] This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; …

    If we agree with Paul are we then racists?

    • Inspector General

      Brought to you by the Cretian tourist board. Remember, holiday in Crete for 2017…

      • Anton

        If Greece quits the Euro (or the Euro quits Greece…) then holidays there will be great value and will also help their economy recover.

        • Andy

          What economy ? A third of it lies in ruins.

          • Inspector General

            A rather clever remark, that man!

          • chiefofsinners

            The other three quarters.

          • Anton

            The other two-thirds.

          • Andy

            Aye but that’s looking a tad rickerty too.

          • Anton

            Yes of course; the Germans have to decide whether to throw good money after bad. Always a tough decision. But the Greeks are not without options either: they can quit the Euro and default on the debts and start again at a more realistic exchange rate, the price being exclusion from financial markets for a while. It means deeper short-term pain but a better long term. That short-term problem is what is deterring them. They should do it, for a generation unemployed indefinitely is fertile soil for fascism or communism.

          • Andy

            Or the Germans could do what they are going to have to do and establish Fiscal Union, which means a transfer union. It will cost the Germans 10% of GDP.

          • Anton

            To bail out Italy and Spain as well would cost more than that. But please say more; are you suggesting that Germany will shortly force EU countries to harmonise tax-and-spend policies?

          • Andy

            I’m saying the remorseless logic of Monetary Union, and to make the stupid thing work, will mean in effect that Greece will become a German Pensioner. There is no other way out of the mess, and the longer it is left to fester the bigger the bill. The fundamental problem is one of competitiveness (the Greek economy, what’s left of it) is just not competitive with Germanys. T’was ever thus. The optimum value of the Euro for Germany (using the US dollar as a yardstick) is something like $2.36. If the same calculation is done for Greece the value is 35 cents (it is 39 cents for Spain). How do you square that circle ? You can’t.

          • Anton

            As I said, the Greeks might get sufficiently desperate to vote for a government that offers default and reset with a drachma that makes the place competitive again. At that point the Germans lock the Greeks out of financial markets, but that’s not so dreadful and there’s nothing more they can do short of invade…

          • Andy

            But there is no mechanism to do what you are saying. Once you are in the Euro, you are in. There isn’t an exit route. It is easy to be rather glib and dismissive of Greece, a country I know very, very well. Most people have no idea how bad things are for the Greek people. For example, I go to an island on holiday. Had a group of us foreigners not ganged together and divi up some cash there would be no pharmacy – he was bankrupt because the State is not paying its bills. The housekeeper of a late friend of mine cannot afford to pay her electricity bill for her modest Athens apartment – I’ve been paying it. I could go on and on but you get the idea.

          • Anton

            Please do not think that I am anti-Greece in this mess. I am genuinely concerned for the 20-something generation there that is unable to find work. (Keep that up for long and you get fascism or communism.) I have less sympathy for the Greek government and its pensioned employees. But essentially the Greek government and the German government are in a negotiation which is causing mutual bad feeling and in which both have various cards to play. It is in fact perfectly possible for Greece to quit the Euro and reset; it simply involves closing the banks for a week and crash printing of drachmas to distribute among them. There will be winners and losers, depending on who has debt and savings where (and in what currency). The only way Germany could stop that process is militarily, and they won’t. Germany is relying on the acute short-term pain to Greece deterring the Greek government. At present it is doing so. When the streets become more violent, things might change.

          • Andy

            Well you say that, but there is no Legal means for Greece to leave the Euro – read the treaties. That is one of the problems; it is a burning building with no exits. Greece is bankrupt, so assuming there is a way found for her to leave the Euro and reestablish the Drachma she would need huge aid just to survive.

            I share your view of the 20-something generation, but I would observe we are already there. I consider Syriza a bunch of Fascists and same coin as Golden Dawn.

            The best way to solve the Euro crisis, which will continue as Lord King has observed, is for Germany (Netherlands etc) to leave the Euro which would allow the value to drop like a stone. The important point is that the debt remains in Euros and the Euro drops in value.

          • CliveM

            But Germany has no more legal route then Greece does.

