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Welby: Alastair Campbell is probably not going to heaven

“Media seem to be going for gay sex and Queen funeral angles in my @BritishGQ interview with @JustinWelby,” tweet-gripes Tony Blair’s former spinmeister Alastair Campbell, ” – loads more in it. One of my faves,” he adds, somewhat aggrieved that the media aren’t focusing on:

alastair campbell GQ welby interviewalastair campbell GQ welby interview

It doesn’t seem to occur to Alastair Campbell that the principal reason the media are focusing on gay sex and the Queen’s funeral is because GQ Magazine (ie the source medium) has released an excerpt of the interview which focuses exclusively on what the Archbishop of Canterbury says about gay sex and the Queen’s funeral. Oh, and Alastair Campbell has tweeted out this excerpt to his 406,000 Twitter followers, most of whom probably don’t subscribe to GQ Magazine and so can’t read anything about what Justin Welby has to say about anything but gay sex and the Queen’s funeral.

Anyway, it’s gay sex and the Queen (not so much her funeral) which keeps the British media going. Gay sex and the Queen is why a lot of journalists bother to get up in a morning. Gay sex and the Queen dominate discussion in this blog’s comment threads (okay, not so much the Queen), even if the topic of the blog post is post-neoclassical endogenous growth theory or man’s cruelty to Syrian hamsters. It is the religio-political blogging equivalent of Godwin’s Law: ‘As an online discussion on Archbishop Cranmer grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving gay sex approaches 1.’

But it is surprising that someone so adept at political spin and knowledgeable about the functioning of the media (as Alastair Campbell surely is) can’t discern something causal between GQ‘s chosen excerpt on gay sex and the Queen’s funeral and the media “going for gay sex and Queen funeral angles”. That was precisely where they were pointed, for maximum media traction, as Alastair Campbell undoubtedly knows. Spin, spin, spin.

No doubt the ensuing comment thread to this post will also focus on what the Archbishop said about gay sex (not so much the Queen’s funeral). It will take precisely 1 minute 48 seconds from the time of pressing ‘Publish’ for someone to berate the Archbishop of Canterbury for failing to call sin ‘sin’, or for having his very own ‘Farron moment‘, or for having the audacity to presume that he’s going to heaven, for if he doesn’t follow the letter of what the Bible says about gay sex being a sin… etc., etc. Notwithstanding that prophecy, this post will focus on the Archbishop’s confidence that he is going to heaven, and his doubt that Alastair Campbell might not be.

Firstly, the Archbishop of Canterbury is a Christian, and Jesus is his Lord. O, you’re going issue a swift riposte aren’t you? Something like: ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’ And you’re going to say that Justin Welby isn’t actually doing the will of his Father which is in heaven because he isn’t calling gay sex a sin, aren’t you?

So you’re going to set aside his testimony of conviction by the Holy Spirit, aren’t you? And you’re going to pour scorn over his conversion experience of repentance and salvation because he isn’t calling gay sex a sin, so he isn’t obeying the Bible, so he isn’t preaching the gospel, so he is, in fact, preaching a false gospel, and so he’s actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a false prophet worshipping another Jesus, and therefore, far from going to heaven, he’s probably going to hell. You’re going to say something like that, aren’t you?

Or maybe: ‘Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven‘.

But having confidence in one’s own salvation is scriptural, isn’t it? ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine…’ and all that. Justin Welby trusts in Christ, repents of his sin (daily, it seems), prays, loves, serves… Not that salvation comes through works: he knows he is forgiven because of what Jesus did on the cross. He is completely assured of this forgiveness (Acts 10:43), and forgiveness is life (Col 2:13). He believes in the Son so he has eternal life (Jn 3:36). He has the Son so he has life (1Jn 5:11-13). He will not be condemned to hell (Jn 5:24; Rom 8:1) because he is made righteous by faith (Rom 5:1), and is saved through faith (Eph 2:8f). He knows the time and place when he gave his life to the Lord: ‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name‘ (Jn 1:12). He makes public confession of his faith in the saving grace of his Lord. The Holy Spirit is at work in him and through him: ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God‘ (Rom 8:14).

Hm..? What’s that you say?

He’s not sure that gay sex is a sin?

So because he’s not sure that gay sex is a sin, he’s damned for all eternity?

Justin Welby hasn’t judged anyone’s salvation: he seems to have expressed a possibility that Alastair Campbell might not be going to heaven, which, given his avowed agnosticism and his preference for not doing God, is a pretty fair bet, isn’t it? It isn’t worth paying £3.99 to get a copy of GQ Magazine to read the Archbishop’s precise words: Alastair Campbell’s tweet is sufficient to establish that he’s not overly bothered about his eternal prospects. Indeed, if he became aware of them, given a choice he’d probably rather spin for Satan than sit tediously at Christ’s right hand for all eternity.

So, Welby is a sheep, and Campbell is a goat.

Isn’t that discussion actually far more interesting than gay sex and the Queen?

  • Anton

    Yes, Welby is a sheep. But the Archbishop of Canterbury should be a shepherd.

    • Royinsouthwest

      The shepherds should be members of the Shepherd’s flock. As His Grace writes, the AoC presumably is.

  • It’s possible to be a Christian and hold wrong beliefs about things. That happens all the time, with all of us. One would hope that the closer one gets to being a bishop and even archbishop, the less likely it is to be wrong in such a catastrophic way.

  • A Berean

    The one thing I fail to understand, given Alastair Campbell’s history, is why anyone should choose to believe him at all?

  • Once leaders begin to teach what is contrary to the gospel we have a duty to view their confession with suspicion. Of course there are borderline cases. The biblical perspective is: the lord knows them that are his and let he that names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.

  • Father David

    Will Alastair Campbell’s former political master get past St. Peter, I wonder. On the debit side of things; involvement in the Iraq War and the search for non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction will cast a long shadow over what politicians like to call their legacy. However, on the credit side maybe his conversion to Roman Catholicism may just tip the balance and influence St. Peter to let him pass those pearly gates. Until the dreadful Day of Judgement – the Jury is still out on T.B. as indeed it is on us all.

    • bluedog

      ‘…his conversion to Roman Catholicism may just tip the balance…’

      Does this imply that an Anglican can only achieve salvation by swimming the Tiber? Has Welby been told?

      • Father David

        Being myself a cradle Anglican, Bluedog, I sincerely hope not but as St. Peter is regarded as the premier pope, maybe TB’s submission to he that hath no jurisdiction in this realm – might just earn him a few more Brownie points on the plus side of things.
        I don’t think we should bother the ABC with yet another item for his IN tray, he’s already in enough bother with the Beeb, as it is! Anyway, I think he may already know that the official RC position is that Welby and all his minions’ Orders are “null and void” and that he is merely a layman occupying a very nice gaff on the other side of the Thames to the Houses of Parliament.

      • Cressida de Nova

        If an Anglican subscribes to the Born Again Christian cult you are guaranteed salvation and you get to be a priest as well ( in case you are interested)

        • bluedog

          Well, I don’t want to be a priest and a large number of my acquaintances would support this decision. Your idea of paying some sort of insurance premium to obtain salvation does have merit and it is something I should look in to.

    • Cressida de Nova

      I made a comment about you to HG a couple of posts ago. It was meant in the spirit of jest. I hope you took it that way. My apologies if you took offence. You seem like a genuinely nice person (misguided but genuine:)

      • Father David

        Ah, fear not, dear Cressida the New, whatever you said about me will be naught compared with the comments of owld Bluedog and the whiskery Inspector. I take no offence. I’m sure that you know that your charming name means – “She knows” but did you further know that one of the catchphrases of the late great Hylda Baker as she looked up to the silent Cynthia towering above her was – “She knows, you know!” delivered in a strong Lancashire accent? My kind regards to Troilus.

  • carl jacobs

    It is the religio-political blogging equivalent of Godwin’s Law: ‘As an online discussion on Archbishop Cranmer grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving gay sex approaches 1.’

    ROFL!

    OK that’s good writing. I suppose we should call it Cranmer’s Law.

    • He’s already got one. Can he have two?

      “It hath been found by experience that no matter how decent, intelligent or thoughtful the reasoning of a conservative may be, as an argument with a liberal is advanced, the probability of being accused of ‘bigotry’, ‘hatred’ or ‘intolerance’ approaches 1 (100%).”

