Church of England

Archbishops call on Queen to repent of being Supreme Governor of the Church of England

In this 500th anniversary year of an obscure monk called Martin Luther banging his 95 Theses onto the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, the event which history marks as the beginning of the Reformation, the archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a joint statement which coincides with the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Acknowledging that the Reformation “was a process of both renewal and division amongst Christians in Europe”, they note that many Christians “will want to give thanks for the great blessings they have received to which the Reformation directly contributed. Amongst much else these would include clear proclamation of the gospel of grace, the availability of the Bible to all in their own language and the recognition of the calling of lay people to serve God in the world and in the church.”

They might have mentioned justification by faith, since that sola was (and remains) fairly central to Protestant theology and its understanding of salvation, but we’ll assume it’s parked in “amongst much else”. Rather than rejoice in the light from old times, Justin Welby and John Sentamu seek to highlight a different righteousness:

Many will also remember the lasting damage done five centuries ago to the unity of the Church, in defiance of the clear command of Jesus Christ to unity in love. Those turbulent years saw Christian people pitted against each other, such that many suffered persecution and even death at the hands of others claiming to know the same Lord…

Remembering the Reformation should also lead us to repent of our part in perpetuating divisions…

We can quibble over the propitiatory efficacy of vicarious apologies for the sins and crimes of our forefathers. Some people are gladdened by the contrition expressed by today’s leaders for centuries-old grievances; others think it absurd to apologise, or even presume to apologise, for the thoughts, attitudes and actions of those for which we are by no means responsible, and quite possibly can’t even begin to understand. Can a 21st-century archbishop really exhort his postmodern flock to repent of the sins of his episcopal predecessors and their modern and medieval herds and legions? Is there any worth in the RSPCA apologising to animal rights activists for the domestication of the horse? Can Welby and Sentamu pass judgment on the conscience of Cranmer? Their gesture may have political purpose and the benefits of compassion, but can it ever be soteriological? Can we really repent of the divisions and schisms initiated and caused by others in their own complex and convoluted times and situations?

We can park that question there, because the archbishops aren’t quite doing that. Or are they? Are they blaming Luther for the lasting damage he caused to Church unity, and asking his Protestant progeny to repent of being Lutheran and Protestant? Are they rebuking him for defying the clear command of Jesus Christ to unity in love? Are they saying that it was a all just a sad and tragic mistake?

It isn’t entirely clear, except that the archbishops apportion no blame at all to the corruption and evil in the medieval Church against which Luther was driven to protest. Might not Protestants protest that the Church that called itself Catholic had ceased to be in any sense holy, catholic, compassionate or salvific? And so, in accordance with Scripture, coming out of her was necessary for the welfare of the body and the salvation of the soul: “..the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith” (Article XIX, to which the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York subscribe).

It was not for nothing that the Reformers hurled ‘Antichrist’ at the Pope. Yes, there were fractious European nationalisms and feudal competitions, not to mention contemporaneous economic pressures, urgent scholarly enquiries and restless social movements. The Reformation was a melting pot of convergent murky forces and contiguous muddled minds. But (and it’s quite an important ‘But’) the religious element of the Reformation was its essence, and it became one of the greatest movements of the Spirit of God since the Apostles walked the earth. If the schism was not of God, it was certainly greatly used by God and much good came of it.

Much bad, too, of course. Even our righteous deeds are filthy rags.

But times have changed: bad popes and corrupt princes have come and gone, and all those Protestant lenses tinged with the patina of bias or bigotry continue to blur our vision only if we refuse to see face to face. For Archbishop Justin and Archbishop John, in the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, it is clearly time to move away from rigid distinctives and to focus on what unites us:

Remembering the Reformation should bring us back to what the Reformers wanted to put at the centre of every person’s life, which is a simple trust in Jesus Christ. This year is a time to renew our faith in Christ and in Him alone.

That’s an interesting sola, and one from which no child of the Reformation would demur. But what ecumenical rapprochment, let alone unity, can or should there be with those who insist it is Christ and..? At what point does Christ and become a false gospel? At what point to does Christ and become ‘another Jesus‘ (2Cor 11:4)?

That isn’t to say there is no common ground and there are no common causes by which and for which Christian denominations may not gather for fellowship or unite to oppose. The doctrine of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the bodily Resurrection and the literal Second Coming are all sufficient to determine the truth of faith. There really is no controversialist urge to maintain an ecclesial party line just to buttress history and tradition. Where we are concerned with the gospel and salvation, we are concerned with loving Christ.

The Queen loves Christ. It is not possible to listen to her Christmas Day broadcasts and not be left with an overwhelming sense of her humility, adoration and devotion to the Son of God; almost a yearning to unburden her shoulders and lay down her crown at the feet of the King of Kings, and place her government upon his shoulder. It is plain also that she loves the nation state of which she is Head, and the church of which she is Supreme Governor. The United Kingdom and the Church of England are separate and distinct: the United Kingdom is separate from the Continent of Europe; the Church of England distinct from the Church of Rome. In her very offices of church and state, the Queen embodies political and historic division, and she perpetuates ecclesial and theological schism. Why should she repent of this, as her archbishops exhort, when it is her sovereign duty and divine vocation to lead, uphold and sustain both? Consider her Coronation Oath:

Archbishop: Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

Queen: All this I promise to do.

Are Dr Welby and Dr Sentamu asking the Queen to repent of her sacred oath? They appear to be, for their statement is concerned not merely with the unholy burnings, hangings, drawings and quarterings of the past, but with those who perpetuate division into the present, which the Queen is sworn to do. And she is sworn to do this because the Reformation in England was an act of the State of which she is now Head; a parliamentary transaction sustained by the consent of the people over whom she reigns. How can the Queen repent of her part in perpetuating division without handing over her church to the Bishop of Rome (who, constitutionally, hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England [Art. XXXVII])?

The word the archbishops chose was ‘repent’, which is rather distinct from political apology, personal sorrow or corporate contrition. It is a concept which has its origins in the Old Testament, where the creature first turned his back on the Creator. It is the recognition of the true state of affairs, sorrow for it and a turning back to God with a resolve to do His will. To repent is to turn away from disobedience; to engage in the rebellion no more. If one is to repent sincerely of the sin of adultery, one must not only be sorry for the sin, but promise also to cease living in the adulterous relationship. How may one repent of a thing and yet carry on doing it wilfully and purposely?

The only way, surely, is to be persuaded either that it is not such a bad thing, or to believe that the punishment will not be so austere as to justify cessation of the indulgence. And so.. cursory confession.. trivial penance.. no real repentance.

Is schism a sin when the justification and motive is the maintenance of holiness? Ecumenism may be the reconciling work of the Holy Spirit in renewing the life of the corporate councils of the Church, but are individual Christians really called to repent of their part in sustaining their churches as vehicles of truth, morality and the salvific vision? Is communion with God and man dependent on a simplistic view of good and right, such that all division becomes grave sin which must be repented of?

Surely the Queen’s personal faith trusts in the promises of God by which she is united to Christ. Surely her witness to this living faith moves beyond historical knowledge and ecclesial structures: she believes Christ was born for her personally, and has accomplished for her the work of salvation. She is sure and certain of this: her trust is in Christ, not some assent to an abstract set of doctrines. She needs nothing and no-one else. In her humility and truth she walks, talks and eats with Christians of all denominations, radiating grace, life and salvation. She infuses the Church of England and inspires the Church in England. Pray, what does she have to repent of?

  • White guilt all over again! Surely it is the Pope who needs to repent, using their logic, as it was the Pope at the time who refused to reform, leaving the Catholic Church in such a mess that it led to people leaving it

    • David

      An institution cannot repent, especially 500 years later, as only individuals can repent before God. This is all part of the fashionable but meaningless virtue signalling indulged in by western liberal leaders.

      It is disappointing, but in character with these archbishop’s ministries, that they fail to explain the utterly essential, main work of Luther, which was to reject the corrupt state of the western Church’s teachings that salvation was by works; he rediscovered that salvation is via an individual’s repentance for sins, putting our faith in Christ as their personal Saviour, that being the only route to God The Father.

      • Anton

        Agreed. But in regard to your comments on repentance, what about Daniel in his chapter 9?

        • David

          I am very cautious about interpretations from Daniel. It is so vague, that being very wrong would be incredibly easy. Issuing prophecies form Daniel worries me, as off-putting to those edging towards faith. I agree though that there are many signs in today’s world that can lead one to consider that we are near the End Times, which we may be, but in my role as a Lay Minister I don’t push this, for the reason I give. So sorry I can’t help you.

          • 1642again

            I agree David, and wonder did the Christians think the end times were near when the Goths sacked Rome, or when the Arabs besieged Constantinople in the 8th century, or when the Mongols had Europe at their feet, or during the Black Death? Some thought it during the Thirty Years War and the English Civil Wars of the 17th century, other perhaps during WW2 or the Cold War. It will almost certainly be when none of us see it coming. But we should remind ourselves that it will come.

          • David

            Exactly. Western culture has found itself in a parlous state, threatened by encircling enemies many times. If only our culture, formerly Christendom, would return to its roots, which grew from the soil of Christianity, we would soon rebuild our cultural, economic and military vigour, seeing off our present enemies. They are not strong, it is only the western nations’ weak faith that gives them the appearance of any power.

          • Anton

            I meant the prayer of repentance in the first part of that chapter, which is for sins of Daniel’s nation which Daniel didn’t commit.

          • David

            OK. You are very alert !

    • ChaucerChronicle

      What’s it got to do with race?

      Explanation, please?

      • +ChaucerChronicle
        Do you mean you have missed out on the obsession some Western leaders have had on feeling guilty for the actions of people who have been dead for centuries, with regards to their treatment of other races? My point is that it is exactly the same as that, only with the Reformation replacing racist actions of the past. In other words, it is an idiotic thing to be apologising for now, given how much time has passed since.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Mr Taylor

          The issues here are not about race (fixed) but about theology (elective).

          Two juxtapose the two is like conflating anti-homosexuality as the moral equivalent of racism.

          • Good grief man, don’t be so dense!
            White guilt is apologising for the abuses non-whites experienced at the hands of whites centuries ago. This mentality is EXACTLY THE SAME in terms of the idiocy declared by expressing guilt over something their predecessors did, regardless of what anyone thinks about the need to apologise based on the actions of said predecessors.
            Note again, I am NOT FOR ONE SECOND saying that theological disagreements are comparable to racist actions. merely the MENTALITY that creates these sort of responses whereby people seek to assuage guilt that they have no reason to feel but express as a form of virtue signalling to make themselves look and/or feel good.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Forgive me, my dear brother, for ‘density’, but when you say ‘feel’ do you mean ‘feel guilt’ or ‘shame’?

          • I think you might need to reread my last comment, as the only time I use the word “feel” has no grammatical connection with either “guilt” or “shame”.
            **EDIT**
            If you were referring to my earlier comment (in which case you should have referenced exactly what you were talking about) then I think the clue is in the words I used and the terminology of “white guilt” that is the title used.

    • Think you’ll find recent Popes have repented or the past sins of the Church.

      Last year, Pope Francis, at a service in St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome, attended by representatives of other religions, asked “forgiveness for the in-gospel like behaviour by Catholics towards Christians of other Churches”. He also asked Catholics to forgive those who had persecuted them.

      In this he echoed Pope Saint Pope John Paul’s famous Ash Wednesday Jubilee apology and acknowledged the sins of Catholics against other Christians. He also told Catholics to forgive the wrongs done to them. The pope said injuries that had happened in the past can’t be cancelled, but the burden of old wounds should not continue to harm the relations between Catholics and other Christians.

      Indeed Saint Pope John Paul II made many apologies. During his reign as Pope, he apologized to Jews, Galileo, women, people convicted by the Inquisition, Muslims killed by the Crusaders and almost everyone who had allegedly suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church over the years.

      • I don’t want Pope Francis to apologise for anything his predecessors did, I was simply extrapolating how the statement SHOULD have been created, using their logic and applying it properly.
        Their logic is still flawed, but this statement shows that it has also been wrongly applied.

      • Martin

        HJ

        Do you wish me to list all the things they must drop to return to the Church? Things such as the Mass, idolatry, false representation of the gospel. Indeed it would be easier just to leave and join a Christian church since there is very little in Rome that is Christian.

        • “Do you wish me to list all the things they must drop to return to the Church?”

          No thank you, Martin. You don’t have the authority to do so.

          • Martin

            HJ

            You mean only Rome has the authority to do so? Actually the Bible gives me that authority.

  • Arden Forester

    Not quite sure what the archbishops are on about. We can no more repent for the goings on 500 years ago than we can repent today for sins of our neighbours. “Bless me Father for I have sinned by not repenting for my neighbour’s ……..” All hearsay in the confessional.

    Anyway, the English reformation has generally passed me by. The English Church is rather more “deformed” by embracing secular tendencies at the expense of traditional doctrines.

  • David

    An institution cannot repent to God. Only individuals can repent to God the Father. To do this, especially 500 years later, is nothing more than the utterly meaningless, although highly fashionable, virtue signalling that liberal western leaders like to display.
    It is disappointing, although in character with their ministries, that the two archbishops do not boldly explain, uphold and celebrate Luther’s essential main work. This was the courageous, intellectually and spiritually clear sighted, rejection of the western Church’s twisting of the Christian doctrine of salvation, presenting it as salvation by works, or even money payments. All Christians, especially protestant ones are grateful to that German monk for clearly and boldly clarifying that Scripture teaches us that salvation is granted only by individuals repenting their sins before God, and then placing their faith in Christ as Saviour. This is the only route to salvation.

    • chefofsinners

      Yes. The bishops have plenty of mistakes of their own which they could repent of, before they get going be on those of others.

  • The Explorer

    Unity may be desirable, but unity at all costs does not seem to be Christ’s message. God broke the unity of the human race at Babel. Christ said he would divide families. He did, and does. Christ criticises the Church of Thyatira for tolerating Jezebel. So either you eject Jezebel; or, if Jezebel is too strong and has the upper hand, you remove yourself from her influence.

    Unity, it seems to me, may be an aspiration; but will never be a reality until after the Second Coming. In a fallen world, it cannot be otherwise.

    • chefofsinners

      Don’t expect me to agree with that.

  • Albert

    Can a 21st-century archbishop really exhort his postmodern flock to repent of the sins of his episcopal predecessors and their modern and medieval herds and legions?

    The answer of the Psalms appears to be yes.

    the archbishops apportion no blame at all to the corruption and evil in the medieval Church against which Luther was driven to protest.

    Quite right too. Corruption and evil are always present and so cannot, consistently reasonably, theologically, charitably or morally be a reason to break away. If the Protestant Reformation had any justification (which it didn’t) it would have to be theological, not moral.

    • Little Black Censored

      “Which it didn’t” – enough material there for a whole library of books. Gosh, how clever you must be!

      • Albert

        Is your idea that I have to defend every point at full depth in every post? If so, would you care to defend that idea at full depth?

        • Little Black Censored

          I’m not the one making a sweeping and highly questionable assertion. Expecting some kind of supporting argument is perfectly reasonable; if you don’t wish to be challenged then be a little more diffident, or modest.

          • Albert

            In the initial comment I was just simply adding a personal view that the Protestant Reformation was without theological justification. It was like adding per impossibile to a hypothetical. But that wasn’t my main thrust, hence it was in brackets. In my opinion the Protestant Reformers are done a disservice when the Protestant Reformation is justified on the basis of the moral corruption of the Catholic Church (corruption which, for the record, I do not deny).

            But if you want the discussion, I’m quite happy to defend Catholicism against Protestantism. I suppose I would begin by saying, in view of the unity which is Christ’s will, surely the burden of proof rests on those breaking away ? What is the justification of that?

          • William Lewis

            The justification is that God used it, and is using it, to bring the light of the Gospel to the world.

          • God uses evil to bring about good – doesn’t mean He positively endorses it. Besides, can one really say the light of the Gospel was enhanced by the division of His Body?

          • William Lewis

            The light of the Gospel is its truth. The RCC wasn’t preaching this truth. Whether God ordained or just used the Reformation no one knows. We do know what He thinks about parts of the vine that do not bear fruit, though.

          • “The RCC wasn’t preaching this truth.”
            Yes it was.

          • Cressida de Nova

            God did not ordain the Reformation. God is not involved in the machinations of evil priests , Free will allows man to bring about destruction…nothing to do with God.

          • It’s like saying God positively willed the crucifixion, as opposed to God knowing this would happen.

          • Cressida de Nova

            The nature of God is omniscient.Only the simple minded think that God is responsible for the disasters in the world and expect intervention. Man creates mayhem. Mankind will have to learn to be more Christ -like if this world is to flourish.Embracing true Christian values would improve the world in so many ways such as eradicating poverty and achieving social justice for all.
            We are indoctrinated by the media with consumerism and materialism from Day 1. The Catholic Church is the only Church which has made it a sin to pollute and destroy the environment….something to be very proud of.

          • Cressida de Nova

            God is good. Evil is an anathema to God. It can never enter into the Divine realm.

          • Well, according to some Calvinists, God is the author of good and evil.

          • Cressida de Nova

            All the Protestant cults are heretical.

          • Albert

            The major problem with promoting Christianity is (i) its divisions (ii) its history of violence. The Protestant Reformation amplified both. In any case, your argument rests on the Protestant Reformation being theologically justified and I deny that – and, in this thread at least, you haven’t defended it. Thus, at the moment it looks unjustified because:

            (i) Division is contrary to Christ’s expressed will.
            (ii) A theological justification is currently wanting.
            (iii) The effects for the proclamation of the Gospel have been terrible.

            Therefore, the Protestant Reformation was unjustified.

          • William Lewis

            At the time of the Reformation the major problem with Christianity was the false gospel and practices of the RCC but unless you had access to a Bible you could not know this. Therefore the Protestant Reformation was justified on that basis. We can see now that the church invisible was not and is not confined to the RCC (but then the Orthodox would tell you this). The church invisible is not divided but it is important to try to heal the visible differences where possible, though not at the expense of the Gospel.

            So

            (i) The Church invisible is not divided, else it would have fallen, but let’s heal visible differences where we can.
            (ii) Theologically the Protestant Reformation was justified because we are called to preach the true Gospel.
            (iii) This is a counter factual but the effects for the proclamation of the true Gospel have been good. God is clearly using the results of the Reformation to spread the Gospel.

          • Albert

            At the time of the Reformation the major problem with Christianity was the false gospel and practices of the RCC

            Not so.

            but unless you had access to a Bible you could not know this.

            There was plenty of access to the Bible. Every text of the Bible was hand copied. Sure lots of people couldn’t read the Bible, but then (and this was the case for ages afterwards) lots of people couldn’t read at all.

            Therefore the Protestant Reformation was justified on that basis.

            Just because someone says their doctrine is in the Bible doesn’t mean it is. This is evident from the bewildering disagreements amongst sola fide Protestants.

            We can see now that the church invisible was not and is not confined to the RCC (but then the Orthodox would tell you this).

            I would like to see evidence that your doctrine of the church invisible is shared by the Orthodox.

            it is important to try to heal the visible differences where possible, though not at the expense of the Gospel.

            Quite. Which is why we won’t have you back until you repent of your heresies.

            So
            (i) The Church is visible and is not divided, else it would have fallen, but let’s heal visible differences between Christians where we can.
            (ii) Theologically the Protestant Reformation was not justified because it did not preach the true Gospel.
            (iii) This is a counter factual but the effects for the proclamation of the true Gospel have been good. You’re right, that is counter-factual. The Protestant Reformation has bead effects for the reasons I gave last time, but also because it is not a proclamation of the true Gospel. God is clearly using the results of the Reformation to spread the Gospel. If that is true, it is only because God brings good even out of evil, as Augustine says.

          • William Lewis

            Good. I’m glad we managed to sort that out. Tomorrow we will resolve world peace.

          • Little Black Censored

            I write as a catholic aware of a strong protestant ingredient in my own makeup, which I share with Anglo-Saxons generally. I cannot deny the existence of that part of me. Henry VIII achieved the first Brexit (where his ancestors had tried but failed). The RC church is a totalitarian system in which everything is either compulsory or forbidden. “Private judgement” is disapproved of. Benedict XVI hoped to provide a home for some elements of protestantism – Anglican first, but Lutheran later: there are riches in those traditions that belong ultimately within catholicism. It is simply daft to suggest that the whole protestant tendency was worthless; it was inevitable. Here endeth the lesson.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Inevitable indeed!! Anglicans generally regard themselves as both catholic and protestant. I fall into that category. But we do not all agree with exactly the same catholic and protestant doctrines. There are many varieties of true blue Christians, yes?

          • Albert

            Firstly, I not that nothing you have said justifies the Protestant Reformation – which is the thing at issue.

            Secondly, you say It is simply daft to suggest that the whole protestant tendency was worthless; it was inevitable

            I never claimed it was totally worthless, but I would deny that any claim of inevitability entails justification.

            Thirdly, you write: The RC church is a totalitarian system in which everything is either compulsory or forbidden.

            That’s just silly. Most issues are not resolved in Catholicism – hence we have different theological and liturgical styles. In matters of morality, although Church teaching may often be clear, the application of that teaching to a particular situation is down to the conscience of the individual Catholic.

            Thus your post does not justify the Protestant Reformation, misrepresents what I have said and is based on a series of uninformed Protestant prejudices against Catholicism. The main merit of your post is that it comes close to acknowledging the latter.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Although I was not addressing the Reformational schism in particular (rather the schism within Anglicanism at this moment in time), this article answers your question.
            http://www.virtueonline.org/schism-and-sword-spirit-bruce-atkinson#.UtyJRRAo7IU

          • Albert

            Perhaps I’ve read this to quickly, but I do not see here anything but assertion in response to my question. Of course one must separate from an apostate church, but that requires a way of knowing that it is an apostate church. If you like our own discussion has been about exactly that, but I can’t see that you have answered that question anywhere.

            And if it comes to coming out of apostate churches, why are you still an Anglican when you think it is apostate?

    • chefofsinners

      What answer in the Psalms?

      • Albert

        There seems to be a great deal of individuals repenting on behalf of others. Some people sin, all repent etc.

        • chefofsinners

          Give me an example.

          • Albert

            Off the top of my head, I can’t think of one. But think of how the whole people ends up repenting (or suffering) because of the sins of (say) King David.

          • Anton

            Daniel 9:4-20.

          • chefofsinners

            Daniel was repenting of sins which the people of his generation committed. To some extent he was also repenting for the sins of his ancestors, because his generation had repeated them.
            In choosing the nation of Israel for shared blessing God inevitably had to judge the nation as a whole if those blessings were to be removed. The church is not the same, having been taken out of every tribe and nation.

    • Martin

      Albert

      The sins are those of Rome which has departed even further from the gospel. It long ago lost its lampstand to those Evangelical churches in Rome.

      • Albert

        I think you’ll find it’s Protestants who have done that. Where are the women priests? Where is liberal homosexuality? Where are those who do not belief key articles of faith?