          • Andy

            Yes that is true. But the Continental Europeans don’t respect nor honour the treaties anyway, but expect us to do so.

          • Anton

            Germany exiting the Euro is certainly an alternative, but doesn’t address the tension between monetary union and the absence of fiscal union among the rest. You say there is no legal means for Greece to quit the Euro; I don’t go with the word “legal” because I abhor the creeping notion of international law when there are really only international treaties. Greece would be in violation of a treaty, certainly. When a government goes bust it is a test of national character, but the Greek government is not synonymous with the Greek people. They’d survive, and good luck to them.

          • Andy

            Germany leaving is the lesser evil. The new Mark would rocket in value, as the Euro would drop like a stone. As you say it does not address the tension because there isn’t a fiscal union. The remorseless logic of the one begets the later, but I can’t see Germany willing opening her cheque book – the German people have been fed the lie that monetary union wouldn’t mean this. What may happen is that the Germans may try to ‘stuff’ the rest of the EU with a chunk of the bill (meaning the British), but all hell will break on that one.

            Anyway we will see how it develops. But the longer this can is kicked down the road the worse the remedy will be. I really have nothing but contempt for Continental Politicians.

          • Anton

            Yes, the Germans should be told that the reason they are doing so well is their exports that are affordable because the Greeks drag down the Euro exchange rate so that they should look upon paying Greece as compensation for that. In a few years Europe will have politicians who are rather more nationalist and that is no bad thing. Even if it does get a bit messy it isn’t going to come to war. But the idiots who did this deserve time behind bars to ponder their folly.

          • Andy

            See that is what really does worry me: that it could all fall apart into War. It could happen with the tensions building as they are.
            I would suggest watching this on YouTube. Skip the Clog bits (unless you speaka the lingo) and watch Bernard Connolly. He has called the Euro right for over 20 years.

      • David

        Quite Inspector.
        Last time I was in Greece I converted my £ into drachmas. Indeed if the Greeks return to using their own currency, then I too will support them and return. Then once again, I can revisit the glories of ancient Greece.

        • Inspector General

          But the Greeks don’t want their currency back, David. They’ve moved to the the more efficient and wealthier Northern Europe group. Remember, they brought down their age of retirement to 55, on the promise of German and British money to pay for it. So there you have it, the EU is all about lesser countries putting their hands out for what they can get. Let Germany pay the bill, on its own!

          • David

            Then sadly, let them betray their roots in nascent democracy, if they really must.
            And let such foolishness be paid for solely from German pockets.
            But we’ll choose the sea and freedom – an exciting world awaits !

  • grutchyngfysch

    From a time when English priests were made of different stuff (with apologies to John Ball):

    When Adam toiled and Eve worked, who was then an expert?

    From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, He would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which you may (if you will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty.

    [Disclaimer: Didn’t end too well for Ball.]

  • grutchyngfysch

    There’s nothing inherently unChristian about voting Remain, though. Just think we need to be clear about that too.

    • Inspector General

      It’s damnably not British though…

      • grutchyngfysch

        I’m sure a good number of Remainers would be happier described as European, to be sure 🙂

    • David

      What – and embrace a Constitution based on Humanism, which denies even the Christian roots of European culture – and doing all this instead of choosing to being governed by those we elect within a framework, which is still, with all of its faults, fundamentally that of a Constitutional Christian monarchy ?

      • grutchyngfysch

        David, last I looked, the adulterous Boris was not promising to usher in a government built on Scripture any more than the EU. I’m voting Leave tomorrow, but I’m not under any illusions that any prospective government under Brexit will be any less godless than the present one.

        • David

          I share your realism concerning Boris. My point was regarding the constitutions and the clear use of Humanism by the EU as a method for framing law – that’s what I said. The eastern countries have stated clearly that they defend their essentially, Christian farmed laws. Our Brexit will stop the Humanist juggernaut crushing our shared European Judaeo-Christian cultural context.

          • Anton

            Could you be more specific about what is Christian and what is Humanist in the two systems please?