  • carl jacobs

    Many people have a sort of reverse teleological argument against the idea of God. “The universe is wholly explainable in immanent terms. Therefore God is not necessary and I can safely reject the concept.” This removes the entire idea of moral responsibility from life. “I’m not guilty of anything because I’m not responsible to anything.” Heaven and Hell are all about moral responsibility to God. A man must feel the responsibility before he will care about reward and punishment.

    We don’t do God because we claim moral autonomy for ourselves. Then we talk about judgment like it’s an interesting thought exercise. The tragedy is that man doesn’t have the authority to define the spiritual reality of his existence. He just wants to think that he does.

    • layreader

      Can’t disagree with any of that. No perceived authority removes any form of guilt, as witness the recent case of the biker, riding an illegal bike, who killed an innocent pedestrian. Apparently, it was all her fault for being in the wrong place. And not a shred of remorse.
      So, if we have no authority over us, we become like God, making God in our own image. ‘God is anyone you would like him to be’….

  • “Gay sex and the Queen is why a lot of journalists bother to get up in a morning.”

    Linus has become nationally renowned?!

    Go figure.

    • bluedog

      You don’t mean…?

  • layreader

    Just who thought it was such a good idea to appear in GQ, soft porn, as I recall? Even though only gentlemen read it, I’m sure.

    • Coverage by Pink News indicates it has a more … er … let’s say … diverse and varied readership.

  • magnolia

    Would heaven be heavenly with an advocate of the deep dark arts of extreme spin there? Personally I think not. I am guessing St Peter might also have some awkward questions about WMD up his sleeve, (assuming he has sleeves), or the Archangel Michael might have a series of difficult ones under his wing, about those who suffered unnecessarily in the war, or because of it. Banquo’s ghost x many stuff.

    One day Campbell will be asked the questions not asking them.

    • Royinsouthwest

      If he repents there will be joy in Heaven.

  • “So because he’s not sure that gay sex is a sin, he’s damned for all eternity?”

    Who are we to judge? This is a matter for God. However, consider the following:

    “The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path.” (St. John Chrysostom)

    “Augustine says in his Rule: ‘Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.’ But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)

    “But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: ‘Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.’” Pope Leo XIII

    • magnolia

      2 hr and around 7 minutes…..to illlustrate his Grace’s dictum then….

      • Not at all. Just a reminder of a few cautionary words from those who have gone before.

        Who knows who will hear these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

        The bar for those called to teaching and leadership roles is surely higher for Bishops than those who follow. Bishops are charged by Christ with speaking for Him and with feeding and taking care of His sheep. That’s what the symbols of the office signify.

        • Anton

          Yes, it’s explicit in James 3:1.

    • “The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path.” (St. John Chrysostom)
      Who am I to disagree with that?

      • Let’s update a bit then “…. and with those who shun the offices of priest and bishop yet nevertheless set themselves up as teachers and leaders of God’s people.”

        • Cressida de Nova

          The Born Again Christian cult was invented by an American called Harold. They think they are all priests and will all be saved.Anyone who has not subscribed cannot be saved. Obviously none of the followers have read the above biblical quotation.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Who was it who first used the expression “born again” in connection with God?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Let me answer, I know, I know, please sir, let me answer….

          • Royinsouthwest

            You have earned your Brownie points!

          • Cressida de Nova

            He knows better. The points he is earning are not Brownie ones

          • Cressida de Nova

            Obviously the Born Again section refers to the sacrament of Baptism. It is not a call for a break away from the true Church of Christ to form a group called “Born Again Christians” based on twisted and unconvincing interpretations of the New Testament.

          • Chefofsinners

            What biblical quotation?

          • Anton

            I’ve never heard of Ockenga, but the Born Again view was invented by Jesus of Nazareth (John 3:5), and the view that all believers are priests by St Peter (1 Pe 2:9).

          • Len

            You really have not read the bible have you?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Not recent your version….

          • dannybhoy

            I most certainly believe in being born again, as per John 3:3, as per being dead to self and alive to Christ as per Romans 6, and I believe I shall be saved if I persevere in the grace of God and His salvation through Chr was Jesus our Lord..

          • As do all Christians ….. It taking a couple of lines from scripture, isolating them from the its fullness and constructing a theory of salvation on them, that’s the issue.

    • Royinsouthwest

      All that I knew about Chrysostom was that he was famous for his eloquence. I had a quick look at Wikipedia (admittedly not the most reliable of sources) and the impression given is rather mixed. He undoubtedly had many good qualities but, like many very intelligent people, could do some quite stupid things.

      John lived in extreme asceticism and became a hermit in about 375; he spent the next two years continually standing, scarcely sleeping, and committing the Bible to memory. As a consequence of these practices, his stomach and kidneys were permanently damaged and poor health forced him to return to Antioch.

      Wikipedia also refers to what it calls Chrysostom’s “homophobic discourse” but the passage quoted as an example of his “homophobia” falls somewhere in between the remarks of the Archbishop of Canterbury and those of our Inspector on the same subject.

      • A complex man with a passion for Christ and one of many who, in different ways, suffered for his faith. Here’s an alternative account of his exile and death.

        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08452b.htm

        Was he being homophobic? Certainly he didn’t have the misgivings about being plain speaking that are evident today and wasn’t struggling with his convictions about its sinfulness in the eyes of God.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Thanks for the link. It is an interesting article.

      • Anton

        Does Wikipedia mention his ghastly sermons against the Jews?

        • Royinsouthwest

          Yes, it does. It defends him from charges of anti-semitism claiming that his sermons might have been directed against judaising Christians and that he employed the rhetorical customs that were commonly used in debate at that time.

          The article also claimed that he said that synagogues were full of Christians on Jewish feast days. I have never been in a synagogue but I don’t see any objection to Christians attending one provided the Jews do not object. As long as the Christians of Chrysostom’s time remembered that they were saved by grace and not by following the Law I cannot see why he objected. Perhaps centuries of persecution of Jews might have been avoided if Christians had continued to attend synagogues, but that is just speculation on my part.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Chrysostom

          • Anton

            I looked into this a year or so ago. All of the claims that Chrysostom meant not Jews but Judaisers, ie those who would insist on Jewish custom in the church, seemed to be coming from one energetic but fixated source. That issue was the main subject of one of Paul’s letters – to the Galatians – and Chrysostom mentions it only in passing and only three times, ie it is not his definitive source for his comments. Also Chrysostom repeatedly refers to the synagogues as his targets, and by his time there were no “synagogues for Jesus” as in the primitive church; the split was complete.

            I do not believe that so-called hate speech should be illegal, but I do believe that Chrysostom’s sermons about the Jews amply qualify. Here they are in English:

            http://www.preteristarchive.com/ChurchHistory/0386_chrysostom_adversus-judeaus.html

          • As would some of the Jewish polemics he was arguing against.

          • Anton

            Doubtless, but I am merely holding Chrysostom to the scriptures he believed in.

          • Oh, is that what you’re doing?

        • You might want to read this defence from Orthodoxy – or not.

          http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/antisemitism.aspx

          The author calls the theory that St. John Chrysostom was anti-Semtic “unenlightened and artless” put forward in the last century by “eccentric (though admittedly trained) scholars and passed about today by coffee shop “scholars” whose greatest skills lie in classifying toilet tissue by gradations of softness.”

          As for “the idea that anti-Semitism links Christianity, the Reformation, and The Third Reich,” he has this to say:

          “This comfortable view of history helps them to avoid that complexity that characterizes the true course of human experience. It also allows them to attribute to the Fathers of the Church a meanness of spirit by which they can separate themselves from the Patristic witness and thus the compelling force of Orthodox Christianity. The only thing that one can say about such tenacious anti-Patristic polemicists is that there is a definite link, in them, between the hippocampi and the glutei maximi, and this link is cemented in place by utter stupidity. Forgive my harshness and strong language, but blasphemy which is supported by ignorance, and which gains social acceptance, is one of the most destructive forces in society.”

          Good stuff, what!

          • Anton

            Thank you, Jack. I do appreciate that John Chrysostom is a particular hero of the Eastern Orthodox, as he wrote a considerable amount of their liturgy which they regard as unchangeable and effectively on a par with holy scripture. This not unsurprisingly causes Orthodox scholars to defend him with vehement polemics Those are all they *can* defend him with against the charge of antisemitism, however. Nor am I going to be diverted into bringing Hitler into this.