        • Martin

          Albert

          Those churches who have women and homosexuals in places of authority have, like Rome, departed the faith.

          • Albert

            Or have they, unlike Rome fallen into these errors because they have departed the faith?

          • Martin

            Albert

            They, like Rome, have fallen into error not knowing the gospel. Although their outward sin is different their hearts are the same.

          • Albert

            The gospel is not what you determine it to be.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Nor you or any other man. It is what the Bible declares it to be, a sovereign act of God. God gets to choose.

          • Albert

            Well there we are agreed. But what the Bible means is not determined by you or any other man, but by God himself.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Indeed, and that is why God gave His Spirit to every believer that they might all know His word.

          • Albert

            Quite so, and why that same Spirit was given to speak through the Church, the pillar and bulwark of the truth, to ensure that those who are unstable will not twist the scripture to their own destruction.

          • Martin

            Albert

            The Church is the assembled people of God, not an organisation, so the Holy Spirit speaks through Christians. Those who twist Scripture are those lacking the Holy Spirit, so those who aren’t truly Christians.

          • Albert

            The Church is a body, and a body is an organisation. Scripture says that not all prophesy and not all interpret, thus it is false to argue that those who twist scripture are lacking the Holy Spirit and are not truly Christians.

          • Martin

            Albert

            The Church is a body of people, all those who have been saved, not an organisation. And 1 Corinthians 12:10 is clearly referring to miraculous gifts, not the normal ability of the believer to understand Scripture by the Holy Spirit.

          • Albert

            The normal ability of the believer to understand scripture by the Holy Spirit is necessarily miraculous since it refers to the Holy Spirit not to natural power. Paul’s analogy of the body seems to include more than you are prepared to grant regarding the body as an organisation, as does his determination that him being an apostle gives him a certain position within the body of Christ. Moreover, in 1 Cor.12 when he says “First apostles, second prophets…” he is clearly describing some kind of order, that is, organisation.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I carefully distinguished between the miraculous gifts and the natural enhancement of the believer by reason of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

            No, I don’t see that Paul included more than I and since the apostles all died their office is no more. The order in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is clearly of miraculous gifts, those of which clearly ceased wih the death of the apostles.

          • Albert

            I carefully distinguished between the miraculous gifts and the natural enhancement of the believer by reason of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

            In which case, you are not talking about faith, and your point is irrelevant.

            No, I don’t see that Paul included more than I and since the apostles all died their office is no more.

            The issue is whether the Church in the NT is an organisation. Again, this point is irrelevant to that discussion.

            The order in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is clearly of miraculous gifts

            That’s obviously false from the list. It includes administrators. How can that be a miraculous supernatural office?

            So your post is back to front. To maintain your own prior position, you interpret faith as natural and administration as supernatural and miraculous.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I’m certainly talkng about the nature of those who are saved.

            The Church is, always has been and always will be, all believers. It is not a hierarchy.

            I don’t see administration there:

            Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
            (I Corinthians 12:4-11 [ESV])

            but could God not give such a gift if He chose?

          • Albert

            I’m certainly talkng about the nature of those who are saved.

            That may be true, but the issue is whether the authentic interpretation of scripture is a miraculous/supernatural one.

            I don’t see administration there:

            Apologies, the reference is to 1 Cor.12.29.

            but could God not give such a gift if He chose?

            Certainly, but then your position is tautological, in which case, scripture is not able to challenge your point even with evidence. But that is not a way of reading scripture, but of failing to read it.

            To be clear: interpretation of matters of faith requires supernatural grace. The order and organisation involved in 1 Cor.12.28-9 is not entirely miraculous. A body is an organism and an organism is an organisation. There’s no avoiding it.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Everything about being a Christian is supernatural.

            I’m afraid I don’t see any tautology, there is a difference between the special gifts, given to the Church in the time of the apostles which both validated and supported the Church when it was rapidly growing and the presence of the Holy Spirit in the one who God has saved. The Church is an organic whole but not an organisation in the terms you use.

          • Albert

            I have to say Martin that this has now become rather complicated as a thread! I think this: the Church was clearly organised – it’s a body and an organism. The list in 1 Cor. 12 includes clear organisational/structural elements. The gift necessary for a proper interpretation of scripture is supernatural and miraculous.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Then let me put it simply, the Church is the congregation of all those God has saved by grace alone through faith alone. It is not a hierarchy for each saint has direct and immediate access to God without the intervention of any man.

          • Albert

            There are several problems here. Firstly, I do not accept that sola fide can be the measure, since it isn’t in the Bible, despite what certain 16th Century writers claimed. Secondly, you position seems terribly individualist – very suitable for the world of today. It is clear that in one sense we have direct access to God as individuals, but never only as individuals. Christianity is a communal religion. It is only in union with others that we have union with God. And that implies some kind of hierarchy – as we see with the apostles.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Then what does:

            For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 [ESV])

            mean?

            Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 [ESV])

            Again and again Paul says it, throughout Romans

            Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2 [ESV])

            What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,
            Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
            and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.
            (Romans 9:30-33 [ESV])

            We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
            (Galatians 2:15-16 [ESV])

            It is clear that salvation is by faith alone. You are blinded by your tradition, enslaved to a belief that you must do something, that it is not enough that God does something. You insist on adding your works to God’s when your works are so feeble they could do nothing. You are the individualist, demanding to do something.

            Isn’t it strange how the apostles never created a hierarchy, there’s the local church and the elders/overseers in that church. Nothing about a pope, nothing about bishops over groups of churches. Victor tried to tell other churches when to celebrate Easter and got smacked down, so he clearly didn’t have much authority outside his own church.

            The saints do not have to go through a priest, a dead saint or even Mary, they have access all of their own through the Lord Jesus Christ who is their sole mediator. In meeting together they are called to encourage one another, not to simply watch as another approaches God on their behalf.

          • Albert

            The big problem is that you don’t understand Catholic teaching. You are told it is works righteousness as if we add something that is not of God. But that is not our doctrine at all. Once you understand that, the Bible opens itself up and the contradictions of your position disappear:

            Then what does:
            For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 [ESV])
            mean?

            It means what is says. The opposition is not with works, but with works of the law. The supreme example of which, according to scripture is circumcision. So you aren’t justified by becoming Jewish, being circumcised or any of that, or to deal with other passages, neither do we merit of our own accord God’s grace which justifies. We are justified by faith in Christ. That is, we are truly justified (made righteous) by faith. That is our doctrine. Simply to quote a scripture that says exactly that does not get you anywhere.

            It is clear that salvation is by faith alone.

            So which of these passages says we are justified by faith alone? I mean really says that – not that’s how Luther translated it because he couldn’t find the doctrine in scripture (indeed, even if one adds “alone” to Rom 3.28, it still wouldn’t give your doctrine, since the opposition is with works of the law, not works at all). As you well know, the only occasion scripture says “faith alone” is when it says we are not justified by faith alone. You are blinded by your tradition, enslaved to a belief that you need only to say “Lord, Lord” and not do what he says, and that God is not able to make you righteous by faith.

            You insist on adding your works to God’s when your works are so feeble they could do nothing.

            That is a lie, since it is not what we teach – although it may be what your preach say we teach.

            You are the individualist, demanding to do something.</i.

            No, you are individualistic, since it is all about your faith alone, and not about community, that is, faith working through love, as the scripture/Catholic position teaches.

            Isn’t it strange how the apostles never created a hierarchy

            The apostles were a hierarchy!

            there’s the local church and the elders/overseers in that church.

            And the apostle giving commands and exercising oversight.

            Nothing about a pope, nothing about bishops over groups of churches

            There’s Peter and the apostles.

            Victor tried to tell other churches when to celebrate Easter and got smacked down, so he clearly didn’t have much authority outside his own church.

            Yes, he received a storm of protest, but please cite me the passage that denies Victor had the authority to do so. The text gives arguments against his action, not against his authority to do the action. So your own example shows they accepted this kind of authority.

            The saints do not have to go through a priest, a dead saint or even Mary, they have access all of their own through the Lord Jesus Christ who is their sole mediator.

            It is individualistic to imagine we do that aside from our shared unity with the rest of the Church. You misunderstand, as usual, Catholic teaching here.

            In meeting together they are called to encourage one another, not to simply watch as another approaches God on their behalf.

            I assume you think this a description of Catholicism. It isn’t. Can you please tell the truth about those with whom you disagree?

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Good apologetic for Catholicism. I will not attack your church.

            However, I will add in response to your comments that in the NT Jewish community “works of the Law” were the ONLY works worth doing, so separating them from other good works is meaningless. Secondly, it is obvious from the Five Solas of the Reformation that none of them are truly “alone” or else there would not be five.

            – Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
            – Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
            – Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
            – Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“through Christ alone”)
            – Sola Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)

            Why did the reformers need to add the word ‘alone’ to each
            of these elements? How can any of them be ‘alone’ when there are five? It seems clear to me that the ‘alone’ is there for only one purpose— to exclude certain other options that were believed to be heretical. The solas are a sort of creed that helped the reformers stand firm in their doctrine and save souls. Thus we have: faith alone (versus ‘good’ works), scripture alone (versus other sources of knowledge), grace alone (versus anything we can do), Christ alone (versus any
            other authority, including the Church), and God’s glory alone (versus anyone or anything that would take credit for our salvation and sanctification– including the Church).

          • Albert

            Thank you Bruce.

            However, I will add in response to your comments that in the NT Jewish community “works of the Law” were the ONLY works worth doing, so separating them from other good works is meaningless.

            I’m not completely sure I follow the logic here. Whatever the Jews thought at the time, the simple fact is there are certain commandments we are expected to keep. No one thinks that, along with circumcision, we can ditch the commandment “thou shalt no kill” or that, because we no longer have to offer the OT sacrifices that therefore we can commit adultery. After all, the work par excellence of the NT is circumcision – which is not really a work at all as far as the baby is concerned, thus “works” as the NT uses the term is not so straightforwardly to be coterminous with moral works. Moreover, the distinction I was trying to make was about works prior to grace and faith and works which are caused by grace as a result of faith.

            I think you are quite right about the alones being in contrast to something else. The trouble is that with the two that really matter, scripture never sets up that opposition. Scripture alone is never really believed by anyone, since scripture alone is not found in scripture. Faith alone is not found in scripture except for when scripture condemns faith alone and not faith and works. Thus (returning to the previous paragraph), the teaching of Paul cannot be faith alone as opposed to faith and works, but faith alone as opposed to works outside of Christ (works of the law, works prior to grace). And this Paul clearly teaches when he says:

            For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

            work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

            I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. 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. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

            And this is clearly the teaching of the Lord himself for he says:

            You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. “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.’ “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand;
            and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

            And this is to say nothing of the sheep and the goats.

            In looking at the history of Catholicism, it is also clear that since 20th century, the RCC has continued to gradually move (in doctrine and dogma) ever more closer to the Reformation doctrines. You have proven that here. Thank you. Martin’s critique is a bit obsolete because he attacks what the RCC once was, and not what it is today (which you represent).

            Certainly a polemical situation polarises things and that does not help, but I think that Martin’s critique does not represent Catholic teaching ever. There was a problem though in the 16th Century, that everyone was working within a nominalist philosophical world-view and this distorted the relationship of the world to God, and made the true doctrine harder to present. But what I am giving here is simply, to the best of my ability, what you would find in St Thomas Aquinas for example. In other words, whereas the Catholic Church has altered the philosophical background to bring the doctrine into clearer focus, Protestantism (or at least Evangelicalism) alas remains mired in nominalism, which is a corrupt late-Medieval Catholic philosophical system which sets up oppositions that aren’t found in scripture and which can only be resolved by denying one or other horn of biblical teaching.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            If scripture is truly (as the Apostle Paul taught) “God-breathed” and reliably Holy Spirit inspired (2 Tim 3:16), then what other source of information or authority do humans have on earth that can come even close rivaling it? Thus, it stands alone.

            The way VI. puts it in the 39 Articles of Religion (Anglican):
            “Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or
            necessary to salvation.”

            John R.W. Stott: “The modern world detests authority but worships relevance. So to bracket these two words in relation to the Bible is to claim for it one quality (authority) which people fear it has but wish it had not, and another (relevance) which they fear it has not but wish it had. Our Christian conviction is that the Bible has both authority and relevance — to a degree quite extraordinary in so ancient a book — and that the secret of both is in Jesus Christ. Indeed, we should never think of Christ and the Bible apart . ‘The Scriptures … bear witness to me,’ he said (Jn. 5:39), and in so saying also bore his witness to them. This reciprocal testimony between the living Word and the written Word is the clue to our Christian understanding of the Bible. For his testimony to it assures us of its authority, and its testimony to him of its relevance. The authority and the relevance are his. “

          • Albert

            If scripture is truly (as the Apostle Paul taught) “God-breathed” and reliably Holy Spirit inspired (2 Tim 3:16), then what other source of information or authority do humans have on earth that can come even close to rivaling it? Thus, it stands alone.

            This argument is faulty. The fact that scripture is God-breathed, does not mean that there is no other authority, so the conclusion seems to be assumed and not demonstrated. After all, we only need to look at scripture itself to see the problem. Firstly, Jesus himself is the authority, but Jesus is not scripture. Scripture is authoritative because it authentically speaks of Christ. But to acknowledge that is not to say there is nothing else that authentically speaks of Christ. For example, we read in scripture itself:

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

            And this seems obvious. Christ wrote nothing. He founded a community. The revelation is not a text first and foremost, but a person, a person who has provided witnesses to himself. In first instance that witness was the community that first practised and preached the message and then wrote. The scripture is inspired because it came from those authoritative witnesses, and so, as Paul says, what they taught by word of mouth was also authoritative. Thus your argument simply assumes the point you want to prove, and this is evident from the fact that it only has one premise: Scripture is truly God-breathed and inspired. We agree on that. It’s the second premise that needs stating and I really cannot see that you have done that.

            As well as there being apostolic tradition, which scripture teaches is authoritative and to be followed, we also have the issue of interpretation. One of the bigger problems with Evangelicalism is that every interpreter conflates his reading of scripture with scripture itself. Indeed this attitude is so rampant that anyone who offers a reading which is contrary to Evangelical tradition is regarded as in error and possibly not a Christian. But from here it is evident that it is Evangelical tradition that is in the driving seat as the authenticator of interpretation, not the scripture itself. But your point is to say that no such authority exists. But in fact such an authority must exist. For scripture is not so easily interpreted. As scripture says:

            So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
            speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

            So it seems to me that there are three problems here. You make two claims:

            Sola fide
            sola scriptura

            and to this last one there is an implicit claim:

            the perspicuity of scripture

            But while you cannot provide explicit scripture to defend each claim, it is possible to find passages that deny them. In a sense, I find Evangelicalism (a tradition I much respect, whatever arguments there are) reminds me of Jeremiah 7.4:

            Do not trust in these deceptive words: `This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’

            Except that you say “this is the scripture, this is the scripture, this is the scripture”, when it isn’t.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8, NKJV)
            “Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89, NAS)

            Albert. all you are doing is trying (in error) to diminish the authority of Scripture. You can address this to God Himself, who is the ultimate Author of the scriptures (through the prophets and the apostles). “And we have the words of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21, cf. Isaiah 55:8-11)

            The Word-of-God-written is only second to the Word-of-God-made-flesh (Jesus Christ) because He has endorsed that word and they are intimately connected, even as this title given to Jesus by the Holy Spirit through John indicates. If you diminish the one, you diminish the other. The words of Jesus are reliably recorded nowhere else; words like these:
            “It is written: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3, quoted by Jesus in Matthew 4:4)
            “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, NIV)
            “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”
            (Jesus speaking, John 6:63, NIV)
            Jesus said that He spoke nothing but what was given Him by the Father– therefore His words are authoritative far above all other possible authorities. And where else are you going to find the words of Jesus except enshrined forever in the NT.

            Words matter. The Word of God (both made flesh and written) cause all other authorities to become null and void if they attempt to counter the divine Word. The church and all traditions are infallible because of the influence of the world, the flesh, and the devil. But God has protected His own words so that the Truth would be clear and so that His gospel would eventually spread to the entire earth.

          • Albert

            all you are doing is trying (in error) to diminish the authority of Scripture.

            That’s a classic Protestant misrepresentation. I am trying to release scripture of being subordinate to the misinterpretation of unstable individuals who twist scripture to their own destruction. How can pointing out that scripture acknowledges other authorities and raises questions about individual interpretation be to diminish the authority of scripture? It is those who deny this scriptural teaching, so as to maintain their own authority over scripture (i.e. Evangelical tradition) who do that.

            You then go on to quote a rather interesting passage:

            Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

            This is a fascinating case in point. For, as plenty of authorities believe, a better translation is First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες ὅτι πᾶσα προφητεία γραφῆς ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως οὐ γίνεται)

            Now the RSV version which I gave is surely to be preferred, for a number of reasons, not least the fact that verse 21a is presented as an explanation of v.20, but on your reading it is simply a re-statement and not an explanation as indicated. Moreover, if ἐπιλύσεως is taken in your sense then there is no object given for it to refer to. Also the RSV makes sense of 3.16. Thus, far from supporting your own position, the passage you have chosen actually supports mine. And notice, there is no problem for the Catholic of your interpretation – we believe that anyway. But my interpretation is surely deadly for the Evangelical. So your position relies on scripture being unclear, but nevertheless teaches your position. But, by virtue of being unclear it vitiates the very point you wish to make: that scripture is clear.

            The Word-of-God-written is second only to the “Word-of-God-made-flesh” (Jesus Christ) because Jesus has either spoken or endorsed that word— they are intimately connected.

            Do you mean that the preaching of the apostles is of less authority than their letters?

            If you diminish the one, you diminish the other.

            You keep rushing towards conclusions for which you have not argued. The issue here is not whether the word of God is diminished, but whether the word of God is to be found only in the text and in Christ. It is evident from scripture that the word of God takes three forms: Christ (John 1), preaching (e.g. Acts 6.2 but there are loads of passages) and scripture (Revelation 1.19). Now to acknowledge this, is not to diminish scripture – it’s what scripture says!

            The words of Jesus are reliably recorded nowhere else

            That may be true, but it is not said in scripture and we do know from scripture that Jesus said more than is recorded in scripture (John 21.25).

            “It is written: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3, quoted by Jesus in Matthew 4:4)

            For the second time you quote a scripture that can so easily be used against you. For in the temptations, Satan quotes scripture, thereby showing that quoting scripture is not enough (recall my previous post: saying “this is the scripture, this is the scripture, this is the scripture” is no more effective than saying “This is the Temple of the Lord”). It is not scripture in the end that settles matters for there are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction. What matters then is Jesus’ interpretation of scripture, for no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. You see how beautifully coherent it all is if you only get rid of your Evangelicalism.

            “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, NIV)
            “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”

            Again, how exactly is this supposed to undermine my position? But since you wish to speak of words and spirit, you seem to have forgotten 2 Cor.3.6: the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.

            Jesus said that He spoke nothing but what was given Him by the Father– therefore His words are authoritative far above all other possible authorities. And where else are you going to find the words of Jesus except enshrined forever in the NT?

            This is all rather superficial. Surely, Jesus and the apostles shaped the early Church by their example, by their tone of voice, by the things they did and the things they didn’t do, by things which we do not now hear, but which nevertheless shaped the church from the beginning. It’s a bit binary to exclude all that, and, if you will excuse me saying so, shows a lack of faith in the work the Holy Spirit who lead us into all truth, for Christ is with us always, even to the end of time. As Paul says, we are to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God. Scripture discloses realities to us, and it is in communion with those realities that we come to that length and depth – otherwise the interpretation of scripture is reduced to mere logic ( a position that makes no sense of the form of scripture or of that passage of Ephesians).

            Words matter. The Creation was created with them. The Word-of-God-made-flesh causes all other authorities to become null and void if they attempt to counter His divine Word.

            But here’s the thing. I gave a number of scriptures in my previous post which you have not replied to, but, as far as I can see, in the absence of a defence from you, have simply attempted to counter. Your tradition, in a self-referentially incoherent way, teaches you to follow its own interpretation of scripture against what scripture actually says about tradition and the Holy Spirit.

            The church and all traditions are faulty because of the influence of the fallen world, flesh, and devil.

            Hang on a minute, you said before that the Church is God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth and I pointed out that it is also the fullness of him who fills all in all. Now to then say the church is faulty (with the peculiar assumption that your own interpretation is not faulty) without any nuance at all is rather confusing. And if all tradition is faulty, what about the tradition to which Paul refers repeatedly? And for that matter, what about the tradition of the list of the canon of scripture (for the list of the canon of scripture is not inspired)? You’re cutting off the branch you are sitting on.

            But our omnipotent God has protected His own words in scripture so that the Truth would be clear and so that His gospel would eventually spread over the entire earth.

            Yes, but the scripture says that that clarity is not found in scripture. Therefore, it must be found somewhere else.

            Perhaps you don’t know my background. I was a Protestant for most of my life. I gained both my Theology degrees as a Protestant. I lost confidence in Protestantism because I came to see it wasn’t biblical. I have studied sola fide and sola scriptura. They ain’t in the Bible – and the more one understands Catholic teaching and biblical teaching the more it is evident that these are the product of the 16th Century. I also recognised through a careful study of the history of the doctrine of the incarnation that without tradition you just don’t get Trinity and incarnation with anything like the certitude required for faith. Thus I realised that Protestantism is at its best when it follows Catholic tradition, thus does it encounter the realities authentically disclosed in scripture.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            When a committed Reformed/evangelical Christian debates theology with a committed Roman Catholic, you can be sure one thing will happen— neither will change their minds. So this is not about me and thee, but about any who may be reading our little debate. But then, perhaps no one is interested.

            However, if there are any readers here who are still pondering this issue, I think I have been clear and
            thorough enough showing that the authority of scripture is necessarily greater than the authority of the church (as Anglican Article VI asserts), and you Albert
            have also had your say. I need to move on. I wish you a great 2017.

          • Albert

            When a committed Reformed/evangelical Christian debates theology with a committed Roman Catholic, you can be sure one thing will happen— neither will change their minds. So this is not about me and thee, but about any who may be reading our little debate. But then, perhaps no one is interested.

            I agree!

            I think I have been clear and thorough enough showing that the authority of scripture is necessarily greater than the authority of the church (as Anglican Article VI asserts)

            I agree that that is so, but I also believe that as part of my faith. This is the heart of the problem: what a Protestant thinks a Catholic believes and what a Catholic believes are two completely different things. In fact, to become a Catholic, I found ultimately that all I needed was to understand Catholicism as it understands itself (rather than as it had me misrepresented to me) and it made sense.

            To be clear: the Church is under scripture, the authority of bishops and popes is less than scripture. The issue is whether your interpretation of scripture is superior to the interpretation of the Church guided by her tradition. Apostolic tradition is equal to scripture (for the apostles are simply authoritative whether or not they are writing), but the precise elements of that tradition are now unclear. But we know that that tradition shaped the Church. We know also that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, whereas is scripture warns against individual interpretation.