          • David

            Start with the historical roots.
            The EU’s very constitution ignores Europe’s undoubtedly Christian cultural origins. Instead it assumes that Humanism will act as uniting factor, including for law making. So it reflects the political paradigm of the French Revolution.
            Whereas the UK, in common with all other European monarchies, extant and surviving, is essentially rooted in the idea that the State, headed by a Monarch, rules under the unchanging gaze of God, and His laws, revealed in Biblical truth. This reflects Jesus comment. “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God, that which is God”.
            Monarchy is an essentially Christian construct, with both Church and State, separate but in coordination. Islam has a totally different set of ideas.
            I have merely stated very basic political ideas here – nothing new about it all.

          • Anton

            Respectfully, I disagree. My concern is that the view underlying your comments is that we are a Christian country and the continent is full of godless atheists. That is the view which led both sides to claim God on their side in the slaughter of World War I. But Christianity is about grace set in contrast to law (or how law is put in place). I certainly believe that we have a superior constitution but I regard the claim that it is “more Christian” as wish-fulfilment. Monarchy pre-dates the Bible: it is simply about who is head of a tribe that lives on its own land. As for creative tension between (the Established) church and the State: If Only!

            The main difference is whether the individual exists to serve the State or vice-versa.

          • David

            Those are your words not mine. Please read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.
            There have never been “Christian countries”, just countries with a Christian Constitution, or not. Why even North Korea contains Christians, as did Soviet Russia. France too, which has the “lacite”, has many good Christians.
            I am talking about constitutional frameworks, and their resulting legal assumptions. You are talking theology and much else. Please do not use the fallacies of WW1 against what I have said – it is simply a totally different point.

          • Anton

            I hold that there is no such thing as a Christian constitution. Please define what you mean by the term.

          • David

            The whole purpose of the Coronation, and prayers at the start of H of C daily business, is to reassert this country’s Christian constitution and governance.
            But ignore these keystone ceremonies if you must – your choice.

          • Anton

            The collective of Christians is called the church, not the UK; and it is called out of the UK as it is called out of every nation. The Coronation asserts a covenant between the British people and God which simply does not exist, for the new covenant is with the individual believer. Britain is not Israel.

            We have a better constitution and that is probably because it was put in place by Christians. But that is not what I am saying. Should atheists be excluded from Parliament even though they represent a majority of the people (judged by church attendance at least)?

          • David

            OK you don’t like our constitution. Your choice. Fortunately you appear to dislike the EU’s constitution more.

          • Anton

            Where did I say that I don’t like our constitution? My only point is that there is no such thing as a Christian constitution.

          • David

            Then we shall have to agree to disagree on that.
            I find the writings of Alexander Boot rather useful on Christianity and constitutions.

          • Anton

            Where is a Christian constitution to be found in the New Testament?

          • David

            Did I claim that it was ? No we look to Constantine and beyond for that. However the basic idea of Church and State springs from Jesus’, “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s”.

          • Anton

            You look to Constantine if you want. I’ve explained to Old Nick above on this thread why that wasn’t authentic. I welcome further comment from you there.

            I’ve not read Alexander Boot but his most recent book is summarised thus at Amazon:

            How the West Was Lost argues that all modern upheavals – the Reformation, the English, American, French and Russian Revolutions, the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War, both World Wars – can only be understood if seen as resulting in an assault on the core values of the West.

            About the Reformation, the English Civil War and the American Civil War I could not disagree more. Does Boot believe that might is right?

          • grutchyngfysch

            Brexit will stop the EU to a certain extent. It won’t stop the de-Christianisation of the West. If anything, there will probably be a rush to prove “we can do human rights too” resulting in even more humanism being baked into British law.

          • David

            Your ability to read the future is impressive.
            But I see Brexit as an opportunity for a nation to pause, and reconsider its trajectory.
            Then it can, as you suggest, either become more secular (if that’s possible?) or with God’s help, discover better ways of pursuing Truth in a new century.
            It gives us a chance to turn towards a better direction. Staying within the EU affords no such wholesome second chances, only deterioration, culturally and economically.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I don’t know what the future looks like, but I’ve got a reasonable grasp of the human heart. Most of our leaders do not know the Lord. It therefore does not require an oracle to see that unless the heart changes it will not bring forth fruit. Heart changes are not the same as government changes. They can happen in Brexit or in Bremain. In this way, Brexit is only incidental to revival. It won’t ever be its cause – because if it really did prove to be its cause, it wouldn’t be true spiritual revival but a cultural shell.