            First, the claim sometimes heard that Chrysostom meant not Jews but Judaisers, ie those who would insist on Jewish custom in the church, cannot stand. That issue was the main subject of one of Paul’s letters (to the Galatians) and Chrysostom mentions this letter only in passing and only three times, ie it is not his definitive source for his comments. Also Chrysostom repeatedly refers to the synagogues as his targets, and by his time, late in the 4th century, there were no “synagogues for Jesus” as in the primitive church; the split was complete long before.

            So: what did he say? Here are his set of sermons “Against the Jews” in English translation from the Greek:

            http://www.preteristarchive.com/ChurchHistory/0386_chrysostom_adversus-judeaus.html

            Here is the Wikipedia summary of this set of sermons:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adversus_Judaeos

            from which I quote:

            He compared the synagogue to a pagan temple, representing it as the source of all vices and heresies… He described it as a place worse than a brothel and a drinking shop; it was a den of scoundrels, the repair of wild beasts, a temple of demons, the refuge of brigands and debauchees, and the cavern of devils.. Finally, he declared that, in accordance with the sentiments of the saints, he hated both the synagogue and the Jews, saying that demons dwell in the synagogue and also in the souls of the Jews, and describing them as growing fit for slaughter.

            You may look up these charges for yourself.

            Now, Jack, would you say that Chrysostom was anti-semitic? The favour of a clear Yes or No, in addition to anything else you might wish to add, is requested.

          • Jack is not of the sufficiently knowledgeable to offer a considered answer. A couple of quotes, disregarding his times, socio-political and religious circumstances and the nature of rhetoric at the time, is really not enough to pass such a judgement. From the Wiki article, it seems to Jack Robert L. Wilken presents a reasonable set of arguments disputing the charge.

            Care to refute them?

          • Anton

            Just be thankful that I asked the question you ducked in a civilised forum, not the Inquisition’s.

            If you care to summarise Wilken’s defence in your own words then I’ll respond. I’m not your performing flea. Ity may be that Wilken’s arguments are rebutted in what I already posted, ie

            the claim sometimes heard that Chrysostom meant not Jews but Judaisers, ie those who would insist on Jewish custom in the church, cannot stand. That issue was the main subject of one of Paul’s letters (to the Galatians) and Chrysostom mentions this letter only in passing and only three times, ie it is not his definitive source for his comments. Also Chrysostom repeatedly refers to the synagogues as his targets, and by his time, late in the 4th century, there were no “synagogues for Jesus” as in the primitive church; the split was complete long before.

          • Mr Captious – the man who “looked into” St. John Chrysostom’s writings “a year or so ago”, holds him to account, judges him and condemns him as a anti-Semite. The man who ore about the culture, rhetorical styles and conflicts of Antioch in the 4th century than scholars.

            Maybe you should offer your services to God on Judgement Day. He might have use for an additional accuser.

          • Anton

            Maybe you should respond to what I actually wrote.

          • What’s the point? Being captious renders dialogue with you fruitless. There’s just no connection.

          • Anton

            We are both in the image of God and believers in Jesus Christ, only divine son of the creator, crucified for our sins, died and risen. We have the New Testament in common. The problem is that you are not allowed to disagree with Rome when it blatantly contradicts it.

          • Anna

            Was Jesus anti-Semitic in view of His ‘rant’ against the religious leaders of His time in Matthew 23? Those are very harsh words, yet we know Jesus loved them and died for them. Sometimes very harsh words spring from a heart of great love and concern. How can we
            who are so removed from St Chrysostomus both in time and culture judge him? Clearly standards of speech and conduct were different in his time and that he was not considered a ‘hater’ by his contemporaries should inform our assessment of him.

          • Anton

            Just read him. He said himself that he hated the Jews – unlike Jesus. Just how much more clarity do you want?

          • Go research the rhetorical form known as the psogos – used by both Christians and Jews in the heated exchange of ideas at the time when both were competing for members. Would you accuse Jews of hating Christians too?

          • Anton

            How arrogant of you to suppose I am ignorant of psogos! Christians are meant not to conform to cultural norms where the latter are ungodly, are they not?

            I hate the religious propositions of various non-Christian religions – have you seen what God said about pagan idols in the Old Testament? – but I do not hate the people who believe them. Chrysostom, in contrast, said that he hated *the Jews*.

            Of course there is a distinction between Jews and Judaism. Not least because many Jews today are secular.

          • And God said he “hated” Jacob. Words and debating styles change and we should judge these according to their use at the time and how they would be understood then. If you knew anything about the life and work of St. John Chrysostom, and his relationships with Jewish people, as people, you would know he was incapable of feeling hate towards them.

          • Anton

            Given that he said openly that he hated them, clearly you know him better than he knows himself. That is truly impressive. And there was me thinking only God could do that.

          • God loving Jacob and hating Esau has nothing to do with the human emotion of love and hate. Jack knows that much. One also has to consider the meaning of the Hebrew word “sawnay” which is translated “hate.” From Jack’s understanding of God and the use of this word, He loved both Esau and Jacob but chose to give Jacob special status because He foreknew Jacob’s response and his place in His plan of salvation.

            This only goes to show Pope Clement XI was correct in condemning the Jansenist heresies. One cannot approach scripture without some prior preparation.

          • Anton

            This one can.

          • Anna

            I did read the link you posted except the very last bits… will get back to it when I have the time. My impression is that St Chrysostomos was mainly concerned about Christians and the effect of Judaisers in the church. His comments, though far more detailed, were very much in line with the warnings of St Paul to the Galatians, and his anger is directed at those, whether Christian Judaisers or Jews, who would rob believers of their freedom in Christ. The context of his arguments is important.

            His anger towards the Jews of his time is based on very legitimate and scriptural reasons- that they who had been given so much, despised their spiritual birthright, cared only for the things of this world and instead of being a ‘light to the world’ were spiritual stumbling blocks to many. He rightly points out- based on the writings of the OT prophets- that they had opened themselves up for judgment and destruction. He does not call for Christians or anyone else to injure them, only to avoid following their example. There is an important distinction between criticising someone for the wrongdoing and calling for their physical destruction.

            The language is harsh, but spiritual leaders in those days did not obfuscate in the manner of modern English bishops- they were brutal and forthright in their expression- consider the words of Jewish leaders and their anathemas against Christians for example. St Chrysostomos’ language is actually milder in comparison; on the whole strong language made a strong impression on the people of his generation- it did not alarm them or make them do anything rash. Ill informed European ‘Christians’ of the Middle Ages, in their ignorance of scriptural norms, set forth against Jews on hearing provocative statements by their leaders; but he was not addressing them at all – his comments were put forth before a more discerning audience.

            Some further points-
            1. Many of his criticisms against the Jews of his time are equally valid against the present day Christians- despising the call, shirking our duty and so on- and we should pay more attention to his words, and change our ways.

            2. Modern political correctness demands that we must not criticise Muslims, Jews, blacks, gays and others, who are all ‘victims’ of some sort or the other, even for legitimate reasons. People of St Chrysostomos’ culture and generation neither knew nor put up with such foolishness.

            3. Everything about St Chrysostomos’ life suggests that he was an extremely compassionate person, who loved the poor and disadvantaged and did not hesitate to stand up for the weak against the powerful.

            4. In view of the persecutions inflicted on Jews by European Christians, particularly Hitler, his language would be considered inflammatory today; but he was speaking in an age when Christians were weak and vulnerable, and the Jews, a more powerful and antagonistic group that did not hesitate to use the tools at their disposal to hurt the church. For these reasons, St Chrysostomos ‘hated’ the Jews, or more correctly the Judaism of that age, for what it stood for, but not in a personal sense. St Paul might have understood where he was coming from.

          • Anton

            Look, I’m aware that the Orthodox get cognitive dissonance when confronted with the words that came out of Chrysostom’s “golden” mouth about the Jews, but a man of his eloquence knew how to choose his target and he said that he hated the Jews, not Judaism.

            Some claim that Chrysostom meant not Jews but Judaisers, ie those who would insist on Jewish custom in the church, seemed to be coming from one energetic but fixated source. That issue was the main subject of one of Paul’s letters – to the Galatians – and Chrysostom mentions it only in passing and only three times, ie it is not his definitive source for his comments. Also Chrysostom repeatedly refers to the synagogues as his targets, and by his time there were no “synagogues for Jesus” as in the primitive church; the split was complete.

            Just a rhetorical device of the time? Aren’t Christians supposed not to conform to the ungodly facets of their cultures?