            So in the end, the issue is not scripture vs Church, but the Church’s interpretation of scripture vs the individual’s interpretation of scripture. And until the Evangelical uses scripture to defend the authority of his individual interpretation of scripture against the authority of the Church’s interpretation, the Catholic will continue to regard the principle problem of Evangelicalism as being the fact that it isn’t biblical, despite the fact that, the Evangelical keeps saying: “this is the scripture, this is the scripture, this is the scripture”, (when it isn’t).

            I wish you a great year too and a blessed Sunday.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Thanks! One last point to underline and put in bold.
            As a psychologist (as well as sometime theologian), I know well that we human beings must interpret everything we hear and read; we cannot avoid this process if we are to understand anything. Therefore, there is no avoiding having to interpret whatever authority you trust (e.g., you still must interpret “the Church’s interpretation of scripture”). So if you are going to accept (and try to understand) church doctrines, why not go to the original source of those doctrines? Either way, you must do some individual, personal interpreting.

            http://www.virtueonline.org/basic-guide-bible-interpretation-part-iii-humbled-facts-interpretive-process
            http://www.virtueonline.org/scripture-and-church-issue-authority-interpretation-scripture

          • Albert

            Thank you. I think a major issue here is that although it is true that we have to interpret everything, the key issue question is What is the context of interpretation? We always interpret as part of a wider community, and this context affects the nature of our interpretation. Thus key to correct interpretation of scripture is belonging to the correct community. This is why the Lord did not simply give us the Bible (like the Qur’an), but came among us as man and established the Church as the community in communion with him.

            So when you ask So if you are going to accept (and try to understand) church doctrines, why not go to the original source of those doctrines? your question is not as straight forward as it appears. The original source of the doctrines is not in fact the NT. The Church already knew her faith prior to anything being written down, let alone canonised. We do not learn our faith from scripture as if we are starting from scratch therefore.

            Thus I think Protestantism has radically deformed the nature of individual’s relationship with revelation and this deformation is the source of the all the division and confusion that, contrary to scripture (1 Cor.14.33), is the mark of Protestantism.

            The individual is not to approach scripture as an individual, but to approach the Church as an individual. Then, as a member of that community, is given the community of interpretation within which scripture is known. Notice that Paul does not say “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the text of scripture. Rather he says: “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. The community that has the mind of Christ, has authentic interpretation of scripture, it is thus in that communion that we approach scripture.

            Now in one of your pieces (which I enjoyed BTW), you make mention of consensus. But this is a tricky concept, for who is included in consensus? Has there been a consensus on say the homoousios? I would say yes, because an Arian is outside of the Church. But he would say that he is not outside of the Church and so there is no consensus and thus the doctrine of the Trinity is suspect (more suspect than homosexuality – the example you give). But that does not make sense. So here is the problem, how do we tell the difference between legitimate diversity within the Church (i.e. there is no consensus on this matter, therefore, it is a matter of freedom and conscience) and disagreement putting someone outside of the Church? You may appeal to scripture, but it is the correct interpretation of scripture that is the matter under examination, so that won’t do.

            Consequently, on your model, we are in no position to know where that community is. We cannot establish it by consensus, but neither can we establish it by scripture, for, as I have pointed out, the interpretation of scripture assumes we are already part of the community. So what then? We do what they did in the NT, we join the apostolic Church, and then the words Paul addressed to the Ephesians can apply to us:

            that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            After a wonderful time worshiping in the local ACNA church and digesting an excellent homily on the Beatitudes, I am rejuvenated. I thought I was done here, but I guess not. I also keep expecting the comment section to close.

            Albert, I think perhaps we are coming closer together– a slight bit.
            Of course our “faith community” matters and that this
            community context will affect (even bias) our interpretations. We cannot receive the Gospel until someone presents it to us. This has been God’s plan from the beginning. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”(Romans 10:14, NKJV). However, a few people first came to belief through written material alone (the Bible itself, the BCP, or some evangelistic writing that explained the Gospel). But even that material is connected to a Christian community; believers wrote and published it and made sure it was available to the reader. I think so far we agree.

            Even if we grew up in a faith community, we still, as adults, must choose which individual church or denomination we will trust to be our (secondary) authority. We have to take responsibility for which church we choose and which doctrines we support. There are many church organizations clamoring for our attention, our trust, our membership, and yes, our money.
            Our choice of faith communities goes back to our personal interpretations— even before we choose we must interpret and trust (or distrust) those who present their faith to us. It is my prayer of course that the Holy Spirit guide both my interpretations and my choices.

            But the question here is about authority. .. When
            I see so many churches in conflict and bishops within churches in serious disagreement with each other, with both sides proclaiming their submission to Christ and to reason and tradition, how are we to decide who is correct? Each of us is responsible to examine what they say and compare it with traditional doctrines and to the scriptures themselves.

            But what if the ‘traditional’ doctrines differ (such as with Orthodox, Catholic, and Reformed perspectives) on the issue at hand? Then we must listen to each side’s argument— but
            ultimately we must take the question to God, that is, prayerfully examining the scriptures themselves.
            If we have already chosen a church ‘authority’, then we will tend to accept its opinion on issues uncritically. We may trust these leaders over other sources of authority, including our own reasoning capacity and possibly even over the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Of course, we should not be naïve nor overly proud of our church— there is no guarantee that the secondary authorities whom we choose are not in serious error. They may not be the Lord’s choice for us at all (like the example of some of my family members who still trust
            the apostate Episcopal Church and its heretic bishops).

            The bottom line for me is that I must submit personally to the Lord for His guidance in my choices of lesser authorities, and I must always trust the witness of scripture itself when there is a serious disagreement between these authorities. I will someday come before the Lord Himself to answer for my choices, not to some archbishop or other church leader; like
            me, they too will be judged, they too are fallible.

          • Albert

            Thank you.

            However, a few people first came to belief through written material alone (the Bible itself, the BCP, or some evangelistic writing that explained the Gospel). But even that material is connected to a Christian community; believers wrote and published it and made sure it was available to the reader. I think so far we agree.

            I don’t agree that they intended scripture to be read outside of the community and I don’t think that that works. It seems to me that what you are doing is giving a different shape from the NT to the way we approach revelation: finding the revelation in scripture, rather than receiving it from the community. I but I also don’t think that approach works, because, as you put it: Of course our “faith community” matters and that this community context will affect (even bias) our interpretations.

            Thus I am puzzled, you seem to offer a model which (a) is different from the NT pattern (We cannot receive the Gospel until someone presents it to us. This has been God’s plan from the beginning. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”) but also one which (b) does not work our “faith community” matters and that this community context will affect (even bias) our interpretations Why opt for something that is contrary to scripture and which does not work?

            Underlying this is what I think is an error of logic. You and I hold that scripture is prior in authority to the Church. But that does not mean that therefore our grasp of scripture is, in our experience, to be prior to the Church, as if we can understand scripture and then choose our denomination on the basis of our understanding of scripture. This does not work and is not the NT pattern. It is sometimes the case that something can be logically prior (e.g. in terms of authority) but received secondarily (e.g. in terms of our experience). For example, God predestines some to salvation and he therefore provides the grace for that. Logically, the predestination to salvation is prior to grace. But in our experience, it is the opposite: we experience grace and then the salvation to which we have been predestined. So I think it is important not to trip up logically here.

            And this it seems to me is the heart of the problem of Protestantism. By making a fallacious logical move, the Protestant has disordered the experience of revelation, so that the Church and scripture are set in opposition. Whereas what is actually set in opposition is the individual’s biased interpretation of scripture against the authentic teaching of the Church. Every heretic has ultimately rested on the same error, but Protestantism has turned the error into a system, and made it the foundation of everything else.

            So I return to the original point, we cannot authentically interpret scripture outside of the authentic community and we should not do so, because (apart from the error of so doing) it is contrary to the scriptural shape to do so.

            Have a good day!

          • Bruce Atkinson

            I agree that the Church and Scripture should never be in opposition. But it frequently does occur for the simple reason that churches (human and their leaders) oft go astray from the Truth into heterodoxies, heresies, and abuses. Read the letters in Revelation from our Lord (through John) to the churches in Asia. Five of the seven are roundly criticized. No actual church is without goats and wolves in sheep’s clothing. The tares are mixed in with the wheat, and they are at times led astray. Churches must stay in the Word … closely, or else human sin and fallibility will corrupt them.

          • Albert

            I agree that the Church and Scripture should never be in opposition. But it frequently does occur for the simple reason that churches (human beings and their leaders) oft go astray from the Truth into heterodoxies, heresies, and abuses. Read the letters in Revelation from our Lord (through John) to the churches in Asia.

            How do you know which are today? It cannot be by appealing to scripture for the reasons given. It cannot be by appealing to consensus for the reasons given.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Appealing to scripture is ALWAYS appropriate. The reasons against it provided by you are totally inadequate.

            John R.W. Stott: “We take our stand on the divine origin of the Bible because we believe the Bible itself requires us to do so. Indeed, it is a strange fact that theologians who are prepared to accept the biblical doctrine of God, of Christ, of the Holy Spirit, of man and of the church, are often not willing to accept the biblical doctrine of Scripture. But…if the Bible is authoritative and
            accurate when speaking about other matters, there is no reason why it should not be equally so when speaking about itself.”
            For example: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful
            for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
            (2 Timothy 3:16) God-breathed!

          • Albert

            Appealing to scripture is ALWAYS appropriate.

            What, even when the devil did so in the temptations? Even when the Dutch Reformed Church did so to defend apartheid? Even when Luther did so to defend his unusually vicious anti-Semitism? Always?

            In any case, I never gave an argument against appealing to scripture, I gave an argument for the context in which scripture is to be encountered if its message is to be grasped. Please, please, please get out of your heard that, as a Catholic, I must actually be trying to undermine scripture. Nothing I have said entitles you to that position. Rather everything I am saying is about getting to the authentic meaning of scripture.

            No one is denying the authenticity or authority of scripture. Rather we follow scripture is denying the automatic authenticity and authority of an individual’s interpretation of scripture.

            I don’t suppose there’s any chance you might address the arguments and passages I have actually given, is there?

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Don’t be an idiot, please. Everyone knows that you can misuse what is good and true if your motives are evil. But for anyone who is truly looking seeking the truth about a spiritual matter, appealing to the whole counsel of scripture (not just one passage) is ALWAYS appropriate.

          • Albert

            But for anyone who is truly looking seeking the truth about a spiritual matter, appealing to the whole counsel of scripture (not just one passage) is ALWAYS appropriate. I should not have had to explain this; I figured for an intelligent person it would have been understood. I guess I was wrong.

            This becoming abusive – and yet, as will become clear, it is you that is misunderstanding. Earlier you said this:

            When a committed Reformed/evangelical Christian debates theology with a committed Roman Catholic, you can be sure one thing will happen— neither will change their minds.

            Now why will neither change their minds? Cannot we simply appeal to scripture to change minds? We can appeal to scripture, but where it is the interpretation of scripture that is at stake, we cannot appeal to scripture to change minds, because that is the veryt thing under discussion! I’ll be perfectly honest, I think that the two solas under discussion are utterly implausible. However, I do not think that Evangelicals are dishonest. I think scripture is simply not the tool for changing minds, because, as I have argued already, we are not supposed to encounter the scripture nakedly, as it were, but rather within a community. But if I simply read the Bible, I don’t think either sola is plausible. I thought that long before I had any inclination of becoming a Catholic.

            No, sorry, Albert, in my view these arguments are trivial ‘exceptions to the rule’ and you are now just looking to argue for arguments’ sake.

            Not at all. You made an absolute claim, and even emphasised it:

            Appealing to scripture is ALWAYS appropriate.

            Now you’ve admitted that is not in fact true:

            Everyone knows that you can misuse what is good and true if your motives are evil.

            So to appeal to scripture for evil is not appropriate and your statement was false, yet you still find fault with me for pointing out what you accept.

            But now that we realise that it is not always appropriate to appeal to scripture, we can discuss when appealing to scripture actually works. And here the examples are not trivial. The JW or socinian who denies the Trinity is not trivial and a better case can be made than one might expect. The Catholic and Protestant who are arguing over the Eucharist or justification, these are not trivial, and although each person struggles to believe the other cannot see his point of view is right, there is a genuine difference between them. In all these cases, it is appropriate to appeal to scripture, but it will not be final in the debate, for it is the interpretation of scripture, not the authority of scripture that is causing the difference.

            Now you still don’t address the other exegetical arguments, together with those which touch the philosophy of interpretation. This is curious because, in the latter case, you have more or less agreed with my position, but you seem unable to defend your position in the light of that agreement. Curious.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Albert,
            Again arguing for arguments’ sake. Readers know what I mean without my having to explain every word.

            Paul in his letters to Timothy warns against an “unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words” (1 Tim 6:4). In his second letter, Paul writes: “Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:14-15). So I am done interacting with you and am content to let God Himself judge.

          • Albert

            You seem pretty convinced you can judge my conscience. I am not arguing for arguments’ sake. I am taking your argument step by step. But actually, what I am offering here is a fairly standard argument. If you can’t defend your position against it, perhaps it’s your position that needs to change. I can keep going with reason and evidence, but you have, rather quickly I might add, resorted to viciousness.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Viciousness? Now what have I written that is vicious? That I am done interacting with you? You might consider that mercy (it is for me!).

          • Albert

            Viciousness? Now what have I written that is vicious?

            Well let’s see. This is what you have written:

            I should not have had to explain this; I figured for an intelligent person it would have been understood. I guess I was wrong.

            No, sorry, Albert, in my view these arguments are trivial ‘exceptions to the rule’ and you are now just looking to argue for arguments’ sake. I refuse to elevate these arguments with an answer.

            And then you have brought down a load of biblical passages by which to judge me. The only thing I can say from this is that either you think I am thick or you think I am dishonest. It never seems to occur to you that perhaps you are missing the point I am making, or for that matter, that there might be passages that could be brought against your behaviour.

            You said: Appealing to scripture is ALWAYS appropriate

            Now that has great rhetorical force. The Protestant reader thinks “Obviously, that’s true. Typical Catholic trying to reduce the authority of scripture.” And in case he doesn’t pick that up, you made the point for him with your quotation from Stott. But the issue here is not about the authority of scripture, or for that matter the appropriateness of appealing to scripture. The issue is whether appealing to scripture resolves a sincere argument about the interpretation of scripture.

            So my first move was to critique your statement and show it to be false, despite its rhetorical force. Then we are able to open up the discussion of how scripture is used. Suddenly you fly off the handle. But I am not being obscure or unreasonable. This is the very heart of the discussion – if you can’t see that, then I doubt whether your Evangelicalism can be defended.

            That I am done interacting with you? You might consider that mercy (it is for me!).

            Perhaps it is mercy for you. But it’s hardly merciful to me. You have repeatedly mocked me. And yet your arguments are talking past me. Why especially should I feel it a mercy if you stop? Am I supposed to be afraid of you? Why? Your arguments are off-target and therefore you resort to ad hominem. I don’t find you at all threatening. Do you think I should?

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Wow. “Thou dost protest too much, methinks.” What a long defense.
            Are you that thin-skinned and sensitive to call my words vicious? IF I had questioned your Christian faith, if I had I called you a fool or used crude language, then you would have had a valid argument. Look back on your comments to me and see if you are not ignoring the stick in your own eye (even in your last post). I am not the one who accused YOU of ‘resorting to viciousness.’

          • Albert

            Are you that thin-skinned and sensitive to call my words vicious?

            Not in the slightest. You don’t actually think I am upset by your behaviour do you? There’s far worse that goes on down here. My point is to flag up the quality of your argumentation: you abuse instead of argue. The long defence was about trying to get clarity on the issues: my argument is not about the authority of scripture, but about whether scripture can resolve certain kinds of arguments.

            I am not the one who accused YOU of ‘resorting to viciousness.’

            Of course not, because I am not the one who has insinuated you are unintelligent or dishonest. What has happened here is what so often happens when arguing with Evangelicals. As soon as the argument gets too close to the bone, the Evangelical starts arguing about the argument (while saying he has not the time for the argument). Given the quality of your earlier posts, I am surprised at how quickly you fell into this trap.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            YOUR trap. I have learned a lesson here.

          • Albert

            It was not my trap at all – my surprise here is sincere. We were having what I thought was quite a good conversation. Suddenly, rather than address the issues you become abusive. In my experience people become abusive in discussions because they can’t respond to the argument but can’t back down either. I don’t know if that is what has happened here.

          • Martin

            Albert

            If you add anything to God’s grace, be it baptism, mass, anything at all, then it is works righteousness. If you say that, by their acts, a Christian can lose their salvation, what you are preaching is works righteousness, righteousness based on the law. You can only hold that position while you ignore those parts of Scripture that contradict your position.

            All works are works of the law, it includes baptism and the mass. Romans 3:28 says that we are justified by faith alone.

            The apostles were not a hierarchy, they were temporary. Paul only intervenes when a church is going seriously wrong or when asked a question. It is clear that Peter was not the leader, his failure over the Judaisers makes that abundantly plain.

            Equally, rather a lot of Christians didn’t think that Victor had the right to decree how Easter would be calculated, else they’d have complied. There was no pope, or rather every bishop was a pope.

            It isn’t individualistic to be doing what we are told and going to Jesus rather than some human. If your service is a priest down at the altar where his muttered words can barely be heard by the congregation it isn’t a shared unity is it.

          • Albert

            If you add anything to God’s grace, be it baptism, mass, anything at all, then it is works righteousness.

            I’m not adding these to God’s grace. I am saying these are God’s grace.

            If you say that, by their acts, a Christian can lose their salvation, what you are preaching is works righteousness, righteousness based on the law.

            There seems to be a logic hidden here. I can only point to the occasions when scripture warns Christians against falling away.

            All works are works of the law, it includes baptism and the mass.

            Not so.

            Romans 3:28 says that we are justified by faith alone.

            In Luther’s deliberately false translation, but the inspired text does not say that.

            The apostles were not a hierarchy, they were temporary.

            The apostles were clearly a hierarchy, and while their precise office was temporary, some of their authority was handed on.

            Paul only intervenes when a church is going seriously wrong or when asked a question.

            Then he sets a good example for a modern bishop.

            It is clear that Peter was not the leader, his failure over the Judaisers makes that abundantly plain.

            The fact that some rejected his authority does not mean he was not a leader any more than the fact that some rejected Paul’s authority means he was not an apostle.

            Equally, rather a lot of Christians didn’t think that Victor had the right to decree how Easter would be calculated, else they’d have complied.

            That doesn’t follow. Even now Catholics are permitted to protest and challenge a practical decision they think is wrong.

            It isn’t individualistic to be doing what we are told and going to Jesus rather than some human.

            And so you persist in misrepresenting us.

            If your service is a priest down at the altar where his muttered words can barely be heard by the congregation it isn’t a shared unity is it.

            If you think unity is something we create by our works towards each other (as you apparently think) then no. But if you think our unity is something Christ creates by grace then yes it is shared unity.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are acts of obedience, there fore works, nothing more.

            That Scripture warns against falling away is the same as it points to the danger of false conversion, salvation must be sure. That doesn’t mean anyone can be lost.

            For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 [ESV])

            Clearly the word ‘apart’ means that it is faith alone. Religious observances have already been discounted.

            No, the apostles weren’t a hierarchy, and their authority passed on to the Bible, their inspired words.

            Seems to me that modern bishops, such as the pope, do not follow Paul’s example of developing from Scripture. In any case, a bishop, aka overseer, only has authority in his own local congregation.

            Peter failed as a leader. Not that he’s ever been given such a role.

            Victor was criticised by trying to persuade people to follow his lead and excommunicating them when they didn’t. It wasn’t a case of protesting, it was a case of rejecting his claimed authority.

            Unity is gained by believing the same things, by being saved by grace.

          • Albert

            Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are acts of obedience, there fore works, nothing more.

            So anything in scripture that might teach or imply we get grace through these things is just false?

            That Scripture warns against falling away is the same as it points to the danger of false conversion, salvation must be sure. That doesn’t mean anyone can be lost.

            May be, may be not. I would say that if that is what scripture means, it isn’t clear. And that unclarity is a problem for you, not me.

            Clearly the word ‘apart’ means that it is faith alone.

            No it means one is justified by faith apart from works of the law, which is what it says and what we still teach. Have you noticed how often, as a Catholic I can just quote scripture, but you always have to explain why it hasn’t quite said what it means?

            No, the apostles weren’t a hierarchy, and their authority passed on to the Bible, their inspired words.

            The apostles were a hierarchy since they have authority that others do not have (e.g. 2 Thess.3.12). I have no difficulty in saying their authority partly passed on to the scripture – although I think it is unbiblical to single out their written words and ignore their spoken words, as scripture says (2 Thess 2.15).

            Seems to me that modern bishops, such as the pope, do not follow Paul’s example of developing from Scripture.

            I don’t know what this means.

            In any case, a bishop, aka overseer, only has authority in his own local congregation.

            That is true of every bishop in the first instance (except the Pope).

            Victor was criticised by trying to persuade people to follow his lead and excommunicating them when they didn’t. It wasn’t a case of protesting, it was a case of rejecting his claimed authority.

            The source of this claim is where?

            Unity is gained by believing the same things, by being saved by grace.

            Agreed!

          • Martin

            Albert

            Any act of obedience brings blessing, and hence grace on the believer. And that Scripture says that the believer cannot be lost is abundantly clear,

            My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
            (John 10:27-30 [ESV])

            hence those ‘falling away’ cannot be believers but those whose hadn’t been truly saved in the first place.

            That we are justified by faith apart from the works of the law means that nothing, apart from faith, saves us. It is quite clear, it needed no explaining away. And did you notice how Jesus is absolutely clear that none of His will be lost?

            We do not have the apostles words, they are dead, all we have is their written words. Their spoken words were written down for us. They were not a hierarchy because they had a mission to go our and proclaim, not sit on thrones wearing funny hats and clothes. Your hierarchy has more to do with paganism than anything Christian and, if they ever had them, would long ago have corrupted the words of the apostles by your traditions of men.

            Of course you don’t know what it means, you ignore Scripture and place your traditions above Scripture.

            The ‘pope’ is only a bishop, that is a elder/overseer and hence his authority only applies to his local congregation according to the Bible’s definition. Likewise, according to the Bible, your bishops have no right to preside over congregations other than the one they attend, they may not claim over more than that single congregation in a single place.

            That Victor was rebuked is a fact of history, he caused division among Christians by his arrogance.

          • Albert

            We’ve been through Jn 10 before. It need say only that the predestined will never fall away.

            That we are justified by faith apart from the works of the law means that nothing, apart from faith, saves us.

            No it doesn’t. It could mean that good works outside of the law are required, or it could mean that no good works are required before faith and grace, but afterwards they are.

            They were not a hierarchy because they had a mission to go our and proclaim, not sit on thrones wearing funny hats and clothes.