          • David

            You are missing the point.
            Can you not see that constitutional and legal frameworks exert influence on cultural contexts, which in turn, can influence individual human hearts ?
            Bhutan has constitution of a Buddhist Monarchy, and so, surprise, surprise discourages Christianity.
            An EU whose constitution assumes Humanism as the framework for law, will give Christianity, increasingly, a hard time, which is what is happening.
            Brexit provides an opportunity – there are no guarantees – to reevaluate our cultural trajectory, within our still extant Christian constitution, which is the whole purpose of the Coronation, and prayers at the beginning of each parliamentary day.
            Please scan the big picture, which has to be, from the political viewpoint, a constitutional one.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I think that cultural Christianity lasts a lot longer than any other form, but it still crumbles into dust when it is only cultural. There is an enduring grip in the public imagination of such a cultural Christianity, but most people in the UK are not saved. I do not, therefore, expect UK politics to look particularly heavenly either way.

  • David

    “We know Thou art God alone;
    we recognise in Thee our King.
    We call on Thee for aid.
    From Thee we receive victory,
    through Thee we are made greater than our enemies. ”

    Verse 1. Constantine’s Army Prayer.

    • Old Nick

      Interestingly, this is the prayer Constantine ordered to be said on Sunday church parade on parade grounds outside the cities, by the NON-Christian soldiers of his army (Eusebius Vita Constantini IV, 18, 3 – 20, 2); Christian soldiers were allowed to go to church. Anyone who reads his own (copious) utterances will have to admit that Constantine was a Christian (even if he does not rise to the lofty theological standards of some of the Calvinist elect who contribute to those pages. And the key to “what sort of Christian” is the Divine Institutes of Lactantius, tutor to Constantine’s son – all 685 pages of them.

      • David

        Indeed !

      • Anton

        For a long time he acknowledged the sun as well as The Son. I think that he died a Christian although I question whether he was one when he was using Christianity as a political tool to unify his empire after his victory at the Milvian bridge over the Tiber. But Eusebius’ church history, written in living memory of that event, set the tone by ascribing Constantine’s victory to divine providence. Constantine’s conversion is not the usual one involving inner conviction and repentance. Was his vision really from God? Ahead of a battle a pagan would consult diviners, opening a door to forces of darkness (as King Saul had: 1 Samuel 28). Did the “lord of this world” change his tactics, from persecution of the church (under which it had grown) to his oldest trick, temptation – corrupting it from the inside, spiritually, rather than attacking it from outside, physically? The bishop of Rome should have offered Constantine personal instruction and said that Christians would honour him as their Emperor (Romans 13), but also have insisted on the church’s independence. Constantine’s faith seems to have grown later in life, but he integrated Christianity into his politics and the church committed adultery with the world by taking the deal.

        • Ivan M

          Either ‘adultery’ or non-existence. God works in mysterious in ways. You cannot wish away history.

          • Anton

            Please clarify what you are trying to say.