            Let’s just remind readers what he said. In verifiable summary (I’ve already given a link to the full sermons in English):

            He compared the synagogue to a pagan temple, representing it as the source of all vices and heresies… He described it as a place worse than a brothel and a drinking shop; it was a den of scoundrels, the repair of wild beasts, a temple of demons, the refuge of brigands and debauchees, and the cavern of devils.. Finally, he declared that, in accordance with the sentiments of the saints, he hated both the synagogue and the Jews, saying that demons dwell in the synagogue and also in the souls of the Jews, and describing them as growing fit for slaughter.

            Condemned out of his own mouth, not mine.

          • Anton takes great delight in condemning great Christian Saints from Patristic times. Didn’t you know true Christianity was only really born with the arrival of the Puritans?

          • Anton

            Half marks, Jack. It was REborn with their precursors such as the Lollards and the Waldenses.

          • You judge the character and reputation of the Fathers of Christianity? Have you added Saint Mathew and Saint John to your list of those who’s reputations need “some correction”?

          • Anton

            There is only one father of Christianity and he is in heaven. It is not for me to judge the character of any man but we all make inferences from people’s words, including you about my words and me about yours.

          • Hmm …. more captiousness.
            The use of the term “Fathers of Christianity” is widely accepted as referring to ancient and influential Christian theologians, some of whom were eminent teachers and great bishops i.e. the early teachers of Christianity.

          • Anton

            God bless the ones who were men of faith, but they come properly under church history, not theology.

          • Yeah, that’s what Joseph Smith clamed too. He was restoring Christianity to its original purity.

          • Anton

            He added his own drivel to the Bible. Just like your denomination does.

          • Martin

            HJ

            To be fair, the attitude of the Jews toward the Christians did colour the response. And was it not said that the Jews had altered the Bible because it did not correspond with what, to the Christian, was the Old Testament, the Septuagint. Men learned in Hebrew were in short supply in the Christian Church after the first century I believe.

          • The rhetorical style at the time gave no quarter and none was expected.

            According to Patristics scholars, opposition to any particular view during the late 4th century was conventionally expressed in a manner, utilizing the rhetorical form known as the psogos, whose literary conventions were to vilify opponents in an uncompromising manner; thus, it has been argued that to call Chrysostom an “anti-Semite” is to employ anachronistic terminology in a way incongruous with historical context and record.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Chrysostom

            That said, some of his language is truly shocking, especially in view of how his homilies were abused by the Nazis. But whether he “hated” Jews as a people and was an anti-Semite seems very doubtful to Jack, all things considered. It has been argued that to call Chrysostom an “anti-Semite” is to employ anachronistic terminology in a way incongruous with historical context and record. In the 4th century, general discourse was brutal and aggressive and this was a time in Antioch when the Christian church was fighting for survival and Judaism was strong. His sermons were directed to Christians in the church of Antioch, who were taking part in Jewish festivals and other Jewish observances such as circumcision, observing the sabbath, submitting to circumcision and undertaking pilgrimage to Jewish holy places.

            Was Jesus anti-Semitic when he said: “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them in front of me.”? Is the Gospel of Matthew anti-Semitic because he wrote: “And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children”’? Some have seriously suggested these passages should be removed from scripture.

            Is a speaker in the 4th century responsible for misrepresentation of his words out of context, ignoring historical circumstances, and the use of passages for hate filled propaganda purposes? Whatever the Saint’s intentions and whatever was in his heart, his sermons have certainly provided ammunition for those who hate Jews in later centuries. Anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism can easily merge.

  • JJP

    No, I don’t think “that discussion” is more interesting than gay sex and the Queen. The Bible doesn’t call us to judge whether or not someone else is a Christian. Sometimes we are called to judge whether someone else is living repentantly in a way that matches their claim to be a Christian (e.g. in 1 Cor 5), but even then we cannot pretend to know their standing before God.

    We do need to work out who are the true shepherds in the church whose voice we will listen to. Welby’s response on the question of “gay sex” was most enlightening and disappointing. A shepherd must lead the sheep. For someone who claims to be a shepherd not to be able to give a clear lead on this issue which is so prominent in our society, is utterly inadequate. For someone who is supposed to be a mouthpiece of God, not to be willing to make known what God says on this issue, is a dereliction of duty. (That is a strong claim, so I give the caveat that I have not read the whole interview and we do not know all that Welby said.)

    It is not our business to pronounce on whether Welby is a Christian. It is our business to discern whether he is a true pastor of God’s people. That discussion is more interesting.

    • Dominic Stockford

      To some extent I agree – however pastors clearly are called to make such judgements (faith) about people. We are tasked with defending the church of Christ from wolves disguised as sheep – and anyone who isn’t a Christian is that, especially those who profess faith but have not got it. It isn’t a responsibility to take lightly, but it is one we must not shirk, for the sake of Christ’s Church, and for the sake of Christ’s Glory.

      • Martin

        Dominic

        I would suggest that it isn’t only pastors who must test what people say. Indeed, the church member in many churches is called upon to vote on who may be a member or officer.

      • JJP

        Dominic, I completely agree with what you say here. I was including that in my sentence, “Sometimes we are called to judge whether someone else is living repentantly….” In other words, we do need to make judgments about people, but we go by evidence we see, rather than pretending to know people’s hearts for sure.

        • Dominic Stockford

          I beg your pardon. Misunderstood. Indeed – your Biblical evidencing is excellent.

  • Ray Sunshine

    It’s a bit early to be talking about the Queen’s funeral, isn’t it? Okay, the Protocol & Pageantry Department have to be prepared, like Boy Scouts, to do their good deed when the time comes, but for anybody else, including Alastair Campbell, it seems a bit, well, lacking in humanity, or even bloodthirsty, to be seen to be looking forward to that event.

    • Jack’s already left clear instructions for his. What’s the issue?

      • Anton

        Prince Charles.

  • Norman Yardy

    Is there a dimension whereby if you call someone a sinner because of their same sex activity they will turn on you, whereas there are hundreds of other sins that would not cause offence. To condemn someone by their sins might be what the Holy Spirit is saying but equally, the preaching of the Gospel might just as easily cause someone to repent and turn from their sins.
    It is important to be guided by the Spirit as to which action suits which purpose.

    • It’s a difficult balancing act in our post-Christian, atheist days where sin has become normalised and more and more church leaders are modernist-progressives.
      How do we help people to hear the Gospel today? Do we by set aside for the moment the hard words of judgment and speak about God’s love and mercy without spelling out the reasons they need mercy? Do we makes the offer of love first, then point to the steps necessary?

      If pastoral care doesn’t begin with “condemnation” of sin will this be taken as approval? Yet speaking of mercy without speaking of sin can be seen as approval. Getting the balance correct is difficult. Jesus did not always speak about mercy. He sometimes spoke of judgment. Yet He engaged with particular sinners.

      As Pope Francis says: “For the law is itself a gift of God which points out the way, a gift for everyone without exception; it can be followed with the help of grace.” The harm of sin is easy to see. It’s especially easy to see when we think of categories of people – homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, aborters. Actual people tend to complicate this narrative. The moral law cannot be presented crudely or simple-mindedly. From the outside, homosexuals look like people who’ve told God to get lost so there’s the temptation to dismiss them as wilful sinners, as people deserving only denunciation, as men and woman refusing to do what God wants them to do. It’s not always so straightforward.

      A difficult time to be a Bishop under the glare of a hostile mass media.

      • Anna

        Well said

        • Thank you.
          There are no easy answers but the Holy Spirit will provide the answers for pastors who rely on His guidance.

  • Inspector General

    Rather disconcerting to see the notorious name Alistair Campbell so close to the place name Heaven in print. Still, it’s unlikely to happen again, isn’t it.

    Shouldn’t think he’d be interested in going anyway. One can imagine the opportunity for rascals to get up to no good therein would be sorely limited…

    Now. What’s this…

    Gay sex and the Queen dominate discussion in this blog’s comment threads (okay, not so much the Queen)…

    Perhaps that awful thing (Gay sex, not Her Majesty) wouldn’t feature at all if Synod didn’t behave as if they’re desirous to sponsor every single Gay Pride march in the damn country! Surprised there isn’t an official CoE float depicting biblical characters wearing halos committing sodomy in public at 3mph that could be driven around by canon law defying vicars on request…

  • ‘ Neither……homosexuals nor sodomites……will enter the kingdom of God’ (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
    There it is in black and white, but of course, there are quite a few other folk who won’t be getting into the kingdom according to those verses. Alastair Campbell, and the press in general, don’t seem to be concerned about the poor old idolaters, drunks and thieves.
    Perhaps we need to add a few more letters to LGBTQ. Let’s add IDT and campaign for them as well.