            It is not necessary to a hierarchy that they not be on a mission, but they must sit on thrones wearing funny hats and clothes.

            Of course you don’t know what it means, you ignore Scripture and place your traditions above Scripture.

            The ‘pope’ is only a bishop, that is a elder/overseer and hence his authority only applies to his local congregation according to the Bible’s definition.

            Where is this definition?

            That Victor was rebuked is a fact of history, he caused division among Christians by his arrogance.

            All of which may well be true, but that is not the point you were making. I asked for evidence of that point and none is forthcoming. Since you cannot defend your points, why should I accept your other points?

          • Martin

            Albert

            The predestined are those who will be saved. They will never fall away.

            The law covers all good works, there are none outside the law. After someone believes by faith they are saved, eternally, and their works are acts of love which do not affect their salvation.

            Can you show me, from Scripture, how a single man is to rule over a local church, or how another man can rule over a group of such local churches, or how a man should rule many such and take the pagan title Pontifex Maximus?

            Here is the definition of elder/overseer:

            This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
            (Titus 1:5-9 [ESV])

            You will see, it says to appoint elders, not an elder.

            It is quite clear from history, that the others did not accept Victor as their leader, Peter’s successor. My point is made but you will ignore it.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Yes. Jesus was clear about how the leaders of His Church were to lead.

            Mark 10:42-44: “And Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.”

            These words of Jesus mean the same thing in every translation, but the early Church ignored them, both eastern and western branches.

          • Albert

            The predestined are those who will be saved. They will never fall away.

            Fine, but the issue is whether those who have faith are certainly among the predestined.

            The law covers all good works, there are none outside the law.

            How do you know this and why does Paul warn us to avoid certain sins because if we commit them we will never enter heaven?

            After someone believes by faith they are saved, eternally, and their works are acts of love which do not affect their salvation.

            I can think of many passages to contradict that.

            Can you show me, from Scripture, how a single man is to rule over a local church, or how another man can rule over a group of such local churches,

            It’s how the apostles operated, and when, giving authority in the Pastorals expected Timothy and Titus to operate.

            or how a man should rule many such and take the pagan title Pontifex Maximus?

            I get that you don’t like the word, but that is not a reason to dislike the role.

            You will see, it says to appoint elders, not an elder.

            It’s addressed to Titus who then appoints elders in various towns. Doh!

            It is quite clear from history, that the others did not accept Victor as their leader, Peter’s successor. My point is made but you will ignore it.

            I have repeatedly asked you for evidence and you will not give it.

          • Martin

            Albert

            By definition, those that are predestined are those to whom God gives faith. Anyone who isn’t predestined does not receive faith and is not saved.

            Since the law amounts to:

            Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
            (Matthew 22:36-40 [ESV])

            what was it that you were imagining was outside the law?

            Any sin, for those unsaved, prevents entry to Heaven, but all those who are saved will enter Heaven.

            The apostles didn’t rule over individual churches and when they died their authority passed to the Bible, there are no successors to the apostles.

            The term Pontifex Maximus was the title of the pagan high priest of Rome. Tertullian mocked the Roman bishop of his day for claiming authority over the whole Church by using that term of him. The popes have been continually guilty of pride. It was pride that caused Victor so much trouble over the date of Easter. He had to be reprimanded for his arrogance:

            “But this did not please all the bishops. And they besought him to consider the things of peace, and of neighborly unity and love. Words of theirs are extant, sharply rebuking Victor. Among them was Irenæus, who, sending letters in the name of the brethren in Gaul over whom he presided, maintained that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord should be observed only on the Lord’s day. He fittingly admonishes Victor that he should not cut off whole churches of God which observed the tradition of an ancient custom.

            Seems to me that Victor had his knuckles rapped.

            You will note that Titus is to appoint elders/overseers (plural) in each town. He wasn’t appointing a single bishop.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Yes. Clericalism (the rule of clergy over laity) was an invention that occurred after the Apostles were gone. Despite their obvious Christ-given authority, the Apostles served rather than ruled. This all changed with the Roman desire to rule. Not only did these leaders not have this apostolic authority, it was “ruled out” by Jesus in Mark 10:42-44.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Well said.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            That divine “organisation” — being “in Christ”– is a spiritual organisation (with the the proper metaphor being like a human body and its parts). It is not a “worldly” organisation (like institutionalized churches, with many leaders and many authorities). The real Church has only one High Priest and one authority, and He administrates through both Word and Spirit.
            In the world, churches are not just full of believers; they are not only made up of God’s sheep but also goats, pigs, and wolves in sheep’s clothing.
            The REAL Church is invisible to worldly eyes. It is made up ONLY of true believers. Goats, pigs, and wolves are not gifted by the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is always supernatural and thus miraculous.

          • Albert

            That divine “organisation” — being “in Christ”– is a spiritual organisation (with the the proper metaphor being like a human body and its parts). It is not a “worldly” organisation (like institutionalized churches, with many leaders and many authorities).

            I think this is where Protestantism gives the game away and tends towards Manichaeism. It is true that the Church is a spiritual organisation, but it is not only such. God’s creation of the physical world and his becoming part of it in the incarnation means everything human is to be transfigured and changed. So physical human society must be part of that. Of course, sin disfigures what is being transfigured, but in the physical Church Christ founded, office is there for service, and the structures of the world are radically undermined. Simply turning our backs on these elements is to fail to grasp the full picture of what the incarnation and salvation entail.

            The real Church has only one High Priest and one authority, and He administrates through both Word and Spirit.

            Quite.

            The REAL Church is invisible to worldly eyes. It is made up ONLY of true believers.

            That really is quite a claim – is not the Church a city built on a hill-top that cannot be hidden? How do you define “true believers”?

            The work of the Holy Spirit is always supernatural and thus miraculous (whether or not we see the miraculous in it).

            Quite.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Most Christians would equate the growing presence of the Kingdom of God with that of the Church (or churches). But it is important we remember what Jesus Himself said: “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36), and more to the point, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’because the kingdom of God is within you.”
            (Luke 17: 20-21). This what I mean by ‘invisible.’ Like proving God, the effects of the Kingdom can be seen but the kingdom itself is made up of believers and only God truly knows who is His and who is not. Human beings can fake it quite well, even wolves in sheep’s clothing.

            To the extent that the churches protect and promote the Word of God, then they have some authority on
            earth as divinely appointed librarians; we are “God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Note that this one brief clause is as close to giving authority to the Church as we can find anywhere in the NT scriptures. And what authority the Church actually has … is totally derived from the Lord’s authority … and thus the Church only has authority to the extent that it is is a faithful repository for His written Word, the Truth we find in the scriptures, and to the extent that the Church is willing “to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” >/I>(Jude 1:3b). We must also remember that this “faith” we are to contend for was that faith which existed at the time these words were written, not what it became thereafter in the
            hyper-organized church and its traditions which were created after the Apostles were gone.

          • Albert

            Most Christians would equate the growing presence of the Kingdom of God with that of the Church (or churches).

            I would not. Although they clearly overlap, the Church and the Kingdom are not coterminous. Thus it is possible to say that the Church is a city built on a hill-top that cannot be hidden, while admitting the kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’because the kingdom of God is within you. My concern with the kind of invisible ecclesiology that you were talking about, is that it is only reconcilable with the second of the two texts (which is only relevant if we conflate Church and the Kingdom which we both don’t), and not with the first. Whereas, my Catholic ecclesiology is simply consistent with both scriptural teachings.

            Like proving God, the effects of the Kingdom can be seen but the kingdom itself cannot be so easily seen.

            True, but they are not therefore invisible. For example, Jesus says, You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. and A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
            By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

            Thus again, I think this is just what Catholic teaching is: we can know where the Church is, although whether an individual member of the Church is in his own life a manifestation of the kingdom remains to be seen. Hence, after his comment about telling by fruits, Jesus says “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.’ – works as well as visible faith are the evidence of the kingdom. Hence we know where the Church is by any number of visible signs (e.g. clergy), but we know where the kingdom by the saints who manifest the love of Christ in their lives.

            To the extent that the churches protect and promote the Word of God, then they have some authority on earth as divinely appointed librarians; we are “God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). I’m not so sure, I rather think that Ephesians 1.22 has a higher doctrine of the Church: he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all. Notice the use of the word “fulness” of his which fills the Church. It’s the same word as used in Col.1.19, to say that the fulness of God dwells in Christ. This speaks powerfully about the nature of the Church.

            And what authority the Church actually has … is totally derived from the Lord’s authority … and thus the Church only has authority to the extent that it is is a faithful repository for His written Word, the Truth we find in the scriptures, and to the extent that the Church follows the Great Commission in Matthew 28 and is willing to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 1:3b). We must also remember that this “faith” we are to contend for was that faith which existed at the time these words were written, not what it became thereafter in the hyper-organized church with traditions which were created after the Apostles were gone.

            I completely accept the emphasis on God’s word etc. The difficulty is that you seem to conflate God’s word with scripture and the individual’s interpretation of scripture with scripture in a way that, ironically, scripture does not do – in fact, it rather eschews it.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            One purpose of the supernatural gifts was to be a sign to point out and endorse the Apostles and the early disciples … to aid in getting the Church going. Yes, the presence of these gifts are less evident in the lukewarm west. However, cessation is a false teaching.
            The gifts did NOT ‘clearly cease with the death of the apostles.’ I have personally experienced such and know other believers with miraculous gifts. It is unfortunate for you that you have not experienced them. You might pray for the ‘filling’ of the Holy Spirit (which is not at all the same as being ‘sealed’ by the Holy Spirit).

            Perhaps the availability of these gifts is limited (a set amount), so that when more and more believers exist on earth, the more widely and sparsely they are scattered.

            Also, in the scientifically influenced secularized West, there is (in general) little faith in the supernatural …. which ‘naturally’ suppresses the expression of these gifts. They are much more evident among missionaries and Third World Christian converts.

          • Martin

            Bruce

            I find it strange that all those great men of God, down through history, did not experience those gifts and yet today they’re found among those who gave rise to the likes of Todd Bentley and the Toronto Blessing. Curiously I’ve found true spirituality markedly lacking in the Charismatic movement and replaced by desire for the spectacular.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Who says these gifts were not experienced by great men of God down through history? Perhaps, in their humility, they simply did not boast about them. When the expressions of spiritual gifts are suppressed by the churches, then of course they will be more hidden. Gifts of discernment and wisdom and teaching, for example, are almost always expressed, but these churches do not want to attribute them to the Holy Spirit and give God the glory. That is the weakness of those churches which are not fully Trinitarian. They focus on only two parts of the Trinity and end up giving men the glory (stealing from God).

            Of course there is the opposite danger of men wanting to be important and spectacular and expressing (or trying to express) gifts for their own glory. This is wrong as well. My understanding is that God will withdraw His gifts from those who misuse them.

          • Martin

            Bruce

            Can you trace any of the great men of God having similar beliefs to those you hold? We are told the gifts were to cease when Scripture was completed with the death of the last apostle. We have no further need of the gifts since we have the Bible.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Where in the NT do we hear that these gifts “were to cease when Scripture was completed…”? It was only some theologians (who were not aware they had any of them) who proposed such a thing.

          • Martin

            Bruce

            Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

            So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
            (I Corinthians 13:8-13 [ESV])

            The prophecies, tongues, knowledge and prophesies were partial, the Bible is complete, perfect. The Church has grown up, no longer do we see ourselves as in a first century mirror of polished metal, the incomplete Bible of the Old Testament, Now we see ourselves, as it were, face to face in the completed canon, including the New Testament. We see our whole nature depicted in God’s word.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            This passage obviously refers to the eschatological situation where we are safely at home in the heavenly kingdom and no spiritual gifts will be needed (whose purpose is for the edification of the saints here in this fallen world); only the fruits of the Spirit are forever. So I do believe that the gifts WILL cease, just not as long as we live in a fallen world … with its great needs. The world and the Church is still in dire need of spiritual help.

          • Martin

            Bruce

            I see no evidence that this passage refers to the end of time. And we have all the aid we need in God’s word through His Spirit.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            That comment covers your backside.

          • Albert

            No, it is a logical conclusion from a premise found in scripture. It is possible to be a Christian but not to have the gift of interpretation. Ergo, any Christian tradition that requires individual interpretation has some explaining to do.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            As long you remember the humbling truth that everything you hear or read is interpreted personally and individually by you, including church doctrines and the church authorities who help you interpret the scriptures. We must interpret the interpreters. As for me, I prefer to examine a scripture passage in many versions and English translations, including study Bibles which provide the context (these translations were accomplished by experts far beyond my level of language training). When it is clear that the meaning stays the same among the various versions, I can rely upon it without the mediation of other authorities (who are fallible and must be interpreted as well). However, I also enjoy examining respected commentaries from both Catholic and Reformational traditions, but their authority does not come close to that of the scriptures themselves.
            My own understanding of any scripture passage is not merely the result of my subjective and isolated analysis. I am an ancient student and I still don’t mind getting a lot of help.

          • Albert

            As long you remember the humbling truth that everything you hear or read must be interpreted personally and individually by you, including church doctrines and the church authorities who help you interpret the scriptures. We must interpret the interpreters.

            I have not denied that. On the contrary, my point is that we are interpreters within the community, or better, as part of the community, rather than in isolation from it.

            I know well-educated Roman Catholics who differ widely on their interpretation of ‘traditional’ Catholic doctrines, and they argue among themselves as vociferously as they argue with Protestants.

            I someone disagrees with central Catholic doctrine, he is not a good example as he has assumed a Protestant attitude.

            As for me, I prefer to examine a scripture passage in many versions and English translations, including study Bibles which provide the context (these translations were accomplished by experts far beyond my level of language training). When it is clear that the meaning stays the same among the various versions, I can rely upon it without the mediation of other authorities

            That seems to me to be about translation.

            but their authority does not come close to that of the scriptures themselves

            And as a Catholic I agree.

            My own understanding of any scripture passage is not merely the result of my subjective and isolated analysis. I am an ancient student and I still don’t mind getting a lot of help.

            And how do you know which help to trust? I cannot be by measuring it against scripture, for that is the very thing you are needing the help with.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Thank you. We are closer than I thought. Which authorities do we trust? Because all these authorities disagree on points, I cannot trust them very far. I examine many of them, but I am responsible to God to prayerfully discern which ones come closest to what the scriptures actually reveal. Ultimately, it is between me and God, not between me and any lesser authority.

          • Albert

            Thank you. But you are yourself simply an authority in that case and we cannot trust such authorities very far. My point is that if the system of interpretation is itself that wrong, then clearly we need a different system. Instead of seeing the scripture as revelation in the sense that the Qur’an is claimed to be revelation, we see the relationship with Jesus, as instituted in the Church as the revelation. Then all the problems disappear.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            I think that the only ‘system’ that really matters is whether or not God is guiding one’s interpretation. Not everyone has the Holy Spirit to guide them; but some do. In history, many bishops and archbishops, even popes have become heretics — thus they did not have the Holy Spirit even though they were part of the established system. Therefore, following an established church (its leaders past or present) is no guarantee of correct interpretation. I am personally responsible to God to examine and compare what they have written with what I can read in various translations and study Bibles. ”

            “God’s word is infallible, for what he has said is true.
            But no Christian individual, group or church has ever been or will ever be an infallible interpreter of God’s Word. Human
            interpretations belong to the sphere of tradition, and an appeal may always be made against tradition to the Scripture itself which tradition claims to interpret.” (JRWS)

          • Albert

            I think that the only ‘system’ that really matters is whether or not God is guiding one’s interpretation.

            That’s true. But my argument is that, in general, it does not appear that he has set it up so that an individual, by himself can do that. It’s a communal thing.

            Not everyone has the Holy Spirit to guide them

            In which case individual interpretation cannot be the correct doctrine.

            In history, many bishops and archbishops, even popes have become heretics — thus they did not have the Holy Spirit even though they were part of the established system.

            This is true. But as the point is conceded by Catholicism, it does not falsify our position. Thus I don’t think it shows: following an established church (its leaders past or present) is no guarantee of correct interpretation.

            I am personally responsible to God

            In which case, does it not follow that you should not follow models that seem not to work?

            But no Christian individual, group or church has ever been or will ever be an infallible interpreter of God’s Word.

            No, the Church, being the body of Christ and the fulness of him, is necessarily infallible. Indeed, if it isn’t, then it is difficult to see how anyone can interpret the revelation to the degree that he can have the certitude of faith.

            an appeal may always be made against tradition to the Scripture itself which tradition claims to interpret.

            No, that rushes to a conclusion unsupported by the logical. An appeal can only be made against scripture to another interpretation of scripture and that is slightly different.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            I agree with you that IN GENERAL God wants us to need each other and to allow “iron to sharpen iron” in a Christian community context. On the other hand, God also wants us to prayerfully seek His guidance individually so that we choose the appropriate community and listen to the appropriate leaders. We can be deceived, not only by our own biases but also by erroneous theologians and off-base traditions. “Which church”? Of course, you will promote your favorite, where you are a member. Sorry, I will not trust your word that this church is infallible.

            Individual interpretation is not a doctrine that you can find anywhere.
            What individual interpretation is … is something which is unavoidable,
            which I have shown. We still must interpret the doctrines and interpretations of our faith community. You see, if we can get off base in interpreting the Scriptures themselves (which have the Holy Spirit’s annointing) then we certainly can get off base interpreting our church’s doctrines and traditions! The logic is inescapable.

            You wrote: “No, the Church, being the body of Christ and the fulness of him, is necessarily infallible. Indeed, if it isn’t, then it is difficult to see how anyone can interpret the revelation to the degree that he can have the certitude of faith.”

            It is difficult for me to imagine that you actually believe this. This gets down to the heart of the matter, the real disagreement between us. Not only
            is the Bride still immature and being perfected, but the clear, in-your-face evidence of 2000 years of assorted heresies, abuses, and apostasies (by virtually all churches you can point to) prove the error of your assertion. As long as we live in a fallen world, in fallen flesh, in churches with not only God’s sheep but also goats and wolves in sheep’s clothing, every faith community will be VERY fallible in both what they say and what they do. In the Eschaton the Body of Christ WILL be perfected, but in the present Age the Scriptures come closer than any other authority to being infallible.

            And yes, “it is difficult to see how anyone can interpret the revelation to the degree that he can have the certitude of faith.” In the flesh, in our rational fallible minds, it is impossible. Only the divine guidance provided by the Holy Spirit can draw us to God and provide the interpretations which we need at the time. Plenty of people have come to faith reading the Bible in prison, apart from any faith community or church. God is gracious and does not require the mediation of a church, although often He does use us in this capacity. The Lord is even now providing revelatory visions of Himself to Muslims in Islamic nations with no Christian community available. If He does this, He most certainly uses Holy Writ to give seekers the true faith and “blessed
            assurance.” 2 Timothy 3:16 is instructive here; in no place do the Apostles give this same level of authority to the Church: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God-breathed!

            The Church is the keeper of the Scriptures but only God can be the final interpreter, for He is the ultimate Author who inspired and guided the writers. Neither the individual nor the Church can usurp this role. All believers and churches must remain very humble with their interpretations.

            The ecclesiastic hubris of assuming your favorite church’s teachings are infallible is something I find incredible.

          • Albert

            “Which church”? Of course, you will promote your favorite, where you are a member.

            It’s not a question of favourites. I arrived at Catholicism by a process of elimination. I.e. I eliminated traditions that required me to make a judgement about the content of revelation and then see which tradition came closest to it. That simply fails, because, if I could judge the content of revelation like that, I wouldn’t be looking for guidance.

            What individual interpretation is … is something which is unavoidable,
            which I have shown. We still must interpret the doctrines and interpretations of our faith community. You see, if we can get off base in interpreting the Scriptures themselves (which have the Holy Spirit’s annointing) then we certainly can get off base interpreting our church’s doctrines and traditions! The logic is inescapable.

            I think you are confusing having the gift of faith and the gift of interpretation. Paul clearly shows not all have the latter, even though all (in the Christian community at least!) have the former. Thus there is a massive difference in being able personally to appropriate the Church’s life in Christ (faith) with being able to determine which of several competing doctrinal interpretations is correct. Thus I do not think your tu quoque works because I see Christianity as a communal thing in relationship with a person, rather than a doctrinal thing in relation to a text or body of doctrine.

            To put the matter another way, a good Christian does not need to be able to know all the doctrine of the Trinity or incarnation, but the Church does, because grasping these doctrines (and avoiding errors) shapes the Church’s life in which the Christian lives. So your average Catholic does not have a good idea about the doctrine of the Trinity and incarnation, but he doesn’t need to: he simply enters into the relationship with God which is revealed in the Church’s life, but which the Church would not be able to offer to him unless the Church had a clear doctrine. So again, the Catholic does not need to know all the details of justification, he simply lives the relationship with Christ that the Church gives him based on the Church’s understanding of this mystery.

            It is difficult for me to imagine that you actually believe this.

            I absolutely believe this – and I think your doubt shows how new this whole area is to you. Consider this: certain elements of our faith are to be held with certainty (at least as well as they can be understood). But if you don’t know with certainty what it is that is to be held with certainty, then you cannot hold it with certainty. Now if you do not have an infallible teacher and you are not infallible yourself, you cannot hold that element with certainty and you do not therefore hold it with faith.

            Not only
            is the Bride still immature and being perfected, but the clear, in-your-face evidence of 2000 years of assorted heresies, abuses, and apostasies (by virtually all churches you can point to) prove the error of your assertion.

            Then Christ has left us orphans and his promises are void. But as it is, the Catholic Church in her Magisterial teaching (which is different from the opinions of individual bishops and even popes), has never fallen into heresy. Therefore, you prove nothing.

            As long as we live in a fallen world, in fallen flesh, in churches with not only God’s sheep but also goats and wolves in sheep’s clothing, every faith community will be VERY fallible in both what they say and what they do.

            Individuals as individuals yes, but the Church as body and bride of Christ with Christ as its head, never. You just don’t seem to believe the promises of Christ that he would be with the Church always, that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, that the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth, because it is his body the fulness of him who fills all in all. And this is what so often happens with Evangelicals. When it comes down to it the Evangelical says “I cannot see how X is possible, therefore God cannot do it.” But most of the time X is not properly understood – here, you have confused the errors of individuals with the teaching office of the Church. But the Catholic Church carefully distinguishes between them.

            in the present Age the Scriptures come closer than any other authority to being infallible

            But then we cannot know the canon is infallible, in which case…

            In the flesh, in our rational fallible minds, it is impossible.

            Agreed, so there must be something more…

            Only the divine guidance provided by the Holy Spirit can draw us to God and provide the interpretations which we need at the time.

            But this is not infallible in the individual and therefore not a basis for faith (rather than opinion which happens to be right).

            Plenty of people have come to faith reading the Bible in prison, apart from any faith community or church.

            Fine, but their understanding will be imperfect:

            Now a Jew named Apol’los, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aq’uila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately.