        • Old Nick

          The Sun was not in any important sense a pagan god, it was (still is) the most notable power in heaven. Of course gods were associated with it, including Apollo and various Eastern divinity. Mithras is shown shaking hands with the Sun (e.g. at Sa. Maria Capua vetere), but is not the same as the Sun. Christians too used the Sun as a way of referring to the Most High God; for our purpose, it is important that Lactantius (tutor to Constantine’s son) is quite explicit about saying that the Sun in the physical heavens points towards the Single Power who made it. It seems therefore likely that the various Sun imagery on Constantine’s coins which persists into the 320s is not so much residual paganism as a way of trying to find an iconography which could represent the Most High God whom the Christians alone knew how to worship (even of philosophers believed He existed without knowing what to do about it).
          The Vision was a religious experience, but no one until Rufinus in the very late 4th century makes it out to be a conversion. O. Nicholson argues in the journal Vigiliae Christianae 2000 that any early Christian seeing a Cross in the Sky would not think of conversion experiences so much as of a Type of the Sign of the Son of Man coming in the heavens. This seems to me convincing because it ties the Vision not into some fantastical psychological progression but into Constantine’s understanding of the pattern of public events – which is what you expect responsible emperors to be interested in. It seems to me significant that Constantine’s first act as an emperor in 306 was to stop all persecution of the Christians. If one really wants to know what Constantine actually believed, one can read his own words in his Oration to the Holy Assembly, a speech made to Christians at court during an Easter celebration, probably in 325; both English translations (one Victorian, one modern) are unfortunately of rather poor quality. I am far from being so wise as to prescribe what 4th century
          bishops “ought” to have done.

          • Anton

            It doesn’t take much wisdom to assert that the church should not let the secular powers determine its policies, as Bishop Sylvester of Rome permitted Constantine (while being gifted a vast palace).

          • Old Nick

            I do not know where you got the idea that Sylvester got a palace from Constantine. The Lateran Council which tried to mediate in the Donatist mess met in rooms at the Lateran Palace. The Lateran Basilica was built over the former barracks of the Equites Singulares. Recent research by Professor Bowersock at Princeton rather pours cold water on Constantine having been responsible for the Vatican Basilica. In any case Constantine only paid three brief visits to Rome as emperor, so his potential instruction was scarcely anything to do with Pope Sylvester. Eusebius makes it clear that there were Christians at his side to consult after the Vision of the Cross in the Sky, and we know that there were Christians such as Lactantius at his court. I know of no evidence that Constantine determined church policies. The shoe was rather on the other foot, in fact; he was keen to restore to Christians the freedom and property (churches and cemeteries) lost in the Great Persecution, he introduced harsh matrimonial legislation, he facilitated meetings of bishops to discuss internal church disputes. In fact he was rather a model Christian ruler.

          • Anton

            No evidence that Constantine determined church policies? He chaired the Council of Nicaea!

            In particular, he ensured that the Donatists were declared heretics for refusing the leadership of men who had recently sold them out to their persecutors. That does not excuse donatist violence, but I support that refusal. Congregation leaders who said sorry and repented should have been welcomed back into the church, but never as leaders – and the very fact that they wanted to be leaders again showed how false their repentance was.

          • Old Nick

            No he did not. He was present, but Ossius of Cordoba presided. He did propose the term ‘homoousios’, but the bishops proceeded to discuss it after his proposal, and I think I am right in saying that that was his only intervention in the debate (there is not the sort of procès-verbal which we have for Chalcedon).
            The history of Donatism under Constantine is one, it seems to me, is one of patient mediation with impossible people, even at one point building two cathedrals at Constantine-Cirta in Numidia to accomodate both parties. In any case what the core complaint of the Donatists was that one of the consecrators of the Bishop of Carthage was a traditor, not the Bishop of Carthage himself – this implies an acceptance by the Donatists of a form of what I am sure is your favourite doctrine, the Apostolic Succession of bishops. There were African Christians who disagreed with your “Every Man His Own Pope” determination that they should not have seen the consecration as valid. Of course you know best – better than those who were actually involved in the mediation.

          • Anton

            Constantine should not even have been at the Council of Nicaea as he was not the leader of a congregation. The idea that he did not influence the proceedings is absurd. He opened the council and Eusebius’ description of his entrance is sheer hagiography.

            The donatist schism was not about one man or one congregation. Make the effort to put yourself in their shoes. In a land where Christians are persecuted, the leader of your congregation betrays you and your brothers to the authorities. Your hand-copied texts are burnt before your eyes and some of your friends are put to death. Then a new emperor calls himself a Christian and convenes a council which determines that such congregation leaders are to be restored to leadership. Perhaps, if they show real repentance they may be welcomed back into the congregation, but I would not suffer to be led by such men and their eagerness to return to leadership shows their utter unsuitability for it after behaving like Judas. This does not excuse donatist violence but they were right to refuse such leadership.