    • Royinsouthwest

      “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.
      Matthew 21:31

      • That is, repentant tax collectors and prostitutes.

    • Manfarang

      9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
      10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

  • John

    Perhaps the reason why Archbishop Justin is so reluctant to say anything is because (as with Tim Farron) he knows that whatever he says, the media will still write the headlines they want, repackage what he says in a way that will suit their agenda, cause maximum trouble, make stuff up, ignore 98% of the sensible, well-thought-through answers he gives and, by whatever means, MAKE the news, rather than REPORT it. Alastair Campbell is Fake News. He, and those like him, are why huge numbers of people do desperate things like vote for Donald Trump – because they are just SICK of all this media-driven hysteria.

  • IanCad

    Dodgy business, this speculating on who will be in the Kingdom. Just imagine the look on Stephen’s face when Paul shows up.

    • not a machine

      mmm yes I think it is speculating too, however there is this thing of wilful sin and god seems to punish that rather hard…. even though I find Gods laws harsh I am not sure if I truly understand they are just , its very odd, many routes but not all are salvation ?

  • Jon of GSG

    Go for it, ABC. Thank you.

  • Okay, that’s amusing, sort of, in a juvenile kind of way.

    Jack’s Law (first draft)

    “It hath been found by experience that no matter how decent, intelligent or thoughtful the reasoning of a Catholic may be, as an argument with a protestant is advanced, the probability of being accused of ‘Churcholatory’, ‘Papolatory’ or ‘Illogicality’ approaches 1 (100%).”

    • Anton

      When did the Bible get a Nihil Obstat? Among the propositions condemned in Unigenitus (1713) Was that “It is useful and necessary at all times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.”

      • Ah, the Bull that against Jansenism that begins with Christ’s warning against false prophets, especially those who “secretly spread evil doctrines under the guise of piety and introduce ruinous sects under the image of sanctity.”

        “Declared and condemned as false, captious, evil-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and her practice, insulting not only to the Church but also the secular powers seditious, impious, blasphemous, suspected of heresy, and smacking of heresy itself, and, besides, favouring heretics and heresies, and also schisms, erroneous, close to heresy, many times condemned, and finally heretical, clearly renewing many heresies respectively and most especially those which are contained in the infamous propositions of Jansen, and indeed accepted in that sense in which these have been condemned.

        Note what this means – that each proposition condemned falls under at least one of these censures. It may fall under more than one, but it falls under at least one. Some are false. Some are captious. Some are evil-sounding. Some are offensive to pious ears. Some may be false and captious. The document doesn’t say which censures apply to which propositions. It is clear that many of them are rather limited in their meaning and do not imply that a proposition is utterly false – just that there is something problematic with it. It may even express a partial truth, but do so in a way that is badly phrased or otherwise deserving of a warning to the faithful.

        So, with this in mind, let’s look at the condemned proposition that’s is causing you concern:

        “79. It is useful and necessary at all times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.

        Is it really necessary that at all times, in all places that every kind of person study the mysteries of Sacred Scripture?

        Somewhat rash – or flat-out false – wouldn’t you say? What people who can’t read? Are they denied salvation? Or people unprepared for individual scripture study? Is it necessary that they do so? It would be paradoxical to say that it is necessary that someone unprepared for individual scripture study go ahead and study anyway. To avoid this paradox one might say that there is no preparation needed to study Sacred Scripture on one’s own – the Holy Spirit will protect one from error. This is manifestly false given the tendency demonstrated down through the centuries for people to go disastrously wrong in reading the scriptures.

        Similar problems replicate if we focus on the word useful. Is it really useful at all times, in all places, for every type of person? If a person has proper preparation and grounding in the faith, he isn’t going to leap to heretical conclusions, as he will be informed about the methods of interpretation. Certainly the rejection of the proposition as in some way preventing the reading of scripture would be wrong and a conclusion that the Church has never maintained. It is one you choose to project onto it as evidenced in your snarky opening question.

        The rejection of this statement and others linked with it, is intended to protect the faithful from the having to shoulder the burden of studying scriptures on their own. There is obscurity, intended by God, in scripture. In other words, the Bull is supporting the position that it’s okay for a person to believe that by God’s providence that scripture is not clear to all for them to be to be required to study on my own. That we are in the position of the Ethiopian eunuch who couldn’t discern important points on his own without guidance. The fact that scripture contain this level of mystery is a sufficient reason for people not to be required, as Quesnel insisted, to undertake Bible study without guidance.

        Let’s look at another proposition that is condemned:

        “84. To snatch away from the hands of Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for them the mouth of Christ.”

        The term “captious” term means uncharitable fault-finding i.e. being unfair to those you are criticising by a spiteful and fault-finding attitude. This characterises the Church as “snatch[ing] away from the hands of Christians the New Testament. The Church makes a point of reading from the New Testament at every Mass and explaining its meaning. By “snatch[ing it] away” is apparently meant “not endorsing universal, unguided Scripture study.” But there are good reasons for the unprepared not to engage in unguided individual study. The prejudicial phrasing is obvious.

        85. “To forbid Christians to read Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.”

        This one is also captious. Notice the hyperbole in the terms “forbid” [twice], “cause them to suffer,” “excommunication” “especially the Gospels,” “forbid the use of light to the sons of light”. The overall phrasing is hostile and contentious and seems, again, to be casting the non-endorsement of universal, unguided scriptural study in the worst possible light. Jack can see how this would be classified as captious, evil-sounding, and offensive to pious ears.

        A huge number of people were either illiterate or barely literate at this time and asking them to undertake the burden of unguided scripture study would be preposterous. Even people who can read well need help, as the ability to read alone is not sufficient. If it were then Christian communities (Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise) would not produce such an extensive range of Bible study helps and commentaries. This proposition is intended to protect the unprepared for shouldering a burden they were never meant to carry.

        Simples if you approach it with less of a hostile attitude and leave your prejudices at the door.

        • Anton

          The fact that this Encyclical (not Bull, I believe) was elicited in the context of the Jansenist controversy isn’t relevant to its meaning – just as Unam Sanctam remains relevant to all Catholics today even though it was elicited by a breakdown in relations between a Pope and a French king at a particular time.

          You give a standard English translation of part of Unigenitus, stating that certain propositions are

          Declared and condemned as false, captious, evil-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and her practice, insulting not only to the Church but also the secular powers seditious, impious, blasphemous, suspected of heresy, and smacking of heresy itself, and, besides, favouring heretics and heresies, and also schisms, erroneous, close to heresy, many times condemned, and finally heretical…

          You then say that “each proposition condemned falls under at least one of these censures. It may fall under more than one, but it falls under at least one. Some are false. Some are captious. Some are evil-sounding. Some are offensive to pious ears. Some may be false and captious. The document doesn’t say which censures apply to which propositions.” These words of yours are not true. The meaning of a comma appearing repeatedly in a list is “and”, not “or”, as you are surely aware. Pope Clement is therefore saying that the propositions he is referring to are all of those things. The same principle holds in Latin, and you can find the original here:

          http://web.archive.org/web/20060712152933/http:/membres.lycos.fr/lesbonstextes/cxiunigenitus.htm

          Here are four of the propositions which are condemned as all of those things:

          • It is useful and necessary at all times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.

          • The reading of Sacred Scripture is for all.

          • To snatch away from the hands of Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for them the mouth of Christ.

          • To forbid Christians to read Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.

          I am willing to let the condemnations of these four propositions (nos. 79, 80, 84, 85) speak for themselves. As are you, presumably, so please feel no pressure to reply.

          • Jack has answered them. They do not speak for themselves as Jack has demonstrated. They have to be understood in the context in which they are written i.e. they condemned the mean spirited and over rigorous heresies of the Jansenist.

            You seriously contend an illiterate man would loose salvation because he didn’t study scripture? Where does scripture say salvation depends on scriptural study?

            And the condemnation is as Jack described it. How can something be “close to heresy, “heretical”, “suspected of heresy” and “smacking of heresy”, at the same time?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Jack…please…Anton (how does one put this nicely ) Anton is challenged in certain parts of his grey matter and he is also very much inclined to bias and the other unmentionable b…… word .Of course you are not anti semitic.

            Just keep in mind this is a Protestant blog. If it came to a forced choice between Catholicism and Islam …Islam would be the choice, as evident in the current immigration policy. The true Christianity is perceived as the greatest threat to the secular and sacrilegious world.