            You say:

            in no place do the Apostles give this same level of authority to the Church

            Which is presumably why the Catholic Church does not make such a claim of herself. You do know that, right? Or are we just talking passed each other with you attacking a straw man?

            The Church is the keeper of the Scriptures but only God can be the final interpreter, for He is the ultimate Author who inspired and guided the writers.

            Agreed. What you seem to ignore is the possibility that God as the final interpreter may speak through the Church. That is our position. We agree entirely about human limitations, we have faith in God being able to transcend such limitations.

            The ecclesiastic hubris of assuming your favorite church’s teachings are infallible is something I find incredible.

            As I say it is not about assuming, and it is not about favourites, nor is it about the Church as human community having infallibility. You do not seem to know what it is you attack. Our position is about having faith in God to speak infallibly through his body. Deny that possibility, and I say you have no faith, at least not in the biblical sense.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            I agree that our sovereign God can infallibly transfer Truth to fallible human beings— despite our limitations, as long as we have a smidgen of faith. That group of people who receives the revelation and actually hears it and obeys is the true “Body of Christ.” The Body is not yet perfected; she is still in development, even as each member is still growing and learning. God is infallible, the Church is not– not until she is taken up to be with Lord and we all receive our resurrected bodies.

            So how one defines the Body of Christ is totally pertinent to the idea of infallibility. I would assert that this Body is NOT any particular church organization nor tradition. Rather, it is those people (who only God knows for certain) who are among the Elect, and every church organization has many who not His sheep but are of the enemy, and it has always been so, from Judas Iscariot forward. These goats and wolves in sheep’s clothing influence the churches so that they are not truly the Body of Christ in themselves. All churches in the world are a mixed bag and thus cannot be said to be infallible, nor are their doctrines necessarily infallible. And our own choice as to which church in the world we will belong is not infallible. And yet we are fully responsible to make the best possible choice of faith community and believe the truth as best we can. But at its core, it is not between us and a church, it is between each of us and the Lord. We cannot escape that responsibility (nor can we escape the responsibility of interpreting both the scriptures and those who would interpret them for us.).

          • Albert

            I agree that our sovereign God can infallibly transfer Truth to fallible human beings

            Can God speak infallibly through human beings?

            Rather, it is those people (who only God knows for certain) who are among the Elect, and every church organization has many who not His sheep but are of the enemy, and it has always been so, from Judas Iscariot forward.

            This is fairly standard Evangelical stuff. What makes the members of the true Church the members of the true Church?

            But at its core, it is not between us and a church, it is between each of us and the Lord.

            I don’t have a difficulty with that since I think it is the role of the Church to give us the Lord. But if that is so, and if one cannot come up with a way of receiving God’s revelation without the Church then the Church cannot be sidelined from the discussion.

  • A Berean

    Perhaps Her Majesty, if it is within her right, should reconsider the services of the archbishops. One should think that there are far more immediate and pressing concerns than what happened 500 or more years ago. Clearly the archbishops have been “gotten to” and are being influenced by forces not commensurate with the spiritual health of their respective concerns. What’s done is done and no amount of bloodletting will correct what has been done no matter how effusive the apologies may be. Should the archbishops be so inclined as to cross the Tiber then may they do so and be quick about it and leave the care of their respective concerns in the hands of those far more spiritual and Protestant! In their statement the archbishops note “Many will also remember the lasting damage done five centuries ago to the unity of the Church, in defiance of the clear command of Jesus Christ to unity in love.” Unity should not be maintained if compromise is what it takes to do so. It should also be noted that In 2 Corinthians 6.17 it reads “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…” Clearly this is what the reformers had in mind when the Church they left was unwilling, if not able, to reform. The separation was not unfortunate but necessary and therefor perfectly justifiable.

    I hope I have not strayed from this article.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Are we Protestants being invited to cross the Tiber?

    • Albert

      Yes! You’d be very welcome (just leave your heresies on the bank…).

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Yeah baby! Next thing you’ll be asking us to repent of is Guido Fawkes.

        • Albert

          No, I don’t see any reason to repent of that. Just your heresies.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            That’s the second time you’ve imputed ‘heresey’.

            Do you want Roman Catholic and Protestan at each other’s throats?

            I prefer co-belligerence.

            We Christians have enough enemies; but if needs be I must fight, then fight I shall.

            I wish no quarrel with you.

          • “I prefer co-belligerence.”

            That’s aggressive or warlike behaviour.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Thank you.

          • Albert

            I’m just having a bit of a tease TBH.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            All right, Al.

            By the way, I admire your intellect.

          • Albert

            That’s very kind of you to say!

      • William Lewis

        Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.

        • Albert

          I’m just wondering why you think it’s about turning off your mind.

          • William Lewis

            I am wondering how else we could ditch RC heresies.

          • Albert

            If you turn off your mind, you will certainly have no space for Catholic teaching, which certainly engages the intellect.

        • len

          Leave your brain behind , just float down the Tiber…life’s wonderful…the Popes always right…keep repeating this and everything will be OK….repeat.

      • Cressida de Nova

        Oh Albert…do we really have to. ?

    • David

      We are protestants, being invited to ignore Scripture, God’s revealed Truth and doctrine.

  • IanCad

    I have to give it to you YG; That you should be able to write coherently after reading The Statement can only be considered a testimony to your mellowness of nature and admirable self-control. I read it – twice! It’s for real!
    What more to say? If Canterbury and York were around those Five Hundred years ago they would not have approved. Bad Luther!! Bad Cranmer!! I swear, both of the sorry divines would have been on the side of Rome.
    How far has the Cof E sunk. Afraid even of history, disloyal to those martyrs who sacrificed their all for Christ, and in so doing render to Him a terrible disservice.

  • wisestreligion

    If the archbishops want something to repent of they could look at their own failure to defend and promote faith in Jesus Christ alone. Here. Today. That is something they could turn from and resolve to do better in obedience to God. Repentance “is the recognition of the true state of affairs, sorrow for it and a turning back to God with a resolve to do His will” – Cranmer, above.

    Since the War our culture has experienced strong growth in the idols that take the place of faith in Christ. Politicians think it is in their interests to pander to these idols and our church leaders have not countered this strongly enough. The result is that only a depressingly low proportion of our population have a saving faith in Christ and an inexcusably large proportion do not even know what the essence of our faith is. The church has been pathetic in its failure to confront the anti-Christian belief system that rules us with increasing authoritarianism and that is where repentance and change is needed.

    An historic repentance for a divisive but regenerative period long in the past risks showing the church to have lost confidence in its historic mission. Rather we need the repentance that will turn us towards obedience to God today and towards effective, reinvigorated proclamation of His Kingdom.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Saddeningly low, as well as depressingly low. Though some 60% are claimed to be ‘Christian’ in the UK, I would hazard an educated guess that it is possibly not even 1%.

      • Sarky

        You’ve only got yourselves to blame!

        • Anton

          Much truth in that. Keep troubling us here please, Sarky.

  • William Lewis

    “The Reformation was a melting pot of convergent murky forces and contiguous muddled minds. But (and it’s quite an important ‘But’) the religious element of the Reformation was its essence, and it became one of the greatest movements of the Spirit of God since the Apostles walked the earth. If the schism was not of God, it was certainly greatly used by God and much good came of it.”

    This

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Mr Lewis?

      • William Lewis

        Yes?

    • Royinsouthwest

      Has “this” replaced “amen”?

      • William Lewis

        Only if you are down with the kids. Like wot I am.

  • Ringstone

    York, Canterbury and HMQ – I’d take a bet there’s only one of them actually believes in God.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Dear Ringstone, having read what they have said, and read ABCs comments on it, I have to agree with you. I wish it were not so, but I find it difficult to come to any other conclusion.

  • Martin

    It seems to me, that if Welby and Sentamu wish to repent there is a great deal they should be repenting of. I do not ask them to repent of the errors of those who have gone before them but for their own errors. They preside over a church where its confession, the 39 Articles of Religion are more ignored than observed. Their church has women in authority, in contravention of the clear command of Scripture. Their church has men in its ministry who do not conform to the repeated requirements in Scripture, being unbelievers and sexual perverts. They have failed to stand against these evils and the evils of society in general, seeking unity where there is none and offering platitudes when they should have condemned. And now it seems they wish to condemn the godly men who stood for God, something they seem unable to do.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Outstanding!

    • David

      Direct hit !

    • Inspector General

      Yes, Martin. We forget the unbelievers in positions in the church at our peril. Perhaps an inquisition of sorts to weed them out…

      • Martin

        IG

        Actually it would be better done from the bottom up, with the believers in each congregation appointing elders/overseers, from among their number, applying the scriptural tests. Then they might discover they don’t actually need the hierarchy.

        • Watchman

          This is where the church is growing as many are seeking and finding that the New Testament offers a model for personal and corporate spiritual growth. God’s institution of the family is repeated in the church where His love is the presiding influence. Unity only occurs when we are all listening to the Holy Spirit and not to those who seek presidence among us. We need to get back to the bible and not seek only to do what is right in our own eyes.

          • Martin

            Watchman

            And hence the Holy Spirit has given us the Bible as our guide.

          • Watchman

            I agree that the bible is our guide but I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been guided to a revelant verse as an na

  • chefofsinners

    All this must be understood as the bishops preparing the ground. They will shortly be announcing that the Church will bless same sex marriage and appoint actively gay bishops. So they condemn division even as they cause it, and will lay the blame at the door of the conservative wing of the church.

    • Dominic Stockford

      It is always thus. Those who wish to hold firm to the Bible are always tagged as the dissenters.

    • David

      A prescient prediction. This is indeed organisational, political manoeuvring, that treads on integrity in understanding Scripture.

    • len

      I had a feeling the Bishops were ‘softening up’ the parishioners for another heresy.
      “Don`t speak Gods Word its too divisive”or something along those lines?.

  • Dominic Stockford

    It appears that according to the two archbishops the crime committed by the Queen, and many of us here (who are the more sensible ones on here), is to believe something different to someone else – notably the RCs. If they believe that to be the case why don’t they go and join the RC church, and leave those of us who hold to Biblical supremacy in theological teaching to get on with being Protestant Christians?

    It’s another version of the PC nonsense which says that anyone who believes something different is ‘wrong’. Given that THEY are supposed to believe something different themselves, they seem quite utterly befuddled, and by the sound of it are in fact lost.

  • Inspector General

    ”…should also lead us to repent of our part in perpetuating divisions.”!!!

    What a liberty! Hands off our gracious Queen and others pure of heart, you two scallywags, and do your own repenting first. It’s needed, you know!

    Which dubious pair was responsible for appointing Feminists as so called lady bishops. Which couple of untrustworthies have at least 14 instances in their two manors where homosexual clergy have ‘married’ someone of the same sex, and have NOT been disciplined. And who are the scheming two in charge responsible for lauding dialogue with the purveyors of cruel and un-Christian Islam, of all things.

    Furthermore, if Anglicanism is driven down the ‘privileges for homosexuals’ route on top of bedding in trendy Feminism, then Welby and Sentamu will be facing calls for a new reformation from the traditional flock. Perhaps they’ll appoint their own bishops for the hapless sees so afflicted. A Provisional Bishop of Gloucester for example. That would be something! What goes around comes around, don’t you think…

    Time to bring the Church of England back from the brink, a similar sentiment to that which prompted Luther 500 years ago, what!

  • Is schism a sin when the justification and motive is the maintenance of holiness?

    Yes.

    “Can a 21st-century archbishop really exhort his postmodern flock to repent of the sins of his episcopal predecessors and their modern and medieval herds and legions?”

    Yes, if resentments deform the Body of Christ today.

    “Day of Pardon”; Sunday, 12 March 2000; Saint Pope John Paul:

    3. Before Christ who, out of love, took our guilt upon himself, we are all invited to make a profound examination of conscience. One of the characteristic elements of the Great Jubilee is what I described as the “purification of memory” (Bull Incarnationis mysterium, n. 11). As the Successor of Peter, I asked that “in this year of mercy the Church, strong in the holiness which she receives from her Lord, should kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters” (ibid.). Today, the First Sunday of Lent, seemed to me the right occasion for the Church, gathered spiritually round the Successor of Peter, to implore divine forgiveness for the sins of all believers. Let us forgive and ask forgiveness!

    This appeal has prompted a thorough and fruitful reflection, which led to the publication several days ago of a document of the International Theological Commission, entitled: “Memory and Reconciliation: The Church and the Faults of the Past”. I thank everyone who helped to prepare this text. It is very useful for correctly understanding and carrying out the authentic request for pardon, based on the objective responsibility which Christians share as members of the Mystical Body, and which spurs today’s faithful to recognize, along with their own sins, the sins of yesterday’s Christians, in the light of careful historical and theological discernment.

    Indeed, “because of the bond which unites us to one another in the Mystical Body, all of us, though not personally responsible and without encroaching on the judgement of God who alone knows every heart, bear the burden of the errors and faults of those who have gone before us” (Incarnationis mysterium, n. 11). The recognition of past wrongs serves to reawaken our consciences to the compromises of the present, opening the way to conversion for everyone.

    4. Let us forgive and ask forgiveness! While we praise God who, in his merciful love, has produced in the Church a wonderful harvest of holiness, missionary zeal, total dedication to Christ and neighbour, we cannot fail to recognize the infidelities to the Gospel committed by some of our brethren, especially during the second millennium. Let us ask pardon for the divisions which have occurred among Christians, for the violence some have used in the service of the truth and for the distrustful and hostile attitudes sometimes taken towards the followers of other religions.

    Let us confess, even more, our responsibilities as Christians for the evils of today. We must ask ourselves what our responsibilities are regarding atheism, religious indifference, secularism, ethical relativism, the violations of the right to life, disregard for the poor in many countries.

    We humbly ask forgiveness for the part which each of us has had in these evils by our own actions, thus helping to disfigure the face of the Church.

    At the same time, as we confess our sins, let us forgive the sins committed by others against us. Countless times in the course of history Christians have suffered hardship, oppression and persecution because of their faith. Just as the victims of such abuses forgave them, so let us forgive as well. The Church today feels and has always felt obliged to purify her memory of those sad events from every feeling of rancour or revenge. In this way the Jubilee becomes for everyone a favourable opportunity for a profound conversion to the Gospel. The acceptance of God’s forgiveness leads to the commitment to forgive our brothers and sisters and to be reconciled with them.

    5. But what does the word “reconciliation” mean to us? To grasp its precise sense and value, we must first recognize the possibility of division, of separation. Yes, man is the only creature on earth who can have a relationship of communion with his Creator, but he is also the only one who can separate himself from him. Unfortunately, he has frequently turned away from God.

    Fortunately many people, like the prodigal son spoken of in the Gospel of Luke (cf. Lk 15: 13), after leaving their father’s house and squandering their inheritance, reach the very bottom and realize how much they have lost (cf. Lk 15: 13-17). Then they set out to return home: “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned…'” (Lk 15: 18).

    God, clearly represented by the father in the parable, welcomes every prodigal child who returns to him. He welcomes him through Christ, in whom the sinner can once again become “righteous” with the righteousness of God. He welcomes him, because for our sake he made his eternal Son to be sin. Yes, only through Christ can we become the righteousness of God (cf. 2 Cor 5: 21).

    Incarnationis Mysterium; 29 November 1998; Saint Pope John Paul:

    Because of the bond which unites us to one another in the Mystical Body, all of us, though not personally responsible and without encroaching on the judgement of God who alone knows every heart, bear the burden of the errors and faults of those who have gone before us. Yet we too, sons and daughters of the Church, have sinned and have hindered the Bride of Christ from shining forth in all her beauty. Our sin has impeded the Spirit’s working in the hearts of many people. Our meagre faith has meant that many have lapsed into apathy and been driven away from a true encounter with Christ.

    As the Successor of Peter, I ask that in this year of mercy the Church, strong in the holiness which she receives from her Lord, should kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters. All have sinned and none can claim righteousness before God (cf. 1 Kgs 8:46). Let it be said once more without fear: “We have sinned” (Jer 3:25), but let us keep alive the certainty that “where sin increased, grace abounded even more” (Rom 5:20).

    The embrace which the Father reserves for repentant sinners who go to him will be our just reward for the humble recognition of our own faults and the faults of others, a recognition based upon awareness of the profound bond which unites all the members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Christians are invited to acknowledge, before God and before those offended by their actions, the faults which they have committed. Let them do so without seeking anything in return, but strengthened only by “the love of God which has been poured into our hearts” (Rom 5:5). At the same time, there will be no lack of fair-minded people able to recognize that past and present history also records incidents of exclusion, injustice and persecution directed against the sons and daughters of the Church.

    • Martin

      HJ

      And Rome is guilty of the sin of schism, having divided itself from Christ.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Which is the division that matters, eternally so.

    • dannybhoy

      “Is schism a sin when the justification and motive is the maintenance of holiness?
      Yes.”
      Er, no actually Jack.
      According to St Paul..

      “14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God;
      2 Corinthians 6
      “3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.”
      Ephesians 5
      I am not accusing any Catholic, but I am seeking to establish the Scriptural principle of separation, of parting company from those who are committing sin or preaching false doctrines.

      • David

        Well quoted !

        • dannybhoy

          Thank you David.

      • Those verses refer to separation from the sin of heathens and the unconverted and not schism.

        St. Paul characterises and condemns the parties formed in the community of Corinth (I Cor.): “I beseech you, brethren” that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment” The union of the faithful, he says elsewhere, should manifest itself in mutual understanding and convergent action similar to the harmonious cooperation of our members which God hath tempered “that there might be no schism in the body” (I Cor.).

        Thus understood, schism embraces two distinct aspects: heretical or mixed schism and schism pure and simple. The first has its source in heresy or joined with it, the second, which most theologians designate absolutely as schism, is the rupture of the bond of subordination without an accompanying persistent error, directly opposed to a definite dogma.

        This distinction was drawn by St. Jerome and St. Augustine. “Between heresy and schism”, explains St. Jerome, “there is this difference, that heresy perverts dogma, while schism, by rebellion against the bishop, separates from the Church. Nevertheless there is no schism which does not trump up a heresy to justify its departure from the Church” (In Ep. ad Tit., iii, 10).
        And St. Augustine: “By false doctrines concerning God heretics wound faith, by iniquitous dissensions schismatics deviate from fraternal charity, although they believe what we believe” (De fide et symbolo, ix). But as St. Jerome remarks, practically and historically, heresy and schism nearly always go hand in hand; schism leads almost invariably to denial of the papal primacy.

        Schism is usually mixed, in which case, considered from a moral standpoint, its perversity is chiefly due to the heresy which forms part of it. In its other aspect it is contrary to charity and obedience. It severs the ties of fraternal charity and the schismatic rebels against the Divinely constituted hierarchy.

        • dannybhoy

          Jack, if the historic Catholic Church could sanction the torture and killing of those it held to be heretics and enemies of the Church and the true Gospel, on what grounds are you arguing against what Martin Luther said and did?
          That the Church and its doctrines must stay in control, that God cannot speak to an individual as He did to Abraham, to Moses and the prophets who spoke out against the disobedience and corruption in Israel?

          • Remember, Protestants did exactly the same thing, Dannybuoy. Moses and the prophets never attempted to establish a separate Israel with different teachings. The Samaritans did and look what Jesus said to the Woman at the Well about that.

          • Anton

            But you haven’t answered his question. We can discuss protestant wrongdoings after that.

          • As Jack said:

            Moses and the prophets never attempted to establish a separate Israel with different teachings. The Samaritans did and look what Jesus said to the Woman at the Well about that.

            And remember Jesus’ words:

            “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”

            He didn’t say throw them off the seat of Moses and usurp their authority.

          • Anton

            Always about authority with Catholics… Jesus HAD authority and it was obvious to the people; he didn’t have to bang on about it all the time like small men in big positions do.

            It’s for Danny to reply; I was grumbling only that you had ducked his question. But I’ll add that the church is a volunteer group called out of a nation, and that you can opt out of a volunteer group and start another if the first has gone bad, whereas you can’t opt out of a nation because it has a legal code that is enforced.

          • dannybhoy

            You’re tit for tat-ing Jack, and it will lead us nowhere. It’s not about ‘we’re more holy or less blameworthy than you’, it’s about the Christian basis of authority.
            Is it the Bible or is it the Bible plus Church/Papal authority?
            Is it that (Church) tradition is more important than Scripture, or that everything is measured by Scripture?
            If we truly believe in God, the God of the Scriptures then we must surely believe it is to Him we will one day answer.
            Revelation 6>
            As men we may enjoy scoring points off each other, but surely that is not what our faith in Christ is about.
            “When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave[e] and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?

            If you’re a Christian this is what it’s all about; the great and terrible day of the Lord, when we shall all stand before Him and give account of ourselves.

          • It’s scripture and Apostolic teaching, as passed down through tradition and as understood by the Church that is the basis for authority.

          • dannybhoy

            You mean Apostolic teaching that is not actually in the Scriptures?
            Was Jesus then wasting His time with the four Gospels and with Paul?
            Even St Peter’s epistles in no way contradict Scripture…
            1Peter1:5>
            “5 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;[b] not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility towards one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

            This is St Peter speaking, according to you the first Pope!
            Nowhere does he say that his understanding overrules Scripture or contravenes Scripture, but that is what the Catholic Church is doing.
            He calls himself a fellow elder, not the Father or Leader of the Church, and frankly he wouldn’t, being very aware of how he failed the Lord because of his boasting..

          • The Apostles preached Christ before the Gospels were written. Jesus didn’t command them to write down everything He said, but to teach His commandments. We know from scripture itself that not everything Jesus said and did was recorded. Indeed, Paul instructed to us to follow tradition.
            The Catholic Church does not overrule or contradict scripture. The use of Christ’s authority isn’t a matter of boasting or being proud.

          • dannybhoy

            “The Apostles preached Christ before the Gospels were written. Jesus didn’t command them to write down everything He said, but to teach His commandments. We know from scripture itself that not everything Jesus said and did was recorded.”
            True, but
            a) they did it under his direction, blessing and anointing.
            b) Would our Lord have deliberately withheld the best bits ’til last?
            If the Old Testament is full of God’s holiness and prophecy, and the coming of the Son of God as Messiah, why would he not also have included that He would appoint a man Peter the Apostle as Head of the Church after Christ had ascended into Heaven?
            c) Can we honesty say that (of there were such an arrangement). it has worked out particularly well?
            d)If you then go on to say that man is fallible, then why b), when what we do know is that the unchanging Scriptures have survived largely intact?

          • len

            Whats this here/…oh its that old chestnut again..

      • Dominic Stockford

        Stick with the Bible, not the idle yammerings of RCs whose position on things changes year by year.

    • William Lewis

      HJ

      Could you post a list of Saudi Arabian traffic code violations, in case the reformers were in breach of those too? We should probably repent for those after we’ve followed the RCC line.

    • Albert

      “Is schism a sin when the justification and motive is the maintenance of holiness?”

      Yes.

      Superb Jack. Holiness and charity are not in opposition.

      • Thank you, Albert.