          • Old Nick

            “Leader of a congregation”, what a quaint periphrasm. The word is bishop, Latin episcopus from Greek episkopos. I guess you would have preferred Constantine to have sustained the persecuting policies of his immediate predecessors ? The situation in the 320s required intervention of one sort or another by the imperial authorities.
            As for sympathy with the persecuted, I have spent large parts of the past 35 years engaged in precisely this activity. The Optatan Appendix does indeed reveal some fairly unpleasant impulses to revenge arising from the Great Persecution (how these Christians love one another, particularly the rigourists). But the central contention of the Donatist case is not as you state it. Caecilianus, Bishop of Carthage was not, and was not accused by anyone of being a traditor. It was one of his three consecrators who was so accused. And even that was not proved, despite colossal expenditure of patience by Constantine and other impartial mediators.
            Your Olympian ability to decide what early Christians “ought” to have done is rather touching. The Canons of Peter of Alexandria or (earlier) the letters and De Lapsis of S. Cyprian actually suggest significant fluidity in these questions of church discipline.

          • Anton

            What Christians ought to do is made perfectly clear in the New Testament.

            It would have been good if Constantine had neither favoured nor persecuted the church.

            The church had already departed from the NT model by having one episkopos (overseer) per congregation; there should be a council of them, given logistical backup by diakonoi. As I said before, don’t get too hung up on what happened on one place; the donatist issue was over a large region.

          • Old Nick

            I do not know where you got the idea that Sylvester got a palace from Constantine. The Lateran Council which tried to sort out the Donatist mess met in rooms at the Lateran Palace. The Lateran Basilica was built over the former barracks of the Equites Singulares. Recent research by Professor Bowersock at Princeton rather pours cold water on Constantine having been responsible for the Vatican Basilica. In any case Constantine only paid three brief visits to Rome as emperor, so his potential instruction was scarcely anything to do with Pope Sylvester.

          • Anton

            Of course Lactantius would say that the sun pointed to God and Christ. For any believer that is true. but in an empire in which many people worshipped a sun god, that is transparently writing to an agenda. Whether such syncretism is smart or disingenuous is not the point. I accept also that Constantine had to run an empire that contained many Christians and many pagans and did not wish to antagonise either. Harold Drake’s astute book Constantine and the Bishops uncovers his motivations in politics more than in piety.

          • Old Nick

            The idea that “many people worshipped a Sun God” really will not wash. There are Gods with names like Apollo and the Sun-God of Emesa worshipped by the Emperor Elgabalus which had solar associations. There was the peculiar Temple of the Sun and the pontifices Dei Solis very recently introduced to Rome which came very quickly to be yet another part of the Roman pantheon, with a specific character. When people talked about the Sun, they were not, in general, naming a specific God, they were evoked a philosophical sense that there was in the end a single power which was the greatest in heaven – this was a matter of thought, not of worship, because how could you worship so great a power and in any case why would you want to when you could worship the god you had in hand (victory, the vintage, gaining immortality). Christians such as Lactantius claimed that Christians alone had the means to worship the One God of the philosophers and that they alone had a theological theory which made sense of religion in a non-mythological manner. This is not syncretism, it is a radical statement that at last there is a rational religion and a practical philosophy. The philosophical image of the Sun was appropriated not from pagan religion but from serious philosophical thought.

          • Anton

            Your distinction between the sun as a physical body (the view that modern physicists take) and a divinity is a modern one that would have made no sense to people who flocked to the Temples of Apollo in ancient Greece or celebrated the festival of sol invictus in ancient Rome. In 274AD Aurelian declared the winter solstice the day for that celebration. The sun was a major deity in the ancient world. The American Indians worshipped it, they told the early European settlers.