          • All very true, Cressie. Imagine a world in the hands of Calvinists and Puritans. One shudders. One only need look at American culture and consider where it might have ended up without the leaven of true Christianity to restrain it.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I think the Reformation and the resulting break away cults are largely responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today…a secular pagan dangerous world.

            Because of the corruption of the scriptures, twisting meaning to justify the break from the Catholic Church and true doctrine, they have set in place an ideology of twisting the truth based on a lie yet still claiming to be followers of Jesus.

            As a result we have transgenderism, same sex marriage ,queers who are bishops and priests and global financial crises which can be traced back to the Puritans, . Then we have Born Agains where everyone is a priest, no such thing as sin, everyone is going to be saved if they sign up etc.all the while using the Bible to justify their sacrilege and heresy. It’s ‘ sola scriptura’ according to Satan and it is made’ feel good’ to rope in and prey on the gullible vulnerable and the weak.

            Christianity in three easy steps.
            1. Sign up
            2; Cash a cheque for Jesus
            3. God’s your uncle

          • Jack won’t pick all that apart but, in essence, he agrees.

            It’s been the same since God created Adam and Eve. The particular manifestations change but not man’s rebellious spirit faced with the ever present seducer asking: “Did God really say that?” and “Will that really happen if you disobey?” Even though He Incarnated, appointed a Church and invested His authority in her to teach the Truth, still the questions are asked. That’s free choice, given by our Creator who loves us enough to let us say “Yes” or “No” to Him.

          • Anton

            On this occasion either you were lying or you were ignorant of the fact that a comma in a list means “and” rather than “or”. You may tell us which.

            I made no contention that an illiterate man would loose salvation because he didn’t study scripture. I pointed out what Unigenitus says. Now you are merely playing the man rather than the ball.

          • Mr Captious – the man who wants to instruct Pope Clement XI on the proper use of grammar and who judges the great saint, John Chrysostom.

          • Anton

            Readers should not take Jack’s summary of my words as accurate.

            Tell me, were you ignorant of the fact that a comma means “and”, not “or”?

          • Maybe Clement didn’t have the advantage of a modern education in the use of the Oxford comma and sentence construction.

            So how would this work:

            These propositions are “close to heresy and heretical and suspected of heresy itself and smacking of heresy and favouring heretics and heresies”? The poor man, he really needed better schooling.

            Consider this sentence:
            “If you are not sure about this, let me know now.”

          • Anton

            He should have stopped ranting.

            Oxford? I’m talking about Latin grammar, not English. Can you quote a single source that says a comma means OR in Latin?

    • Chefofsinners

      Chef’s corollary of Jack’s law: “It hath been found by experience that no matter how decent, intelligent or thoughtful the reasoning of a Catholic may be, as an argument with a protestant is advanced, he ceases to be any of these.”

      • P^^^ off.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Don’t put too much store in what a man who wears his underpants on his head says Jack.

      • Anna

        So true.

    • carl jacobs

      S = k*( 1 / ( (n+1!)^n) )

      S : Strength of argument
      k : proportionality constant
      n : degree of dependence, dimensionless, 0 <= n < Inf

      For Roman Catholics, k has been empirically determined to be 1.4725475e-7 rational arguments/word

      • Yes, Carl. A couple of hours each day, twice a day, in a darkened room, listening to the attached will help.

        A beautiful example of the joys of worship.

  • Chefofsinners

    James 3:1″Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

    As a teacher and leader of other Christians, I accept that I will be judged more strictly, by God, by the world and by my fellow believers. My own frailties will be exposed. Or, to put it another way, the higher a monkey climbs, the more you can see of his arse.

    Criticism goes with Justin’s job.
    If he feels the comments are unfair then he should reflect on Jesus’ words “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” At least he is unlikely to suffer the fate of Thomas a Beckett, or Cranmer.

    • Inspector General

      Have_to_say_you’re_right.If_the_AoC_isn’t_criticised_then_he’s_not_doing-his_job_properly.

      • So he finds the criticisms and comments from other Christians easier to handle and ignore than the outrage and condemnation he would receive from the left-wing liberal LGBTQWERTY bullies were he to tell the truth and explain as it is written in The Bible. He’s a coward.

  • Is there no end to collaborating with the enemy and this madness!

    A Catholic all-girls school in London has said children should use the “preferred pronoun” of pupils who do not identify as female ….

    This would include “using the young person’s preferred pronoun and addressing them as them with their preferred name, recognising their intent to live as the person they believe God created them to be, and refraining from any judgement.”

    The letter says that the Equality Act 2010 requires schools to help “eliminate discrimination”, and that guidance from the Department for Education places “gender reassignment” within this duty …

    The letter comes as schools face increasing pressure to comply with the government’s “British values” programme. Earlier this year a Jewish school was failed by Ofsted for refusing to teach about homosexuality. Last month, a Christian couple on the Isle of Wight said they were considering legal action after their son was disciplined for “misgendering” a fellow pupil.

    Meanwhile, the Catholic Education Service has issued guidelines on homophobic bullying, which include large amounts of text copied from publications by LGBT rights organisations. The guidelines have been criticised by Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/10/03/catholic-school-use-preferred-pronouns-of-transgender-pupils/

    • Royinsouthwest

      Has the Equality Act of 2010 outlawed common sense? If so which politician will present a bill before Parliament to repeal the Act?

    • Inspector General

      Head_Teacher_a_member_of_the_General_Synod_by_chance?

      • Roman Catholic school, Inspector.

        • Inspector General

          Don’t_assume_the_incumbents_religion_Jack.Not_necessarily_RC

          • Must be very difficult being a Head teacher trying to keep one job whilst being subjected to this nonsense from government, Inspector.

            This article gives an insight into how evil progresses:

            A Catholic priest in Bavaria told her that he directed his flock to always respond to “Heil Hitler!” with the traditional religious Austrian greeting of “Gruss Gott!” He commented sadly to Buller that the Nazis could never have taken power “if there had not been a fundamental lack of the deepest sanity, which is belief in God.” In Frankfurt, at a Christmas school assembly where Hitler Youth songs were sung instead of traditional German carols, a brave teenage boy walked up on stage and started to play “Silent Night.” An elderly officer in Berlin, described as “a diehard general of the old school”, told her despairingly in 1936 that the Nazis will “bring disaster.”

            http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2017/09/29/how-nazi-secularism-crushed-the-souls-of-ordinary-germans/

            Compromising with evil appears to be the common response of man. Not easy being a martyr for Christ these days in the West especially when one’s Church fails to speak up against this insanity.

    • Dominic Stockford

      ‘preferred pronoun’, hows about ‘thing’?

      • Manfarang

        There is a neutral pronoun in in the Thai language, just as well really.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Like “it” in English?

          • Manfarang

            No

        • Dominic Stockford

          Ummm, I never said that… (runs and hides from the twitter mob)

          • Manfarang

            I did.

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Interestingly, in Persian the third person pronoun is also gender-neutral.

      • Anton

        It?

    • Malcolm Smith

      “Preferred pronoun”? The preferred pronoun when addressing a person is “you”. What pronoun you use when talking about him or her is beside the point, because that person is no longer present. Also, there is a proverb that eavesdroppers never overhear good thing said about them.

    • Cressida de Nova

      A Catholic all girls school? This is what happens when vocations are lost and you don’t have teaching nuns. There was no bullying of any kind at my school . Nothing unacceptable was tolerated. Mother Superior would remind us there was a long waiting list and if we did not abide by the rules we would be asked to leave….and a few left…very few .

  • Anton

    Another opportunity passed to preach the gospel. Campbell “is probably not going to heaven”?

    How about: “Alistair Campbell is going to hell unless he repents, and so will you. I have no problem if you aren’t interested but I’ll tell it straight.”

    • Indeed…. unless you repent you shall all likewise perish.

  • Mike Stallard

    I do not do twitter. I delete it when it is offered, I skip the little boxes on blogs like this. I am free! And it is lovely.
    I also do not use my iPhone so that it doesn’t ring just when I am driving out of the car park at Tescos. Today a car swerved across the A47 at me and the driver was – guess – on the phone.

    • Dominic Stockford

      It matters not when your phone rings – its whether your daft enough to think you HAVE to answer it when it does.

      • Murti Bing

        Ask not for whom the phone rings…

  • Chefofsinners

    “Campbell probably not going to heaven”…so… does this mean Justin Welby believes in heaven?