        • Anton

          You two have condemned yourselves out of your own mouths with that one.

          • Not according to Saint Paul.

          • Anton

            Is Christ divided?

          • The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, certainly is.

          • len

            How can the Body of Christ be divided?. Is there a leg there a foot here?.
            If Christ was to walk into many Churches today and sit on the altar who would recognise him?.And would He be allowed to stay?.

          • Well meet you wouldn’t be there to meet Him as you don’t go to Church.

          • len

            Don`t you know Jesus is outside the Church?.
            ‘I stand at the door and Knock’

          • Bruce Atkinson

            No, the true Body of Christ is not divided. But organizations in the world who call themselves Christian are quite divided. They are all fallible and immature.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Sometimes schism is the godly thing to do, particularly when the church has lost its faith. Examine 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.
            “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do
            righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in
            common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people’. THEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, says the LORD.”

    • chefofsinners

      Repeat after me, Jack…
      ‘I renounce the drivel and all his works’

      • No issue with that at all. Jack recognises drivel. Do you?

    • len

      Problem is no one but Catholics believe this because they have been conditioned to believe it.

      • No one but Catholics believe in asking for God’s pardon for sin and for giving others for sins committed against us?
        You should revisit the Lord’s Prayer.

        • len

          Its all the ‘additions’ that you RC`s make that nullify the Word of God .

  • dannybhoy

    “Can a 21st-century archbishop really exhort his postmodern flock to repent of the sins of his episcopal predecessors and their modern and medieval herds and legions?”
    Of course not, It smacks of State Communism, like harking back to the days of State trials and crimes against the people.

  • carl jacobs

    This is such a craven statement by Welby and Sentamu. To throw the Reformation under a bus in order to serve the institutional interests of the CoE is really gutless.

    [Edited for clarity]

    • You view everything in terms of realpolitiks, Carl, overlooking the moral considerations. The full passage from the joint statement reads:

      “Many will also remember the lasting damage done five centuries ago to the unity of the Church, in defiance of the clear command of Jesus Christ to unity in love. Those turbulent years saw Christian people pitted against each other, such that many suffered persecution and even death at the hands of others claiming to know the same Lord. A legacy of mistrust and competition would then accompany the astonishing global spread of Christianity in the centuries that followed. All this leaves us much to ponder.

      You would prefer an anathema on the “false gospel of Rome”?

      • carl jacobs

        The Reformation was not a big misunderstanding. It was an essential disagreement over essential things. I will not retreat from the implication of that statement. A church that teaches justification by faith plus works is a church that teaches a false gospel. Rome teaches justification by faith plus works. QED.

        And do you seriously not understand the context of this statement? Do you really not understand this constant yammering about “good disagreement”? Things are about to happenings CoE that will tear it asunder. They may be willing to lose 20% of membership in service
        to the spirit of the age but they would prefer not to lose 50%. He is trying to be proactive.

        • First of all, the Catholic view of salvation is not faith plus works, if by works you mean purely human efforts to win God’s favour. We’ve covered this before.

          Catholics believe in salvation by grace alone, yet grace must not be resisted, either before justification (by remaining in unbelief) or after (by engaging in serious sin). Read carefully 1 Corinthians 6, Galatians 5, and Ephesians 5.

          Second, the Bible nowhere uses the expressions “justification by faith alone” or “salvation by faith alone.” The first was directly the invention of Luther; the second his by implication. Luther inserted “alone” into the German translation of Romans 3:28 to give credence to his new doctrine.

          The teaching of the Catholic Church is that we can do nothing to merit the grace that comes to us in baptism, which is the normal beginning of the Christian life. In fact, the Council of Trent condemned anyone who taught that we can save ourselves or who taught even that God helps us do what we could do for ourselves. The Church teaches that we can be saved only by God’s grace.

          • Martin

            HJ

            If grace can can be resisted then not resisting it is works.

            For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 [ESV])

            Clearly it must be faith alone.

          • Catholics agree. You do know what “works of the law” are referring to?

          • Martin

            HJ

            It seems that ‘Catholics’ do not agree. The current pope seems to be very much at odds with those at the Vatican, the leader of a certain ancient order, even many of his ‘flock’ in the USA.

            And since God has commanded all men everywhere to repent and believe then surely resisting that grace that enables them to do so is to reject a work of the law,

          • chefofsinners

            Sanctification is the process of becoming holier and holier through time.
            Salvation, by its very meaning, must be complete to exist at all.

          • Sanctifying grace stays in the soul. It’s what makes the soul holy; it gives the soul supernatural life by perfecting us and enabling us to stand in the presence of God.

            Sanctifying grace involves a real transformation of the soul. Most of the Protestant Reformers denied that a real transformation takes place in the soul – that God doesn’t actually wipe away our sins. Our souls don’t become spotless and holy in themselves. Instead, they remain corrupted, sinful, full of sin. God merely throws a cloak over them and treats them as if they were spotless, knowing all the while that they’re not.

            Catholic believe souls really are cleansed by an infusion of the supernatural life – rather than an imputation of grace that covers sin. Paul speaks of us as “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17), “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). We’re still subject to temptations to sin; we still suffer the effects of Adam’s Fall but God removes the guilt from our souls.

            We need sanctifying grace in our souls if we’re to be equipped for heaven. We need to be justified. “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).

            The Protestant misunderstanding of justification lies in its claim that justification is merely a forensic, declaratory, legal declaration by God that the sinner is now “justified.” He doesn’t really make you justified or sanctified; your soul is in the same state as it was before; but you’re eligible for heaven.

            A person’s degree of sanctification is immaterial to the question of whether you’ll get to heaven. You will, since you’re justified; and justification as a purely legal declaration is what counts. Unfortunately, this is a fiction. It amounts to God telling an untruth by saying the sinner has been justified, while all along he knows that the sinner is not really justified, but is only covered under the “cloak” of Christ’s righteousness. God declares you justified, he makes you justified. However, any justification that is not woven together with sanctification is no justification at all.

            Paul that teaches there is a real transformation which occurs in justification, that it is not just a change in legal status but being freed from sin in an experiential sense. We make a decisive break with sin that must be reflected in our behaviour: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom. 6:1-2). “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness” (6:12-13). Justification involves a real transformation, a real, experiential freeing from sin, not just a change of legal status. There is no rigid wall between justification and sanctification that Protestants imagine.

            According to Scripture, sanctification and justification aren’t just one-time events, but are ongoing processes in the life of the believer. Both can be spoken of as past-time events, as Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 6:11: “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Sanctification is also a present, ongoing process, as Hebrews notes: “For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). In regard to justification also being an on-going process, compare Romans 4:3; Genesis 15:6 with Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 12:1-4 and James 2:21-23; Genesis 22:1-18. In these passages, Abraham’s justification is advanced on three separate occasions.

            Calvin taught the absolute impossibility of losing justification. Luther said it could be lost only through the sin of unbelief; that is, by undoing the act of faith and rejecting Christ; but not by what Catholics call mortal sins.

            Catholics see it differently. If you sin grievously, the supernatural life in your soul disappears, since it can’t co-exist with serious sin. You then cease to be justified. If you were to die while unjustified, you’d go to hell. But you can become re-justified by having the supernatural life renewed in your soul, and you can do that by responding to the actual graces God sends you, particularly through reception of the sacraments. Once you have supernatural life, once sanctifying grace is in your soul, you can increase it by every supernaturally good action you do: receiving Communion, saying prayers, performing the corporal works of mercy.

            We must continually seek God’s grace, continually responding to the graces God is working within us, inclining us to turn to him and do good. This is what Paul discusses when he instructs us: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain” (Phil. 2:12–16).

          • chefofsinners

            Sanctification is indeed an ongoing process. That’s what I said.
            Your claim that justification is an ongoing process is based on Abraham, a man who did not live in days when the gospel was preached and did not know the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
            Christ is the propitiation for our sin, justifying us while we are being sanctified, a work which is completed at death. Ultimately, since God is an eternal being time and process have limited importance in all this.

          • Watchman

            Jack, what is a mortal sin, and who defines what it is?

          • It’s a sin that kills grace in the soul and separates one from Christ.

            Here’s an article about this:

            http://www.saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html

          • Watchman

            Thanks, Jack. The article was useful in that is convicted me that Catholic theology was invented by men by torturing scripture in order to gain power over their “flock” or should I say “captives”. The exegesis of scripture in the article takes huge liberties with God’s Word to the point of blasphemy, but thank you anyway.

          • carl jacobs

            That which is not of faith is of works. If faith is not alone then by definition it is mated with works.

          • Define faith, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            That is such a Catholic response.

          • Not an answer, Carl.

    • Albert

      Absolutely. They should throw the Protestant Reformation under a bus in order to serve the Gospel.

      • Merchantman

        What a splendid idea; what about some sort of inquisition to sniff out protesting trouble makers.

        • Albert

          So Catholicism = Inquisition does it? You do know that even the Spanish Inquisition was typically more merciful than Protestant courts?

          • Holger

            Catholicism = obscurantism.

            It would = inquisition if it could, but the days when it could torture compliance out of dissenters are nothing but a fond memory for it.

            Ah how the thought of thumbscrews and racks must make you all misty-eyed about the past. Look at what you’ve lost! Unquestioning obedience to every moral dictate. Altar servers on tap. Those were the days, eh?

          • Albert

            Holger = unevidenced assertion contrary to evidence.
            Unevidence assertion contrary to evidence = prejudice.
            Therefore: Holger = prejudice.

      • Bruce Atkinson

        Despite two millennium of clear evidence of heresies, abuses, organisational corruption, and such realities as rampant pedophilia and homosexual acting out among the clergy, the continuing presence of Roman Catholic hubris never ceases to amaze me. You would think that these grave errors would lead to humility. Not. Catholics still feel entitled to look down their self-righteous patrician noses at Protestants as being second class citizens in the kingdom of God. Matthew 23 applies.

        • Albert

          Despite two millennium of clear evidence of heresies, abuses, Despite two millennium of clear evidence of heresies, abuses, organisational corruption, and such realities as rampant pedophilia and homosexual acting out among the clergy, the continuing presence of Roman Catholic hubris never ceases to amaze me, and such realities as rampant pedophilia and homosexual acting out among the clergy, the continuing presence of Roman Catholic hubris never ceases to amaze me

          So it’s all about personal animus. Let’s take the points one by one.

          Heresies – that’s assuming the point at issue. Your claim that the Catholic Church is heretical might just be a sign that you are heretical. But your argument here assumes that the Catholic Church knows it is heretical. But of course it doesn’t.

          Abuses, organisational corruption Certainly. But abuses are part of humanity as it currently. You don’t get rid of abuses by leaving the Catholic Church, you simply create a new institution for abuses to happen.

          rampant pedophilia Not rampant and not paedophilia for the most part. You failure to see that this suggestion can be met with a simple tu quoque, is troubling. It’s perhaps because of assumptions like that that there’s a particularly unpleasant story in the papers today touching the CofE. No one dealt with these thing because no one could believe it, or believe it happens in their institution.

          So let’s turn this around. From Protestantism we have serial incoherence, serial heresy, the rise of secularism, the occasion of division on an unprecedented scale. Easy to spot errors of biblical interpretation. Missionary lethargy. And this is in addition to all those things you accused the Catholic Church of (for, removing the exaggeration of your presentation, all those thing happen in Protestantism). And yet, you are sure that you have the gift of interpretation, even though scripture says you may not.

          You would think that these grave errors would lead to humility

          Quite.

          Catholics still feel entitled to look down their self-righteous patrician noses at Protestants as being second class citizens in the kingdom of God.

          You seem to have forgotten that this conversation began with you responding to me, not the other way around. All I have asked for is a coherent account of how you know you rightly encounter God’s revelation. This is not a trivial matter. Failure to answer this question as an Anglican made me a Catholic. Judging by your slipping over into serial ad hominem, you are no better at answering that question than I was.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            I keep answering your question but you never acknowledge it. I also have provided links to my longer answers and you do not acknowledge them. Then you accuse me of not answering. I find this quite frustrating. You may be capable of listening (intelligent enough) but I think you are so psychologically defended that you refuse to hear (as the Pharisees in Matthew 13:10-12).

            Again:
            http://www.virtueonline.org/basic-guide-bible-interpretation-part-iii-humbled-facts-interpretive-process
            http://www.virtueonline.org/scripture-and-church-issue-authority-interpretation-scripture

          • Albert

            I keep answering your question but you never acknowledge it.

            But do you though? If I don’t think you answer the question then either I am mistaken or you are. How do you know, for example, which wider interpretative community you need to belong to, without basing that judgement on the very thing that you need the community to help you interpret – namely scripture? I admit, I haven’t read these two links, unless they are the ones you posted earlier. But that is for lack of time. If you have such an answer, please copy and paste it here. If not, please stop accusing of not acknowledging your answer and indeed, please stop saying things like this:

            You may be capable of listening (intelligent enough) but I think you are so psychologically defended that you refuse to hear (as the Pharisees in Matthew 13:13-15).

            Funnily enough, I have been thinking the same of you. The moment you became aggressive and abusive, was the moment I wondered if at some level you had seem the point and found it uncomfortable.

  • Don Benson

    It seems that 500 years later Justin Welby still doesn’t understand why the Reformation had to happen, and why it was so hard won; I believe that is because he has chosen the feel-good mantra of ‘unity’ as his first priority over the rather more challenging one of ‘truth’. He seems to see episcopal manoeuvrings and the manipulation of people into cosy mutual acceptance as his main role in life, and this virtue signalling travesty is the latest manifestation of that mindset.

    Yes of course there should be unity among Christians but it can only be unity around the truth, and so the truth has first to be discovered and accepted by all who seek real unity. Anything else is psychological politics, and that is far indeed from the real life-changing truth of the Christian Gospel. It is more than sad to witness a church leadership that chooses to occupy itself with such vain priorities.

    • dannybhoy

      Amen.

    • David

      Well put !

  • dannybhoy

    I throw this into the mix. It’s an article quoting the Catholic Archbishop, Monsignor Carlo Liberati talking about the spread of Islam..
    I include it not to detract from the discussion but to point out that the way forward for the whole Christian Church is in the words of the old chorus,
    ‘to turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face,
    and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.’
    That’s where it’s at, my friends and brothers in the Lord.
    We cannot ignore the past, or pretend Luther got his priorities wrong in order to build a false unity based upon a false premise. Before God Luther was right, and it’s sad that there was a serious split; but he was still right and we owe him a great debt for standing up for God’s truth.
    I have no wish to argue with Catholics over differences past and present. I have no wish to score points. What I want is for us to unite around what we do agree upon, and seek to see the Lord Jesus in each other and encourage one another in the faith.
    Here’s the article..
    Catholic Archbishop, Monsignor Carlo Liberati

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Aye, there’ll be the Devil to pay for what Sentamu and Welby have ignited: setting us at each other’s throats.

      • dannybhoy

        As others more learned than I have said, it may be that a split is inevitable within the Anglican Church. That those who believe in the unity of Christ Jesus and the authority of Scripture will be forced to leave those who worship at the altar of ‘Unity before Truth’.
        I am reminded of John 16>
        “15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
        So perhaps the Vine Dresser has stepped out into His vineyard..

        • Dominic Stockford

          Martyn Lloyd Jones said this split had to happen all the way back in 1966. They’ve been ignoring this truth ever since.

          • Anton

            What holds the CoE together is desire of all factions to remain the Established church.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Probably so. And the few who are sincere Christians (as the BCP terms it) spend much time conning themselves that by staying in the CofE they can ‘fight for the truth from within’. Which is akin to saying that attending a strip club is fine if you are doing so in order to try to change it into a community centre.

          • Anton

            There are good and bad reasons for Anglican evangelicals to stand and fight. Bad ones – salary, the buildings. Good ones – tangible witness in every place. but sooner or later the evangelicals are going to have to follow their own logic, observe that scripture does not point to Establishment, and “come out of her, my people”. What remains should be no concern of theirs.

      • Irony, Chaucher? Remember we have American visitors amongst us and some British literalists too.

        • chefofsinners

          Yes, I am literally British.

    • “Before God Luther was right, and it’s sad that there was a serious split; but he was still right and we owe him a great debt for standing up for God’s truth.”

      No so. True Luther called out the sins of the Church of his time that needed reform, however, he misrepresented Catholic doctrine on justification, and the dynamic between grace, faith and works, and constructed his own gospel.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Where is the article?

  • Royinsouthwest

    Where the Church of Scotland leads the Church of England follows.

    Muslim call to prayer at cathedral sparks debate, explanations and a deleted Facebook post
    http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/organisers-hit-out-at-inappropriate-claims-after-muslim-call-to-prayer-at-gloucester-cathedral/story-30065568-detail/story.html

    “The idea to launch a new multi-cultural exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral with the Islamic faith’s call to prayer has gone down a storm in the city – but has also caused some division.”

    • Dominic Stockford

      Having relatives who live in Gloucester it is surprising to find how many muslims live there. The CofE ought simply to give up, they just don’t know the Christian faith at all.

    • The Inspectors favourite Bishop. Jack is sure he’d be comfortable with Muslim calls to prayers, Buddhist chanting, Rasta drumming and story-telling, Hindu dancing, a Jewish Klezmer bands and a Pagan rock band.

      One has to ask why Satanists were excluded.

      • chefofsinners

        In a concession to the traditionalists, the temple prostitutes will no longer be allowed to deal class A drugs in the Sunday school.

        • And as a compromise to progressives there will be male, female and transgendered prostitutes.

      • Anton

        Psalms done kletzmer are great. The joyful ones, of course.

    • Inspector General

      Oh shit…

      • Royinsouthwest

        Would you recommend that anyone planning a visit should prepare himself or herself by watching “Carry on up the Khyber” first?

        • Inspector General

          Anyone planning to go should not…if they are planning on getting their spiritual hide into Christian heaven…

          • Anton

            It helps to believe that Christ was God, too.

    • CliveM

      That was the Scottish Episcopal Church, not the Church of Scotland.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Yes, of course. I know the difference and should not have made that mistake. Thanks for pointing it out.

    • Anton

      What do you expect? Not too long ago they took pieces of silver to let an occult Harry Potter movie be filmed there.

  • Bishop Steven J. Lopes, head of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

    ” … the Anglican Communion, as is well known, has “followed a practice of pastoral accommodation to the changing social and sexual mores in Europe and North America. It has liberalized divorce, allowed contraception, admitted those engaged in homosexual activity to communion and even (in some places) to the ordained ministry, and begun to bless same-sex unions” (“Recent Proposals for the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried: A Theological Assessment”). As a result, that Communion has fractured as the plain teaching of Scripture, Tradition and reason was rejected.

    In this context, “the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately” (Anglicanorum Cœtibus). To our great joy, the “successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the universal communion of all the Churches,” did not “fail to make available the means necessary to bring this holy desire to realization.”

    The three personal ordinariates “maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church” (III). In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we have “the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith” and are “governed according to the norms of universal law and the present apostolic constitution … subject to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia in accordance with their competencies” (I.5, II). Consequently, members of the ordinariate, as full members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, are governed by the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on marriage and divorce.

    This is a blessing and a gift, a homecoming and source of great joy; we do not consider or experience the teaching as alien or external, but as our own.

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/ordinariate-bishop-issues-pastoral-letter-on-amoris-laetitia

  • PessimisticPurple

    As usual, a Protestant apologist misunderstands the nature of Catholicism. When Christ founded the Catholic Church, He protected it from error. That only means that it’s theology would always be the truth. He never promised that Catholics would be able to adhere to it any better than anyone else. The point is, we know the truth. Nobody gets a derogation from it because the Pope, or the cardinals or the bishops don’t uphold it.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Please show your evidence for this spiel of claptrap.

      • Read scripture. You know the pertinent verses.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Did Christ come to found an institution that was “married” to the Roman Empire?

    • carl jacobs

      When Christ founded the Catholic Church, He protected it from error.

      That argument would be more credible if Roman dogma was not already replete with errors.

  • chefofsinners

    When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.

  • David

    This article has brought discord and strife amongst those that possess more than sufficient in common to collaborate, whilst respecting each others differences; but instead we see sad squabbling. This petty defence of the imperfect, should end for the greater common good, and immediately.
    Tomorrow will be a new, God given day. Let it be used well, by us all I say.
    Good night to one and all.

    • 1642again

      I agree David, but there are some who seem to take great delight in the COE’s troubles and to fish in troubled waters. Whatever their motive, it is not Christian.

  • Unity is not organizational, it is spiritual.
    “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20-21).
    Since the prayer was made by the Lord Jesus Christ, we may be sure that it has been answered, and those who believe in Christ alone through the Apostolic word (the Bible) are indeed one in Spirit.
    What needs to happen is that such people separate themselves from those who do not so believe.
    That is why we need another Reformation.

  • Steve Brown

    Look to the coin of the Realm. Thereupon you will see “Fid Def”, short for Fideo Defensor, Defender of the Faith. That is our Sovereign, the Queen.
    Her position in the Church Of England is inviolabe. Her Majesty has fulfilled this role to the best of her ability and within the parameters specified by Laws.
    No Bishop may challenge this, ever.

    • not a machine

      Her majesty believes in Christ ,Steve it is incalculable what that means

    • David

      Well said. She is perhaps the best public witness for the faith that we have. The drift of the country away from God must surely hurt her.

  • not a machine

    In responding to your graces article as best I can , I understand his unease at the term repent ,but if may offer some hope that at least some thoughts about language are developing ,even if this one does not help Anglicans understand what is being attempted .There probably is large number of churches in the Anglican communion that reflect a doctrinal position in a different way to my own ,they are people who hold there belief dear , some would like it standardized into a purely social function , but as anyone can find , even with a bit of church understanding ,you can soon be considering very big things. I had a stage in my life when I was fortunate to receive the old church ,high mass and workings .It wasn’t austere but it did require you to be thoughtful , for myself I think it developed a close relationship to god , after I had started to understand repentance. I also began to see the Roman catholic rite , in the Anglican service , so you couldn’t really help but enquire further about the schism. A lot of how you feel about the schism depends upon ,the learning of the person you are asking ,there are historic shots at each other ,that have lingered and yet I would imagine most Anglicans would wonder ,if Christ has two conversations or two holy spirits .I can assure those Anglicans who ponder if the holy spirit resides in the same way as it does in the Anglican ,that my Roman Catholic brothers and sisters , encounter Jesus ,the Holy spirit just as anyone else , who receives him , does .What I do notice is some difference in living and approach , but no difference in Christ effect upon a person .
    The historical gap , has made two different churches , and now it all gets rather difficult , because we are asking a questions about actions decades centuries ago, in a world when decrees were how we shaped things .The Archbishop and the queen have to ask themselves if they are serving God , His holiness Pope Francis has to ask the same thing , and this is where we perhaps begin to weep that the problems occurred as they did , for I often wonder what the church would have looked like ,had the charges , that Luther outlined were unfounded. the church of Rome has the Roman or Latin rite ,it perhaps can acknowledge that the loss of its sheep , were its position at that time. The subsequent changes have had a long history , at times enemies , at times strangers , but if you consider the high mass , no erasing of “catholic and apostolic faith” . I perhaps ponder that God has his timing , we are promised that the holy spirit will guide us.The situation is special and peculiar and will require a special and peculiar understanding and reconciliation ,indeed from a Vatican perspective it is dealing with a Monarchy , and it perhaps has to consider ,if that is an unusual thing.