          • Old Nick

            Apollo is not the Sun. He was associated with the Sun, he drove its chariot (except for the day he sub-contracted to Phaethon), but he was not the Sun. Aurelian’s institution of Sol Invictus is a very odd phenomenon, and most of what we hear about it is disinformation from the Historia Augusta. There is a very good chance that the association of the Sun with December 25th (first mentioned in the Chronicle of 354) is actually later than the western institution of Christmas. Constantine’s use of Sun imagery is nothing to do with pagan cult, it is an attempt to allude visually to the Most High God whom only the Christians had the technology to worship.

          • Anton

            Constantine’s use of solar imagery is probably political rather than indicating he was an outright pagan, for sure. But sun worship in ancient Greece and Rome was widespread. Are you denying that? Please do not make distinctions that pagans would find artificial between the physical sun and deities associated with it.

  • chiefofsinners

    Ichabod indeed.

    This man is Jezreel, Lo-Ruhama and Lo-Ammi. He is Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.

    However, to those who are faithful there is the promise of Shear-Jashub
    and Immanuel.

    Romans 9:25-28

  • Inspector General

    Found this on the internet on Blessed Simon Rundell…

    “Fr Simon is very bothered about gay marriage. He puts his own obedience to the Church of England first – the hierarchy is opposed – but adds: “Where love is to be found, God wishes to bless it, and love between two gay people profoundly deserves to be blessed. I am saddened that I am prevented from doing that blessing at the moment.”

    There is hope yet for a man who appreciates hierarchy….

    • An eye on becoming a bishop … ?

      • Anton

        There are many bishoprics around…

  • None of the above

    Why go along with the publicity-seeking desires of this nincompoop? FWIW, this vicar (i.e. the one currently writing) thinks that leavers, just like remainers, are likely to be doing so for a variety of reasons – good, bad and indifferent. And neither side in this debate can claim moral (or indeed intellectual) superiority for their position. Denigrating one’s opponents, and imputing bad motives to them, simply draws attention to the vacuity of one’s own arguments.

    Oh, and this vicar will be confidently voting “Leave”. Not (needless to say) for any of the reasons on Fr Rundell’s silly piece of propaganda.

  • magnolia

    Interesting article by Paul Craig Roberts on King World News which claims, amongst other things, that the reason Brexit has been so strongly opposed is that the UK as a financial centre is being targeted, because a financial centre needs its own currency. On that basis should the UK vote in, the Euro will soon be imposed, and London as a financial centre (the major contributor to the economy) thus severely squeezed, leaving the country poorer, and serving the interests of, first Germany but more so Washington and the 1%.

    Some clear inaccuracies in his article, but the overall themes are interesting enough.
    Personally I think the 1% is an exaggeration, and we are looking more at the 0.01% or even the 0.01% or even less again.

    And always the worst thing is not losing money but losing freedom and democracy.

  • steroflex

    Immigration from the white Europeans is perfectly allowed.
    Immigration from brown, black and non European people is not allowed.
    Tell me who the real racists are?

    • DanJ0

      I recall all the fuss about Romanian and Bulgarian immigration when they acceded. The Romanians I work with are blond and blue-eyed.

      • steroflex

        Lucky you. Personally I do not know any Roma at all. But I do a lot of Notromanians!

    • Anton

      We need several figures: inward migration from (a) EU; (b) Commonwealth; (c) rest of the world. Then we need outward migration back to the EU after fulfilling short-term contracts, and we need to subdivide the EU figures according to whether someone earlier entered another EU country after being brought up elsewhere. Then we can have a proper debate.

      I don’t consider myself a racist (although if a majority of the people of Britain are racist then they still deserve to be heard). But I do consider myself a culturist. The difference is that if someone of another race wishes to come here to partake of British culture and integrate into it, they should be welcome (at a rate not too large to change British culture too quickly); but if someone wishes to come here to take over in a couple of generation’s time then they should be kept out.

      • dannybhoy

        In my part of the country there are towns and villages where the presence of Eastern European communities are causing genuine stress.
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/7823326/The-towns-in-England-where-Poles-are-still-arriving.html

        https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/16/fear-anger-wisbech-cambridgeshire-insecurity-immigration

        It’s not a question of whether they are willing to work, or hard workers, or decent people.
        In the main they are. Much better workers than many Brits even.
        That is not the issue.
        What has to be asked is since when did it become okay for a country to experience creeping and diverse ‘colonisation’ without a debate or the consent of the majority?
        I have nothing against anyone who takes the opportunity to get a better life here; but it is impacting on our British way of life and our communities. It is beginning to change our politics and our laws, and we are becoming a fractured society.