    • If he does, then how can he believe in heaven when he no longer wholly believes in God’s words written in The Bible?

  • Len

    Jesus laid down very clear conditions for anyone to get saved.These instructions are so clearly presented that it would take religion to make them misunderstood.

    ‘ Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”’ (John 3 1-21)

    We only enter Heaven iF we are One Spirit with Christ. IF we are One Spirit with Christ then we are connected to the True Vine and the Life that flows through that Vine.

    “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Corinthians 6:16-17 NKJV).

    • IanCad

      A bit more to it than just what you have quoted Len – that is unless the words of Christ on the Mount of Olives are held to little account. Our marching orders are clear as His teaching in the latter part of Matthew 25 so instructs us. Believing isn’t enough – not necessarily suggesting that is what you are saying, but the verses you cite are faves of those who hold that the path to Salvation is a passive road.

      • Dominic Stockford

        What do you say to the thief on the cross – and all those ever since who have found themselves in the same situation?

        • IanCad

          Our sins are forgiven when we accept Christ, as they are when we acknowledge our ongoing failings and confess them. Grace is not license and the promise to the thief is certain in that when Christ returns with His angels he will be among the redeemed who rise up to meet Him.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Believing WAS enough for him, contrary to what you said.

          • IanCad

            Indeed, his declaration was sufficient for him. I did not state otherwise.

      • Len

        A gate and a path Ian…Christ is the Gate we walk the path.
        But I was talking about getting saved (going through the Gate) as that was the point in question?

        • IanCad

          We’re agreed Len. A gate and a path. Not OSAS.

  • Dominic Stockford

    I thought the following a fair comment on what Welby said in the interview:

    “A wiser course of action before answering would surely have been to consult God, because in one fell swoop he dismissed the clear teaching of Scripture, trivialized ‘sin’, and thereby rendered entirely meaningless Christ’s death on the cross for the redemption of us all. Not bad going for one interview, when you think about it, because he effectively ripped the heart out of Christianity.

    With respect, this will not do. Whatever narrow and uncomfortable fence on which His Grace chooses precariously to sit, Scripture is the eternal word of God, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is not, therefore, the Bible that needs to change to align it with the world, but the world that needs to repent and be conformed to God, as revealed in the Bible. Only that way is there hope for sinners – which includes us all.”

    However much his comments may be seen as ‘only’ a ‘bleeding chunk’ ripped from the heart of a longer discussion, this critique remains accurate.

    • Martin

      Dominic

      One has to wonder what Welby has been doing all this time if he hasn’t consulted God on ‘gay sex’. I wonder if he’s ever read Romans 1.

      I can’t say I found his description of his conversion experience that revealing.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Neither did I. Apparently Alpha is to answer for the current state of the CofE – though I suppose that makes a change from Druidism…

        • Sarky

          Saw an interesting documentary on Alpha. All that speaking in tongues at the away weekend just looked ridiculous and most of the participants looked extremely uncomfortable.
          The leaders also seemed to dodge difficult questions and most of the groups seemed to be made up of marginal christians.
          On closer inspection it doesnt appear to be the great outreach its claimed to be.

          • IanCad

            Got a link Sarks?

          • Dominic Stockford

            I would generally agree with you. It has been a fabulously successful marketing exercise which has made a lot of money for Holy Trinity Brompton, but it fails to tell the whole truth of the Gospel especially in the area of calling sin, sin.

          • Sarky

            Seems to be ‘fluffy bunny’ christianity.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Absolutely, Very perspicacious of you.

        • Martin

          Dominic

          Glad to see I’m not alone on here in seeing Alpha as a disaster.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I have a couple of the critiques of Alpha.

            ‘Falling Short? The Alpha Course examined’ by Chris Hand, from DayOne Publications is a straightforward approach.

            ‘Alpha – the unofficial guide’ by Elizabeth McDonald and Dusty Peterson is a rip-roaringly comprehensive critique.

            The shortest I have is ‘The Alpha Course Examined’ by Colin Mercer, and is subtitled ‘The Alpha Course weighed in the balances of Holy Scripture’. This is y far the most openly critical, saying “Alpha is a destructive, dangerous and devilish scheme which must not be promoted or encouraged. It is not a blessing but a spiritual blight!”

            Having had personal experience of Alpha, I find it hard to disagree.

          • John

            Oh, for goodness sake Dominic!

          • Dominic Stockford

            ? A strange reaction to someone who is letting others know about sincerely made critiques of a course blindly accepted by many as being ‘good’, and yet which has significant failings which undermine its premise.

            Do you know the reason this course was started? If you do then you know it wasn’t started for the right reasons. That means it is problematic from the word god.

  • Manfarang

    Later this month there will be a funeral in Thailand the likes of which are rarely seen.

    • Pubcrawler

      Not yours?

      • Manfarang

        You will get 15 years in jail for saying that.

        • Pubcrawler

          Is that a ‘no’, then?

          • Manfarang

            It’s absolutely true that vegetarians live longer (at least among Seventh Day Adventists,). In fact, in a study, vegetarians live six to nine years longer, which is a huge effect. But vegetarians are also more likely to exercise, be married, smoke less and drink less alcohol—all factors that also contribute to a longer life.

          • Pubcrawler
          • Manfarang

            His reward will be in heaven.

          • Anton

            He’s a Christian?

          • Manfarang

            Probably

    • Inspector General

      A_gay_man_who_hasn’t_died_of_AIDS?

      • Very bad …..

        • Inspector General

          Not_really._The_world_is_packed_with_countries_with_piss_poor
          _economies_that_could_spend_what_little_money_they_have_
          on_better_things_than_keeping_sexually_promiscuous_homosexual
          _men_alive.

          So_there’s_a_couple_less_fashion_shows_with_stick_thin_models
          _in_the_year._What_a_pity_that_would_be…

          • Manfarang

            The cost of antiretroviral therapy (ART) used to treat HIV is the cheapest in India, with first-line treatment costing the government Rs 5,000/person/year, and second-line therapy – for people with immunity against the first-line drugs – priced at Rs 29,000/person/year.
            About 26,000 people are on second-line treatment. “Currently, 4.48 lakh people get free ART under the national programme in 324 centres across India.
            58 quid a year is not that much.

          • The we shall have to send them all to India for treatment.

          • Manfarang

            Have you ever tried to get a visa for India?

          • Linus

            “We”? Who are “we”? You mean the half dozen fundamentalist Pixtians who believe gays are evil and must be treated like the inmates of a Victorian workhouse, with treatment for any illness dispensed grudgingly, and as cheaply as possible, because they deserve nothing better?

            So tell me, how are you and the 5 others planning to effect this plan to ship all the gays off to India? Will the power of Sky Pixie compel us? Or do you think you might be living in Cloud Cuckoo Land, dreaming that your flights of omnipotent and homophobic fantasy have become reality?

            Something tells me it’s the latter of those two options. Can’t think why though. Call it a hunch…

          • Anton

            The rising cost of healthcare and the ballot box will do it.

          • Linus

            Ah, so you want to legislate away minority rights, do you?

            I always knew you were a Nazi at heart. After you vote to send us to India for treatment, then you’ll vote to stop treatment altogether. Then you’ll vote to make us wear pink triangles on our clothes. Then for “reeducation camps”.

            The true face of evil wears a cross and bleats on about love and redemption, the better to control and “deal with” all those who oppose it.

          • Anton

            Nazis deny democracy. I support it and will vote as I like.

          • Linus

            So you’d support a second Brexit referendum then? Or now that a majority has spoken, are all future majorities rendered null and void?

            That’s democracy Nazi-style. Just your cup of tea.

          • Homosexuals are not evil, just like the rest of the population there are good ones and evil ones. The government can do a trade deal with the Indian government use EasyJet to fly them over, once there they can all stay at “The Marigold Hotel”.

            They can show the Indians how achieve better hygiene and sell them some of our wonderful porcelain bathroom ware. In-turn the Indians can show them the joys of Hinduism,family life and recycling.

          • Linus

            Somebody needs to show you the joys of connecting with reality rather than living your life in a fantasy world. But don’t let me stop you from hallucinating magic solutions to everything you see as a problem.

            The utter idiocy of Pixtians can be quite diverting.

          • Thank you, but I’m not an idiot.

          • Linus

            Sure about that?

          • Cheaper medication and a long convalescent stay at “The Marigold Hotel” in Bombay is hardly a terrible fate! From what I’ve seen of it on TV it’s a rather pleasant place.