    If we understand the schism properly we can at least ,look at if it would appear again ,I think I would want to keep the monarch as governor of the church , and I would want to be a member of that church ,if I can have a branch that keeps and values ,its history and workings. If there is such a thing as Anglican character ,then I might also consider how that could have value. I suppose some roman catholic countries have there own peculiarities in churches .
    if it is the case that , my thoughts on a full reconciliation are difficult , in that if it creates sadness because Rome does not understand the UK or the UK does not understand Rome , as though unable to celebrate Gods success in each other ,then we must not attempt it , but we certainly must not be enemies or strangers , somehow I think we both offend Christ , when we linger in the historical gap. I hope to do the route de Santiago compostella next year , to see that wonderful cathedral and have a pilgrimage ,I know my Roman catholic brothers and sisters ,will not be under holy orders , to do anything but share Gods love and holy spirit ,that must surely be better than the last 500yrs

    • cybervicar

      Thank you for a very considered reply . God bless

  • len

    Sometimes division is inevitable and even desirable.If one has a gangrenous leg sometimes amputation is the only answer.If ones Church is infected with sin and false doctrine it is sometimes necessary to remove oneself to protect ones integrity and to avoid the spiritual contamination which is inevitable in such as setting.
    This is the path Martin Luther and others took (at great danger to themselves )and thank God they did make the stand that they did.
    Satan has ensnared many with false doctrines and once these false doctrines have been swallowed they become ‘truth’ to the victim.Those who think they cannot be deceived probably already have been.
    It is only the Word of God that can preserve us from false belief systems and that fact is more important than ever now.

    • not a machine

      I would never err from the need to read and understand scripture, indeed it was well read scripture that began changing my understanding ,I do stand for the transference of the scripture to people .I understand your view Len , “you are to teach in parables” , it says to teach .I think the dialogue has much more to go ,looking at this attempt , but perhaps were improving eh .God will help if our hearts seek truth.

  • All it takes to have a division is an error and one or more people who won’t stand for it. There is plenty in the Bible to justify division in the face of error. Jesus said He came to divide, see also Malachi, Corinthians and Galatians where division is preferred over unity in error.

    The Protestant Reformation was necessary because of the errors of Rome and her refusal to repent. This from a man born and raised Catholic who by God’s grace was enlightened at the age of 19. Of course it wasn’t perfect, what is perfect in this world other than God’s Word?

    Let’s avoid the excesses of hard line ‘ no popery!’ Ulster Presbyterians without giving in to the spirit of the age that prefers a cheap fudge to honourable division over yruth and error. No apology for refusing to pray to Mary and the saints, no apology for rejecting papal magisterium over sola scriptura, no apology for rejecting a celibate, sacrificing, mediating ‘priesthood’ in favour of the one Mediator, blessed be He.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      May God bless you.

    • 1642again

      Entirely agree. If the CoE embraces heresy it will die. The healthy bits will break away and regrow because they are rooted in fidelity to His Word. The energy such a break will release will be astonishing.

    • IanCad

      Good Stuff Stephen!! Nice to see you back.

    • dannybhoy

      Great post Stephen.

    • Dominic Stockford

      So, in a nutshell, no popery then.

      • When I use the phrase ”hard line ‘no popery’ Ulster Presbyterians’ I mean that there is, and has been, some nasty tribalism expressed in a way that is bereft of Christian love and far from the Apostolic admonition to correct error in a spirit of gentleness. We don’t want that.

        Tough on error, gentle towards it’s victims. ‘Beloved, if any of you is led away in any trespass, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, taking care that you too are not led astray.’ Galatians 6:1

        If you want anger though, I can do it, having been brought up in a religion which presented a false version of history and had me praying to Mary. When after my conversion I put some questions about The Atonement to my parish priest which he could not answer, he said ‘Don’t read the Bible, you’ll just get confused. But don’t worry, it’s impossible for the church to be wrong, you need a good book on The Mass.’

        One of his successors in that very church was removed for child sex abuse, as was the chaplain at my Catholic boy’s school (at which I was very unhappy, forced to travel 10 miles each way to go there against my wishes….I’ll stop there)

        So yes I can shout, blame and condemn as loudly as the rest of them, and I would if I thought it worked, but I really don’t have the inclination or energy. But I won’t stand for any whimpering apologies about The Reformation. If the C of E think it was so bad, I’;m sure Rome will have them back. As for me, I quit Anglicanism for a sola scriptura independent Evangelical church over the Pilling report 3 years ago and wish I’d done it earlier.

        kind regards.

  • NortyNina

    Just read the Bible and learn your scripture first hand. Don’t get too closely involved in the quagmire and baggage of institutions.

    • 1642again

      Hello Nina. Turned up here now have you after being kicked off Going Postal for relentless anti-Semitism and espousal of Nazism? Did Guido get rid of you as well?

      • NortyNina

        “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

        Exodus 20:16

        • 1642again

          Have you repented? Or are you about to start telling us that Jesus wasn’t a Jew, that Judaism wasn’t invented until the 3rd century AD, that there’s a giant worldwide Jewish controlled conspiracy against white Christians etc?

          • NortyNina

            When was the talmud written? Both versions.

          • 1642again

            And so it begins…

          • NortyNina

            Evasion.

            Actually you began it with a series of unsubstantiated ad hominems. I was minding my own business.

          • 1642again

            LOL. Why were you banned from Going Postal then? They still laugh at you now!

            Just wanted the good folk of this parish to know what you are.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Thanks. I don’t need nonsense anti-semitism here to add to my stress!

          • 1642again

            She can’t help herself. Wait until she really gets going although now she knows she’s been spotted by a couple of us who’ve seen her elsewhere she may leave us alone. I don’t want any more long arguments about why the Holocaust never happened or why David Irving’s right.

          • Anton

            Is there anything to David Irving’s right?

          • 1642again

            I wouldn’t want to look!

          • NortyNina

            I have no opinion on the holocaust. That’s why I never talk about it, despite what you want people to think.

          • 1642again

            LOL. You just can’t stop yourself can you?

          • NortyNina

            Why are you trying to turn this comment forum into a mess?

          • 1642again

            Because I don’t want you wrecking it as you try to colonise it for neo-nazis. You tried at Going Postal and got banned, had a go at Order-Order and have now popped up here. Go back to the Dark where you belong unless you want to repent and come into the Light.

          • That’s a good question. This emerging thread is nothing to do with subject matter at hand. Ms NortyNina’s beliefs about the Holocaust are irrelevant to the legal status of the Church of England. Please go elsewhere to talk about your pet topics, whatever they may be. Bless you.

          • NortyNina

            Absolutely correct. But it wasn’t me who raised it.

          • 1642again

            You need to be aware Your Grace of what can follow. It’s up to you now,

          • chefofsinners

            Let it happen.
            Imagine the spectacle of a fight between Linus and NaziNina.
            Give her enough rope and she’ll gas herself,

          • 1642again

            It’s funny but those types of nutters never attack each other.

          • carl jacobs

            With such temptation do you entice me. I would have to unblock Linus if that should occur.

          • CliveM

            You have no opinion on the holocaust? Millions of people were murdered, men, women and children and you have no opinion?

          • 1642again

            She does, but’s scared to express on here without her little fellow travellers OrderoutofChaos , peter6218 etc.

          • CliveM

            I’m waiting to see (if she does) how she responds to my question.

            The Holocaust is something only a liar would pretend not to have an opinion on.

          • CliveM

            Deleted

          • Hi

            What’s the Talmud got to do with things?

            But in any case when it was written is a silly question, because the Mishnah was actually written down as part of the Talmuds , from a much older oral tradition .

      • carl jacobs

        Well, that took all of one Google search to verify. Thanks for the head’s up, 1642.

        • 1642again

          She also uses the monikier Maid Meena sometimes. We were betting what next and I plumped for Loopy Lena as she seems to be working backwards through the alphabet.

    • Hi

      You can learn to quote something by heart, but what is the crux of the matter is the interpretation you put upon that something. So you still need either a mechanism(or forum) of coming consensus in interpreting holy writ and of resolving different interpretations. I think every religion has basics which people don’t dispute, even when divided into denominations. In this case I’m guessing the church of England has its bible , general synod, the book of common prayer and the 39 articles….. god maybe.

  • David

    Only God knows who are the true Christians or not. Likewise the Church is not an institution but that throng, living on earth and above, who trust in Jesus for their salvation, and therefore are servants of Jesus Christ. Institutions must exist to serve God, who commands us to spread the gospel, and when they cease to do that, and serve other forces including our ever changing culture, then their death is inevitable. Upholding the truth, sadly, requires schism. This is done so that Truth can free itself from error and march on, fulfilling its task of spreading to all corners of the world. To venerate an institution, is a form of man centred worship, of which we have many other examples.

  • michaelkx

    If any one needs to repent it is the bishops, they let same sex marriage, abortion, Christians prosecuted for perching the Bible, schools not allowed to have prayers, because it might offend somebody, and they said Nothing not a whimper.

    • Anton

      I think some bishops openly said they were against abortion in 1967, but the idea of within-the-law militant campaigning was foreign to them – and still is.

      • michaelkx

        Anton that was 1967 little has be said in the last year or two.

  • Anton

    There are various types of bishop. There is the bad bishop. There is the middling bishop. Then there is the good bishop – in fact, almost as good as no bishop at all.

    • 1642again

      Give it a break Anton. It’s a matter adiaphora, of little relevance to the heart of the matter. It’s the people in the office who are the problem, not the name of the office itself. Any church needs governors, what they’re called is irrelevant. The COE’s problem if that its Bishops do not uphold scriptural doctrine or even its own articles. It’s because how and from where they’re appointed.

      We should recreate the Cromwellian Parliament’s appointment of Triers-and-Ejectors who examined all clergy for doctrinal rigour, honesty and behaviour and sacked any that failed.

      PS You’ve just upticked below a notorious anti Semite and neo-nazi of the blogosphere.

      • Anton

        I wasn’t planning a sermon on the scriptural meaning of episkopos and its abuse, just borrowing a little of the late John Sparrow’s wit. (He was a caninophobe and the original quote was about dogs.)

        • 1642again

          I know, but I get fed up with RC’s constantly chipping at Protestants and the Reformation, and frankly we should be respecting one another’s differences on trifles like what the senior governors of the churches are called. If the Bishops were abolished tomorrow it wouldn’t change by belief in Cranmer’s vision for the church one iota, but I would rather focus on getting the right people as Bishops than on getting the office scrapped. Christians have enough enemies within and without these days without squabbling amongst ourselves over trifles.

      • dannybhoy

        “We should recreate the Cromwellian Parliament’s appointment of Triers-and-Ejectors who examined all clergy for doctrinal rigour, honesty and behaviour and sacked any that failed.”
        The problem of course is that men no matter how well meaning, will always screw up. We get lazy,distracted, corrupted etc.
        It seems to me that in the early days of the Christian Church there was this system whereby congregations were as important as their oversight, and the Lord through the Holy Spirit was just as likely to speak through one as through the other.
        That’s what we should be aiming for, even when it goes wrong…

        • 1642again

          Agreed within reason, but I have seen non-conformist congregations choose a terrible minister, one such introduced dancing during communion! The sensible congregants left and he was left in total control to introduce more nuttery. Any church, like any organisation, needs a balance with higher level oversight.

          • dannybhoy

            yes, but even the oversight can go wrong or become less committed or less equipped..
            I do agree with your basic premise.

          • Anton

            It needs leadership by a council of elders/overseers, not by one man. As soon as you have oversight of multiple congregations by one man the problem worsens. As for oversight by one man of the overseers of multiple congregations, he’s called Pope and that didn’t work out too well.

          • 1642again

            They had all that. Neither system is perfect. It needs checks-and-balances.

          • Anton

            No system run by fallible man is going to be perfect (and all men are fallible!) But I believe the system I have described is that set out in the New Testament and I think that God has a very good reason for congregations being autonomous under His Son, namely damage limitation. If Satan takes down a few congregation leaders then a few congregations go wrong. If he takes down the same number of men high up in a hierarchy then he can take down the church across an entire continent. (No, that could never happen…)

          • 1642again

            I agree with much of that, but think that a senior hierarchy if selected correctly by the congregations, can act as a further check on lunacy. The RCC is too much one way, many free churches too far the other, the CoE could have it right but Bishops should be elected from parish clergy by the Churchwardens and clergy under them.

          • Anton

            Too many free churches have one-man leadership, but if you agree as a matter of exegesis that the primitive church had congregations autonomous under Christ once their founding apostolos had passed on, then by what authority did the church shift from the biblical structure? For that change to be legitimate, wouldn’t it have to be by a higher authority than that which wrote the Bible?

          • 1642again

            The scale of the early church was rather different to that of today. Besides it had Jesus’ personally appointed Apostles to guide it. Let us also not forget that Jesus did not dictate the New Testament in the way Muslims claim that Allah dictated the Koran. It was written by men inspired by Christ and the Holy Spirit.

            Forms/organisations are tools to do the job. A worldwide church in a time of universal education and 24 hour media and mass communication needs to be run in manner appropriate to do the job best, ie saving souls, in the conditions applying.

          • Anton

            Jesus did actually dictate seven letters to churches that would have made a natural diocese (Rev 2&3). In those letters he never ordered them to accept oversight by a one man on earth and he treated them all as automonous under Him.

            PS The house church movement in China has the NT structure and is doing great in the modern world.

          • 1642again

            Accept the point about house churches but that is a requirement of Chinese persecution. If that returns here then that’s the way we will go. But one could argue it was similar in the Roman Empire until Constantine and that when all the underground churches came out they found that they disagreed on a lot of things, hence Nicaea. As I will go on saying, no system’s perfect and there must be checks-and-balances.

            As for the Rev quote – Jesus was the omnipotent Son of God, rather different from human failings! Not sure it’s relevant.

          • Anton

            The view that as soon as persecution lifts a hierarchy should be instituted – implying that hierarchy is the ideal – is exactly what I disagree with (although perhaps we’ve aired our viewpoints adequately by now). Look what it led to.

            The main issue once Constantine got going was the Donatists. They refused to accept back, as leaders of their congregations, men who during the persecution had betrayed them to the authorities, sometimes with mortal result. I would not have tolerated such leadership either (would you?) Such men might be accepted back into the church, but as penitents, not as leaders – and the fact they wanted those leadership positions back proves their continuing unfitness for them. The controversy over whether the sacraments they administered were valid was a proxy for this, the real issue. In those circumstances I’d have gone off to become part of a congregation unrecognised by the authorities but led by godly men – and if the State-anointed congregations betrayed us then, like the Lollards, I’d think of Christ’s words, the time is coming when whoever kills you will think he is doing God a service (John 16:2).

          • 1642again

            The Donatist issue was largely confined to the province of Africa and there were plenty of theological disagreements to sort out at Nicaea, and indeed many further meetings, Arianism for one. As for those who performed the sacrifices to the emperors to avoid persecution it was probably a calculation by some to ensure something of the leadership survived. People forget that Diocletian’s persecution just before Constantine was far worse than that of Nero. It’s difficult for us to judge precisely from this distance but on the whole I agree they should have have been put into leadership positions.

          • Anton

            But I’m not talking about those who sacrificed to the Emperor; they betray only themselves. I’m talking about those who betrayed their brethren under Diocletian’s persecution.

            As a matter of history, Diocletian’s persecution was bad in some places, less so in others throughout the Empire. Much depended on the local governor. From memory, it was worst in the east. And I agree about Arianism, of course.

          • 1642again

            Understood and agreed. Physical betrayal meant that they should have been readmitted only as genuine penitents. As for Diocletian’s persecution, yes it varied by governor but that’s inevitable in a pre-technological age with slow communications. Interestingly enough, it was the junior Caesar Constantius (Constantine’s father) was hardly persecuted at all in his provinces of Britannia and Gaul, but then the Christian presence was probably still quite small, especially in Britain, whereas in the Mediterranean provinces, particularly Africa and Syria some scholars believe the Christian population was nearing a majority and was urban based and therefore more vulnerable.

      • Anton

        Never heard of her. I upticked her comment. If she goes antisemitic here I’ll respond.

        • 1642again

          It’s how she starts. We all make that mistake at the start. Then her ‘mates’ turn up…

          • Anton

            I can hardly look up a newcomer’s blog record before upticking a sensible comment, but I appreciate the warning; thank you.

      • Dominic Stockford

        episcopoi/bishop/overseer – who cares the title – its what the institution makes of it that causes (in this case) the problems.

        • 1642again

          That’s my point.

  • Holger

    The queen swore an oath to protect the settlement of the Church of England as by law established, which clearly means that her duty is to uphold the law as it is currently constituted.

    If a law changes or is repealed, she must uphold the law that replaces it.

    The oath can’t work any other way. If it did, she’d be condemned to withhold the Royal Assent from any changes to any law as it stood in 1953. She would become a dead weight preventing all new legislation and all modification of existing legislation. In effect she would become the British version of Louis XVI, a veritable Madame Véto who would bring the monarchy crashing down around her stubborn ears.

    If Parliament passes a law disestablishing the Church, the queen’s oath will force her to give her assent, just as she gave her assent to the Equal Marriage Act. As by law established means what it says.

    • Dominic Stockford

      But, legally, it isn’t law until she has signed it – so logically therefore she doesn’t HAVE to do so.

      • Holger

        The queen can only act in her capacity as head of state on on the advice of her prime minister. She is not free to give or withhold the Royal Assent according to her own conscience. This is a basic principle of the British constitution, which has operated this way since late Georgian times. The monarch is sovereign in name only. Effective sovereignty lies with parliament and the queen’s job is merely to enact its decisions.

        If you were a parliamentary candidate, you must know this. If you don’t, I can’t say I’m surprised you’ve never been elected. Or even retained your deposit, come to that.

        If I were you I’d bone up on British constitutional convention. It’s unwritten of course, although Bagehot jotted down a few notes in Victoria’s reign that might be a good starting point. Of course for those afflicted by Asperger’s-style literalism, none of it will make any sense. But that’s the way you people govern yourselves and it’s unlikely to change any time soon.

        If Parliament passes a bill to disestablish the Church the queen can sign it in full obedience to her oath as it will indeed be the settlement by law enacted. The writers of that oath never intended it to be used to set laws in stone so they could never be changed, but rather to force the monarch to respect the democratically expressed will of the people as determined by Parliament.

        I think your monarch understands this and despite having assented to abortion, divorce and equal marriage laws, she sleeps easy in her bed at night knowing that she has never broken her oath to respect democracy. That’s what the coronation oath is. Nothing more.

        • Gladiatrix

          The Queen is free to withhold the Royal Assent according to her conscience if she believes it not to be in the interest of the country, viz Queen Anne refusing to sign the Militia Bill into law and Queen Victoria refusing to sign the original version of the Offences Against the Person Act into law.

          • Holger

            The monarchy in the time of Queen Anne still retained vestiges of its former power. By the time of Queen Victoria’s reign, that power had disappeared altogether.

            The legend that Victoria refused to sign a “first version” of the Offences Against The Person Act because she refused to believe that lesbianism existed is just that: a legend, one of the many based around the queen’s infamous prudery. There are no reports of it at the time. No record of the Royal Assent being refused. No mention in Hansard of additional parliamentary debate for a revised bill.

            While it’s possible the queen discussed the issue with her prime minister while the bill was being drafted and expressed an opinion, which would be perfectly in accord with her consititutional right to be consulted, to encourage and to warn, at no point did she ever withhold the Royal Assent.

            So when you claim that the present queen can do what her predecessor could not, you’re completely mistaken. Britain’s monarchy has been exclusively constitutional since the accession of the first George. Queen Anne was the last monarch who refused to sign legislation. No modern monarch can do it, not Victoria and certainly not Elizabeth II.

  • David

    With Gloucester Cathedral about to launch its multiculti, all roads lead up the mountain to God festival, it seems that elements within the national Church may degenerate into a meaningless muddle, if not outright syncretism. This is the path already trod by the American Episcopalians. As in the US it will probably lead to loss of the conservative, Biblically led elements, who of course contribute a disproportionate percentage of the funds.

  • len

    The amount of discord and deception going on in ‘The church’ today is somewhat short of incredible.
    God gave us His Word and if that was not enough(for some) God gave us His Spirit to bear witness to His Truth.
    What could possibly go wrong?.

    Enter that’ serpent of old’ with the best trick he ever came up with , so good he has had no need to change this deception since man first walked this Earth “Did God really say”

    Well this was no problem because NOW we have the Word to counter the devil.”Yes God really did say, I have His Word Here.!”
    But now the serpent needed a different tactic but using the same method…”Well God did say that ..BUT He meant this!”
    And so on ….

    • Sarky

      That’s not the devil, that’s man. Always interpreting the bible a certain way to meet their own agendas and needs.
      It’s been that way since the council of nicea. The bible isn’t the word of god, it’s the word man wants god to have.

      • len

        You have added to the confusion there Sarky…
        God is not the author of confusion….

      • ChaucerChronicle

        ‘The thing is, as Lewis points out, the argument cuts both ways. In the case of Freud and other atheists, it could be argued that the reason (cause) why they do not believe in God has some basis in their childhood with their Dad, having a psychological explanation and has nothing intellectual about it at all. This is itself a form of wish fulfilment, they don’t wish there to be a God and so find arguments to back their position. In his book Faith of the Fatherless, the Christian psychologist Paul Vitz explores Freud’s claim mentioned earlier that “an atheist’s disappointment in and resentment of his own father unconsciously justifies his rejection of God”. And what he did was to examine the childhood of the most famous atheists of all time – Nietzsche, Hume, Bertrand Russell, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Sartre and others and he concluded: “We find a weak, dead or abusive father in every case.” In many instances the link between atheism and a defective father is openly acknowledged. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying, This doesn’t mean that atheism is wrong, it just means that you can’t settle the validity of any belief (including atheism) on the basis of other things, you need to use reason and evidence.’

        Melvin Tinker

        • Sarky

          My dad is a christian???

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Irrelevant.

          • Sarky

            I also spent many years looking at both sides before I came came down definitively on the side of atheism.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Irrelevant.

          • Sarky

            What the hell are you trapping on about then???

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘The bible isn’t the word of god, it’s the word man wants god to have.’

            ‘the argument cuts both ways’

        • Anton

          Vitz’s book ” Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious” is a good read.

  • Shadrach Fire

    HM should tell her Arch Bishops to get real and get out of this flaky nonsense. What are they trying to cause a distraction from. She is more of a Christian than either of them.