        • Anton

          People on the dole should be doing those jobs. But on the dole, of course, they vote Labour…

        • magnolia

          Bad in narrow country lanes when both cars swerve at the last minute to the same side, done swiftly and instinctively.

          • Anton

            No, instinct is to swing away from the other car.

          • magnolia

            No, I have encountered this. In one lane traffic lanes, with grass verges on both sides, the native driver swings onto the grass verge on the left, the fruit pickers from E. Europe swing onto the verge on their right. Very dangerous it is, but there is no financial cost to those who import the labour (to undercut the costs of local labour) when an accident occurs. This is an anomaly..

          • dannybhoy

            You speak from experience?
            btw I followed your links on Jo Cox and the White Helmets. As it happens someone we know worked closely with Jo Cox and held her in the highest regard. It’s very difficult sometimes to reconcile what is verifiable with what personal acquaintances say.
            I do know that sometimes because Christians want to believe the best about people we can be taken in quite easily. It’s that “wise as serpents, harmless as doves” thing isn’t it.

          • magnolia

            Not personal experience of accident I should say, but have both had to avoid accid3ent in the past, and observed other near accidents.

            Was it my link? Didn’t think I had posted a link, and can’t quite recall what a white helmet is. I have respect for Jo Cox, though clearly different opinions. I think she may have been used, if not before her death, then after. A lot of things don’t quite fit, and I am wondering whether the assassin was pumped full of SSRIs, made suggestible, and unleashed. That would still leave her very much the victim, and her relations would also be unaware and innocent. Just seems odd her birthday was so close to the referendum date. As I say they are just wonderings, and from my position unprovable.

            At root no assassination changes the facts of a decision of how to vote, and the ad hominem on both sides has been very stupid!

          • dannybhoy

            Sorry Magnolia, I thought it was your link. Apologies.

      • steroflex

        Nobody knows your figures because nobody is counting all the illegals. We all now that the NI figures and the government’s figures are somewhat different.
        Secondly who is more British, an Indian or a Lithuanian?

        • Anton

          Yes, the illegals matter. And your question is good. Lithuanian culture has more in common with British culture than Indian culture does, but either of your hypotheticals might be an Anglophile who actively wishes to integrate or an Anglophobe who wishes to milk the system. Also the Lithuanian is more likely to go home eventually. I am simply doing my best on this subthread to identify the factors that make for well informed debate.

    • David

      Quite !
      An OZ style points system would be far more fair.
      The EU also prevents poor African farmers from accessing its markets to protect inefficient EU, mainly French, farmers. It rapes the seas off West Africa of its fish stocks, depriving artisanal fishermen of their living. It encourages a % of “clean” bio-fuel in your car’s fuel tank, encouraging the destruction of ancient tropical forests to plant monocultures, destroying wildlife and displacing local, indigenous people.
      There is little that is gentle, wholesome or “fair” about the EU. It is just about the acquisition of raw power.

  • Dreadnaught

    The UK has to clamp down on it own malingerers and crappy government staffers. How can we have in excess of 1.5 million people out of work and on benefits if millions of EU workers have found jobs?

  • Anton

    “it’s the 21st Century, for fuck’s sake…”

    The worrying part of that statement from a churchman is not the F-word but the antiscriptural and wholly secular view that man in the 21st Century has everything sorted out, despite his continuing sinful character.

    • dannybhoy

      ….and the ‘f’ word.

      • Anton

        I think a lot of people profess shock at such things merely as virtue signalling. The word itself doesn’t shock me, although its use by a clergyman is inappropriate as it will needlessly alienate some of his congregation. But this man has already shown that he is willing to alienate half of them.

        • Little Black Censored

          The virtue signallers are the ones who use the word, not those who profess shock.

          • Anton

            Maybe both.