            I don’t condemn you Linus, but I do think your lifestyle is condemnable because not only is it harmful to you, it encourages loose living for the wider population and is the slippery slope into accepting other perversions as normal and destroying our carefully balanced civilisation. Homosexuality has been outlawed before in many countries for a reason that it was destroying the family unit and the carefully balanced civilisation, and it is doing it all over again. In fifty or sixty years time it’ll be on the way to being outlawed again just you watch. You’d better start practicing the secret walk.

            I don’t hate anyone only the actions they take and the things they do that are harmful to others in society and to living standards.
            I hate the direction the western governments are taking their societies with all this messing about with genders, and the emasculating of men to make them more effeminate to blend in with the homosexuals and the masculinisation of women to be more sympathetic with Lesbians.
            I hate the bullying of Christians and anyone with traditional views. I hate what ISIS does and I hate what I know of the Islamic ideology that drives them.

            All you seem to do 80% of your time on here is to insult Christians and their beliefs! I’ll give atheism a miss thank you if they’re all as nasty and as sour hearted as you.

          • Linus

            The raison d’être of this blog and virtually every comment on it is to be nasty and sour-hearted about anyone who disagrees with your ridiculous religion, so perhaps people who live in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones.

            Personally I’m happy for you to continue on in this vein because it shows you for what you really are: a vicious homophobe full of hatred for anything or anyone that defies your narrow-minded definition of acceptability. Blogs like this one reveal the true nature of Pixtianity: a rabble of extreme conservatives who want one thing in life – to crush all opposition underfoot and make everything and everyone they disapprove of disappear.

            Your problem is that it is you who are disappearing. Dying off at a rate that has seen your churches empty and your numbers crash to virtually nothing. Pixtianity in the West is now the exclusive preserve of embittered old people who in a few short years will be as dead as the messiah they claim to worship. And then what? Who’ll carry your torch of hatred into the future?

            You’ll die a disappointed and angry old woman. Just as you have lived. And as you and your cohort make way for a younger generation schooled in tolerance rather than rejection, society will develop into something very different from the prison you would like it to be.

            Perhaps it’s a good thing you’ll be dead and gone. Imagine having to live for decades more witnessing people live their lives as they want to rather than kowtowing to you and your morality. It would be one long fit of apoplexy for you. Very draining. Or perhaps you’ll be lucky and Alzheimer’s will draw a veil over your suffering while you wait for the inevitable to happen…

          • It’s more like YOUR raison d’etre Linus, this Blog enlightens and informs and the communicants discuss and debate ideas. Whatever arguments you try and put, they are not going to turn the heads of the Christians here that you bully, goad, ridicule and sneer at.

            You are the one who is angry and intolerant of others’ views and opinions here. You need help, being nasty to Christians might give you some feel good factor but it’s only short lived so you need to keep returning. I suggest you seek counselling.

          • Linus

            Take a look at 90% of Hilton’s posts on this blog, which are nothing more than the diatribes of an impotent little nobody (who desperately wants to be somebody) against forces he cannot control or even influence in any meaningful way.

            Then take a look at the comments threads and their tone of ‘exterminate all evil libtards’. If Hilton sounds a relatively fascist first blast of the trumpet againt the monstrous regiment of libtards, there are plenty here whose opinions are well to his right. Indeed many are well to the right of Hitler. Pixtianity is the cudgel they use to attack their enemies: namely anyone who enjoys the power they do not.

            Of course what they fail to realise, being so completely enamoured of their own reflections, is that when you gaze at yourself lovingly in a mirror, everything else looks small and unimportant in comparison. Taking a step back from the glass teaches you a valuable lesson. You are minuscule in comparison to the rest of the world. So tiny that if we didn’t take the trouble to look for you, we wouldn’t know you existed.

            I take the trouble to look because I grew up in a Pixtian household and I know exactly how pernicious the Church can be. There may not be many of you, but the damage you can do is nothing short of catastrophic. If one of your targets reads my posts and understands why he should avoid you, or flee from you if he has the bad luck to grow up anywhere near you, my work is done.

          • Now you’ve moved from freedom of expression to insulting the host and judging motives. So you will retract that section of this comment by 10.00am, or you will be blocked. Bless you.

          • Linus

            Block me and be damned, Pixtian Pharisee. Funny how freedom of speech stops whenever it involves criticism of you.

            My parting shot on this cess-pit of a blog will be this: none here, not even the worst racist, homophobic bigot it can muster, can match its author for sheer self-serving hypocrisy.

          • Okay. Tata.

      • Manfarang

        30 years in jail for you.

        • Inspector General

          You_are_a_notorious_smart_arse,_Manfarang._The_Inspector_himself_
          would_go_without_food_for_24_hours_if_he_thought_it_would_annoy_you…

          • Manfarang

            Can you go without whisky?

          • Royinsouthwest

            I think that some comments the Inspector made a year or two ago indicate that he could certainly go without Irish whiskey if Scotch whisky were available instead.

          • Manfarang

            If no Scotch then a bit of Lao khao (rice whisky) if he is really desperate.

          • Inspector General

            Other_way_round_that_man…When_it_comes_to_whisky_the_Scots
            _are_unassailable…

          • Royinsouthwest

            That is what I meant by implying that you would not drink the Irish type when you can get hold of the Scottish one.

          • Father David

            Celtic Whisky or Whiskey – naught but the Devil’s Urine! Renounce both, I say, and not only save your soul but also your liver.

  • bluedog

    In the context of Godwin’s Law, one recalls the suggestion for a Christmas coffee-table best-seller put forward by the late Ronnie Corbett of Two Ronnies fame; ‘Gardening for Golfers’ with a swastika on the cover. Seems Alastair Campbell works off a similar template.

  • DespiteBrexit

    “Gay sex … is why a lot of journalists … get up in a morning.”

    An interesting comment on that profession.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      And what are they getting up?

      • Dominic Stockford

        Tut tut. Soap, mouth, water.

      • Tout Va

        Oooo la la. ‘Av yoo evor bean to a vicars and tarts partie? ‘Obnoobs abound.

  • betteroffoutofit

    How very complicated all this post-modern spinning is, Your Grace. I’m so glad St. Peter is the one who will effect Christ’s requirements in deciding who are sheep and who are goats!!

    Thank you for your link to the interview excerpt. Methinks that there AB Welby responded with great humility and care – and so evaded potential traps set for him by the internally conflicted* Campbell. After all, if the latter prefers, as you say, “not doing God” – why would he tree the Archbishop? Unless, as you might indicate, he’s spinning to gain “maximum media traction”, for the (i) GQ (/i) thing?

    So no — I shan’t be buying the rag to see the part of the interview that Campbell has failed to link while twittering on during his headlong flight . . .
    🙂
    _________________
    * internally conflicted? So Wiki’s bio, and this incident, lead one to believe.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Where did the idea of Peter standing at the “Pearly Gates” come from? It is God’s decision; not Peter’s.

      • betteroffoutofit

        I don’t know where the St. Peter at the gates legend came from, but most references relate it to Matthew 16:19, where Peter receives the Keys; some have apparently taken it literally.
        The “Pearly Gates” would seem to stem from responses to Rev. 21:21.
        However, I carefully noted above that the decision is Christ’s (bearing in mind that He “sitteth on the Right Hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead”).

        • Dominic Stockford

          It is the moment (for us) where the only correct answer is “Jesus Christ” – takes you back to Sunday School!

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes, that’s Right!!! Nice clarification, thank you.
            So . . . . Taking the “Keys” to be a metaphor for the Gospel . . . St. Peter provides the means by which we may choose to accept/reject the ‘Way’ of Jesus Christ (to the Father), and so to become either sheep or goats.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    But Your Grace, Mr Campbell did spin for Satan….

    • Sarky

      Is that a new gym class??

  • IanCad

    No sweat; don’t inconvenience yourself, it will come up again. I’m sure some HTBer will have it to hand.

  • prompteetsincere

    “At the present hour romantic religion has submerged Evangelical, the religion of affection and temperament has obscured the religion of the will and conscience, the religion of love and lovelessness the religion of holiness and sin. Romantic religion lives in the sentiments and sympathies, but Evangelical religion – faith – lives in repentance, forgiveness, trust, and self-committal to The Redeemer.”
    ‘The Preacher and Religious Reality, Positive Preaching and The Modern Mind.’
    P.T. Forsyth (1912 ) pp. 163/4.