  • Hi

    Well , anyone can criticise the c of e for not being one extreme or the other (protestant or catholic/ Anglo Catholic / Evangelism with a dash of liberal types ) and be confused as to what exactly it believes (I am!)

    But that’s what it was founded to do , the via media and be a bit of both, a sort of religious beer shandy , catholics bring the beer and Evangelicalism the lemonade : the liberal bit being a straw, which people can ignore , so as to gulp down the whole drink or use to just suck on to take little sips . Providing no-one rocked the boat it worked fine.

    It’s very English in that sense:

    Pragmatic, consensus & compromise.
    A bit of both Protestant and Catholic .
    Christianity with the scary bits optionally extra
    Religious , without being extroverted bible thumping fundamentalist

    It seemingly worked when the church was full. It’s fallen down to my mind in recent years because , the liberal part seems to have pulled off a palace coup, rocked the boat, taken it over and in the process watching it capsized , to get their agenda . It is as if the barman in the shandy analogy has super glued the straw to the glass and that is the only way to drink the c of e….

    The problem is that liberal religion isn’t actually liberal and doesn’t really challenge or inspire or help people grow in their understanding of whatever it is they follow. It certainly smashes ancient tradition and in my faith custom , tradition and Masorah are very important .

    In the meantime England has lost site of understanding the arcane struggles of protestants verses catholic , calendars and moved on. Everyone thinks the c of e is focused on gays and women vicars and Jesus as some tool to promote Labour and the Greens. Furthermore it seems to be stuck in minutiae , like when my sister in an ecumenical effort wished a vicar happy Christmas she told her it was advent, not Christmas … as Noddy Holder was playing around us in the Costa Coffee shop (?).

    The mystery to me is that people note here that the liberal wing is the smallest bit in terms of cash and numbers. Yet they’re having a ball with pushing through women vicars and bishops , gay married vicars etc and are almost certain (I think) to allow religious gay marriage in their churches. It is only fair as st Paul says no woman can be over a man in leadership . That’s been dismissed. So can his stuff about gays. That’s the orbit of the church of England’s logic.

    But ,

    How does the liberal tail way the Anglo Catholic and Evangelicalism dog?

    Why have the Anglo Catholics and Evangelicalism people allowed this to happen? Why can’t they veto it?

    If the two big wings are bigger in numbers then they’d have stopped the liberalism by sweeping the general synod elections?

    Haven’t they let this fox into the coup by standing by ?If so you guys cannot really complain now?

    • 1642again

      Good points Hannah. I have repeatedly said the evangelical wing, which is growing, should turn off the money tap until things are corrected. A palace, or rather theological college, coup is what has has been. But your piece on the merits of the CofE is one of the things why I have stuck with it thus far.

      • William Lewis

        How can it turn off the money without actually leaving? Isn’t that like saying to the EU, “we’re staying but we’re not paying”?

        • Hi

          Would it be called Evexit or Cathexit? Or CathEvexit?

          • William Lewis

            Evangelexit.

          • Allergic to potpourri?

        • 1642again

          Quite simple. Parishes withhold the Parochial share payments. Just a few months delay would cause panic in the hierarchy. ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune.’

          • William Lewis

            Hmm seems a bit dodgy to me.

          • 1642again

            It’s been done locally by one or two churches before. The congregations have all the power they need, just need to use it.

          • William Lewis

            It would need to be a concerted effort across many churches. Is there a danger that vicar’s salaries could be withheld?

          • Dominic Stockford

            There may be, but the congregation simply pays them, as with St Helen’s, Bishopsgate.

          • 1642again

            Yes it would need organisation, but it’s my belief that only 10% of churches pay well over half the total, probably more, and those parishes are largely evangelical. The CoE is peculiarly vulnerable.

            Assuming most clergy are priest-in-charge employed by the Diocese they couldn’t withhold salaries without breach of contract as what the parishes do is completely unrelated to clergy employment.

          • William Lewis

            Interesting.

          • Anton

            What proportion of CoE income is from parish giving rather than land rents, investments etc?

          • 1642again

            Don’t know Anton. Isn’t most of the investment income in the hands of the Church Commissioners and is in effect used to pay the clergy pension scheme which must be in deficit? The way our Diocese is always squealing for higher income from the churches tells me it’s mainly funded from the parochial share. My wife’s Treasurer at two parishes and effectively helps out at more, and they even tried to get her to do the Deanery stuff.

    • Anton

      What you’ve missed and is vital, if I may say so, is that it was founded as the *Established* church.

      • Hi Anton

        Founded? I shall be mischievous with you:

        Some would say the. CofE was founded by Augustine in 500 whatever and just continued under Henry VIII… which is why I believe Justin Welby is classified as archbishop No. 105 …. others says a whole *new * church was founded in the reformation ….

        Although you are right I did just take it for granted that the theological scholarship here would already know the Established part. Hence the broad church and compromise. If it were not established then it would be split into Evangelism, Anglo Catholic and Liberal…. just as in America and Europe , the Reform Movement in Judaism became heretical & split off from normative, traditional , mainstream what people say is “Orthodox” Judaism. The c of e may fracture soon without any formal splitting, maybe just walkouts . But watching that and if the walkouts want their buildings , clergy etc, the ensuring legal warfare will not be a pleasant thing to see…. like you I’m not Anglican.

        • dannybhoy

          The CofE was a part of the Catholic Church as you know, and there are reminders of that relationship everywhere.
          There is ‘high church, Anglo-Catholic, evangelical and charismatic,
          In fact it’s very similar to the situation in Judaism.
          I was asked recently in a Bible study what Judaism teaches, and I had to say that it depends on which group you talk to.
          Just like Christians the main things that unite them is that a)they are Jewish, b) they recognise the Tanakh, and c) they seem to enjoy arguing over the various interpretations of Torah…
          And yes I know that’s a sweeping generalisation, but pretty accurate.
          We too accept the Tanakh
          We worship the Jewish God as one God in three persons and we worship the Jewish Messiah -who we believe is also God.
          And we argue pretty much in the same way you do.
          But we’re more polite about it…

          • Hi Danny

            Thank you for your review, very educational as ever. I don’t of course , as we’ve had many discussions on the messiahship or divinity of Jesus , agree with the last but one paragraph. And one wasn’t trying to gloat about the c of e….

          • dannybhoy

            You have to admit there are lots of similarities. But those who take their faith seriously will always recognise there is more that unites us than divides us. We take comfort in the fact that God always looks at the intent of our heart.
            God knows you and loves you completely Hannah. If I didn’t already have a god daughter….
            :0)
            ps Do you like A-WA?
            https://www.youtube.com/user/awaofficial1

          • Hi Danny

            You are very kind and it has to be said that the big difference between Judaism and Christianity is the divinity of Jesus and his messianic credentials, although that’s why there’s Jews and Christians so no surprises really.

            However yes there are common matters , especially on philosophical moral issues which I find interesting e.g. on abortion I personally feel a strong understanding with Catholics and Evangelicalism, whereas Judaism has a more lenient stance .

            I like all sorts of music. I like Roni Daloomi, Mor Karbasi and of course Ofra Haza.

          • Anton

            Please recommend various performances of various psalms in Hebrew, and say what style the singers are in. I’d be most grateful.

          • Hi Anton

            The Psalms are in traditional synagogues -as are Torah readings & liturgy – chanted without musical instruments.

            There’s a whole different type of melodies between Ashkenazi and Sephardi and within : there are several websites where you can listen to all 150 chapters of the Psalms in Hebrew.

            I’m naturally biased toward Sephardi melodies. But by way of comparison –

            Here’s a, Chabad Ashkenazi version of Psalm 67

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PDJtjYoF-Bk

            And here is a Iraqi Sephardic version of Psalm 67

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TBpe8yq4vOM

          • Anton

            Wonderful; thank you. But some of the psalms themselves speak of using instruments!

          • ” …. on abortion I personally feel a strong understanding with Catholics and Evangelicalism”

            God Bless your mother’s sacrifice, Hannah. Catholic or Jew, Jack is confident she was greeted by the Messiah with open arms.

          • dannybhoy

            Shabbat Shalom to all our Jewish friends..

        • Anton

          I know!

          Discussions about when the CoE was founded amuse me equally, although AD597 (not 500) has a decent case. You did know there are two St Augustines and this is the less famous one?

          • carl jacobs

            Heh. I once read a news article that claimed Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury debated Pelagius over free will.

            Journalists…

          • 1642again

            Did you know Pelagius was a Briton?

          • Anton

            And furthermore we only have him in the words of his opponent, a professor of rhetoric…

          • 1642again

            The 5th century British church was even then somewhat independently minded. Pelagius, the writer known as the Sicillian Briton, St Germanus’ mid century visit to suppress ‘heresy’, the Celtic churches, Lollards and then Reformation. Even the medieval catholic church believed the British were the first to embrace Christianity in the second century, eg the legend of Lucius prince of the Atrobates. Something in the air?

          • Anton

            A certain dove?

          • 1642again

            Forgive my ignorance. Are you implying that the Holy Spirit is responsible and that there is some form of exceptionality for the British church?

          • Anton

            The inhabitants of Britain are no less fallen than anybody else and the Holy Spirit is responsible for *all* genuine church movements. But I’m sure you know that. I’m not clear what *you* were suggesting?!

          • 1642again

            I was just wondering aloud why the British have been so independently minded in terms of church and theological matters.

          • Anton

            As it runs even before the Anglo-Saxon period it can’t be the fact that the Germanics managed to maintain here (uniquely) the notion that the State was to be run for the benefit of its people rather than its aristocracy. I suggest geography as the cause: we’re an island.

          • 1642again

            Interestingly there is increasing evidence that there were a number of Germanic speaking tribes settled in Britain before the Romans turned up, eg Belgae, and some have suggested that the reason the Saxon Shore was so named because there were lots of Saxons already living there!

            The whole subject of the nature of pre and Roman Britain is becoming increasingly controversial in modern scholarship.,some even suggesting that south of Hadrian’s Wall much of the the country was only tenuously controlled by he Romans, if at all, perhaps as a series of tribal state allies rather than direct government, certainly the western areas and possibly more. Romanitas was wafer thin in Britannia and was largely gone within 50 years, something completely at variance with all the other former provinces of the Eastern Empire.

            The island nature undoubtedly is a key driver, but I’m open to there being other forces at work.

          • Anton

            Most interesting – got a reference re 1st para?

          • 1642again

            Origins of the British by the geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer page 12. Have to disappear shortly but there are other references in the literature. See also Stuart Laycock’s Britainnia – The Failed State for a view of the shaky Roman hold on Britain among others. Interestingly this new minimalist interpretation coincides with the legendary tale that the Romans’ never fully conquered south of the wall and ruled primarily through client allies which creates space for the Lucius legends.

          • Anton

            O I’d love Oppenheimer to update his book. The findings of genetics are invaluable but are not yet stable and are being updated year by year.

          • 1642again

            He was on the radio not long ago talking about it. I think his main thesis is now pretty widely accepted and he may have a new book out.

          • Pubcrawler

            Genetics won’t tell you what language they spoke, though. You need artefacts. Here’s a survey of numismatic evidence for at least some Germanic-speakers in pre-Roman Norfolk

            http://www.academia.edu/24106378/The_Language_of_Inscriptions_on_Icenian_Coinage

          • Jack has just informed Carl that he was Greek.

          • carl jacobs

            And here I thought Jack was from Essex.

          • Holger

            Happy Jack is Essex.

            He’s the county come to life in all of its demotic, reactionary and homophobic glory.

            From the dialect to the stubborn conviction that he represents the best of mankind and that everyone else – namely toffs and bloody foreigners – are his inferiors, he is Essex incarnate.

            Does it matter where he actually comes from? Not really. ‘Ee’s Essex man, innit? ‘N Caflick wivvit. If ‘ee rooled da world, yer wood’n ‘ave none a dem poofs ‘n prodistints runnin’ nuffink, woodja?

          • Anton

            The rural north of Essex is very fine. The old coaching road from Cambridge to London, now a long superseded and quiet B-road, is a succession of glorious country pubs.

          • 1642again

            Interesting. All the sources I’ve seen said he was Brtiish. Which ways Greek?

          • He was white, had our legs and wings too.

          • Hi

            Also if you are into star wars, he was the Sith Lord who trained Palpatine in the dark side of the force!

          • Anton

            Would that be Sith as in

            I do not know
            Why yet I live to say “This thing’s to do,”
            Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
            To do ’t.

            (Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 4)

          • Hi

            It would be -just for Carl and Happy Jack- to quote Obi Wan Kenobi “Only the Sith Deal in Absolutes” ….

            The Sith are like Count Dooku , Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader from star wars.

          • That’s funny. Must have been an American journalist. Every British schoolboy knows Pegasus was Greek.

  • 1642again
    • chefofsinners

      You’re just being divisive. Listen to the archbishops and repent. It’s all about love, man.
      Sorry, no, it’s all about man love.

      • 1642again

        Time we started dividing some of these Satanic infiltrators with sharp bits of metal.

        • Holger

          Incitement to violence on a Christian blog.

          And they wonder why nobody believes them when they talk about love.

          We know what Christian love means. It means knifing anyone who gets in your way.

          And they say Islam is a violent religion!

          • 1642again

            I can see you have no understanding of English dark humour.

          • Anton

            Nor has he of scripture and what really constitutes a sharper sword than the Romans’.

    • Inspector General

      It’s not as if Treweek made any secret of what she was about. Probably true about the other 4 bishop-feminists. Yet repentance urging Welby still went ahead and ordained them. How does THAT work!

      • 1642again

        He’s useless, a complete snivelling sell-out.

    • carl jacobs

      We live in a world that is becoming more and more polarised by people who claim to have the truth. No one has any proof of God – that’s what faith is about. Reverend Ruth Fitter, vicar of St. Paul and Stephen Church

      Head. Wall. [Bash! Bash! Bash!]

      I happen to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who came to dwell with me and save me from my sins. That doesn’t mean I expect others to change their faith or believe wholeheartedly. It does mean, however, that I hope they will offer me the same respect as I seek to offer them.

      Because what is important is not whether it’s true or false. What’s important is that I believe it. Because I’m the center of my universe, doncha know. It’s all about me.

      • 1642again

        If you’ve seen her photo you know it’s all about her…

      • William Lewis

        It’s all about R E S P E C T innit?

      • dannybhoy

        “Because what is important is not whether it’s true or false. What’s important is that I believe it. Because I’m the center of my universe, doncha know. It’s all about me.”
        You’ve always come across as such Carl…..

        • Inspector General

          Cruel!

          • dannybhoy

            He’s a big boy, he can take a bit of leg pulling.
            Changing aim, you bin officially outed. or are you hoping we’ve all forgotten you’re still in Gitmo?

          • Inspector General

            “Outed” “Gitmo” ? Speak English, man!

          • Guantanamo Bay = “Penitential path” from which you undertook on several occasions never to stray from again. Mind you, needs must.

          • Inspector General

            Meanwhile, here’s an interesting link about being old and HIV+. MSM won’t touch this kind of thing, because they would be bigots, probably…
            http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/01/19/experts-warn-about-social-care-timebomb-from-ageing-hiv-positive-population/

          • You also undertook to avoid the spiritual and mental pollution of that site, Inspector.

          • Inspector General

            The Lord of Hosts, seeing that the Inspector was struggling with the madness thereof, has blessed this man with additional powers of fortitude. To be God Almighty’s witness on that site…

          • dannybhoy

            Yea!
            Emerods shall be thine lot, and the balm of preparation H shall be withheld from thine grubby mitt. and in severe discomfort shalt thou go, O Inspector..

          • Inspector General

            Haemorrhoids are the least of their problems. That only leads to rejection by your darling same sex lover. The Inspector knew that HIV and cardio vascular problems meant an early goodnight, but the diabetes thing is news. Of course, the Inspectorate will note that well.

          • dannybhoy

            Thank you Jack, but I think he was just angry that I brought the subject up.

    • chefofsinners

      Glasgow Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral. These great monuments to the Christian faith have become whited sepulchres.
      Those in them can no longer hear the voice of God. “I think He said ‘Repaint for the end is near.’ He wants us to do it in rainbow colours.’

    • The Explorer

      I wonder if it occurs to Revd Fitter that when her church has become a mosque she won’t have a role as a female imam. She’ll be out of a job.

      • dannybhoy

        Not to mention off her head..

        • William Lewis

          Off her head or off with her head?

          • dannybhoy

            The latter William, the latter..

          • William Lewis

            Just checking.

    • David

      Absolutely !
      Gloucester Cathedral is a beautiful cloistered place. A friend of mine was Surveyor to the Fabric. But the clergy there are bringing disgrace upon it.

    • Anton

      This kind of crap was going on in a prominent Anglican church in the heart of London as far back as the 1980s: St James, Piccadilly, a church designed by Christopher Wren and where Blake was baptised. It even hosted a talk by a practising feminist witch, Miriam Simos, who called herself Starhawk.

  • chefofsinners

    So, archbishops, what of the split with the treaty of Rome?
    If we voted leave, must we repent of the division we have caused?
    And those who voted remain, surely they must also repent of the division they caused.
    Only those who never made a decision have nothing to repent of.

    • carl jacobs

      Silly Chef. Voting to Remain caused no division. Those who are enlightened have no need to repent.

      • chefofsinners

        I repent of repenting when I should not have.

    • dannybhoy

      I think I saw yesterday someone suggesting a withholding of the parish share in protest? (our church can’t afford it, let alone withhold it..).
      Certainly I think a letter of concern and protest could be written and put out for signing? It’s fine to comment, but even better to take action.
      That the ‘herd’ doesn’t take organised action is the reason the predators continue to dine well…

  • NortyNina

    Although Martin Luther may have been the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation in Europe, it was really the disagreement between Rome and King Henry VIII over the annulment of his marriage to his first wife Catherine of Aragon that initiated the Reformation in England. Without the Royal will, there wouldn’t have been the break with Rome. It was a clash between Divine Right of a King and Divine Right of a Pope.
    Henry was a curious character, and the closest England has had to an absolute tyrant, in my view. He also needed the money to finance his extravagant lifestyle and foreign wars, and the riches of the Church were just too obvious to allow to go unplundered.
    I recently visited Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire, a majestic ruin even now, having fallen into disuse following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and it makes me feel very sad for what has been lost. In fact the whole period, from Henry, through to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth was a horrible time in Ecclesiastical history. On the other hand I disagree with Popery and of Divine Right of Kings, so will always be a Protestant.
    In spirit I prefer the times of the pre-Conquest church, of St Aidan, the Venerable Bede and St Cuthbert, for my inspiration. I call them the ABC of faith*. Three very different characters each contributing in very different ways to the formation of Christian England.

    *Not forgetting the pious King Oswald, without whom Aidan would not have been able to succeed in Christianising the Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria.

    • carl jacobs

      On the other hand I disagree with Popery and of Divine Right of Kings, so will always be a Protestant.

      What kind of Protestant would that be?

      • A heretical one … boom … boom.

        • carl jacobs

          • Anton

            There are better sorts of cricket.

        • 1642again

          One trick ponies and all that…

        • dannybhoy

          You just couldn’t resist could you…

      • 1642again

        “Identity Church” kind perhaps?

        • carl jacobs

          Hrmm. Don’t they believe that Jesus was an Aryan from Strudelheim?

          • 1642again

            And that the Devil created black people?

    • David

      More people ought to appreciate our pre-Norman Celtic Church. It had a simplicity, courage , directness and appreciation of the natural world that has much to offer us today.

    • dannybhoy

      Nice informative post. Reminds me of that verse in Genesis 50..
      “20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[b] should be kept alive, as they are today.”
      Man exercises his free will, and God uses his choices to achieve His own divine purposes.
      I don’t know whether Henry was any more of a tyrant than any other king, but he certainly was a larger than life, forceful personality.
      Any books you’d like to recommend on him?

      • NortyNina

        Thank you for your kind post.
        I’m afraid I can’t recommend any specific book on Henry VIII, my knowledge of him, what little I have, comes from a variety of sources and a few historical books that deal with him in part, and some historical romantic novels that probably wouldn’t be your cup of tea.
        Lady Antonia Frasers work, The Wives of Henry VIII, will be comprehensive enough, but personally I find her style rather heavy going.

      • Gladiatrix

        Anything by David Starkey, the real expert at the moment on Henry VIII and his court

        • dannybhoy

          Yes, thanks for that. I like David Starkey for his knowledge and outspokenness -and he doesn’t bring his homosexuality into everything..

    • ChaucerChronicle

      For ‘Norty’ National Socialists the Reformation in England was a matter for a decision by the elite: there was a disagreement over a marriage; an execution of a wife (morally repugnant to Catholic and Protestant alike); the exercise of royal will and, an ever so simple, collision between two political doctrines.

      For Norty, it is necessary to exclude from the revisionist account the enlightenment of ordinary people of the period (the type they pick up on the heels of their jackboots and wipe off before entering the ‘the Berlin bunker’ of their lice infested imaginations).

      A spiritual, moral, social and political revolution (such as the Reformation (nor the Puritan revolutions (English and American)) cannot begin unless there has been an enlightenment of thought and reformation of world-views reaching and applied by a critical mass of the people.

      By the 1380s John Wycliffe was distributing hand-written Bibles in the English language.

      The Pope had his bones dug up 44 years after – that implies that Wycliffe’s actions threatened Roman dominance, constructed on the continental scale, and risked serious reaction to Papal authority.

      By 1415 John Hus (promoter of Wycliffe’s actions) was executed: ‘in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed’.

      In 1517, arose Martin Luther; by 1450 Guttenberg had invented the printing-press.

      In 1496, John Colet translated the Greek into English and taught the people at St Paul’s, London in a language they could understand: 20,000 people packed the church.

      By 1522 Pope Leo X’s casual remark that ‘the fable of Christ was quite profitable to him’ ignited the burning hunger for the Truth.

      Tyndale (‘Captain of the Army of Reformers’) printed the Bible in the English language.

      In other words, the Reformation spread from the scholar to the printer, to the man in the pew, to the pulpit, to bishop and then to the political machinations of the royal court.

      If only the National Socialist of the Norty strain (as well as the Marxist historian) could let the ordinary man think and speak for himself.

      • 1642again

        Brilliant comment CC. Bless you.

      • Royinsouthwest

        I agree with all the points you make above and I don’t know anything about NortyNina but don’t you think her criticisms of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries have some merit, as well as her praise for the Celtic Church?

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Yes of course; never paint the villain all black or you’ll lose the reader’s sympathy.

      • Skippy

        What a lot of propaganda. Vernacular translations of books of the bible in Latin and Saxon still exist… Many destroyed in the deformation. The bishops had problems with Wycliffe because of his doctrinal errors that shaped the inaccurate vocabulary and translation of the bible. The bible isn’t a do it yourself book and many Protestant doctrines are neither in continuity with the scriptures or the Faith brought to England. Meanwhile 72000 killed by the fat tyrant Henry VIII. The Church is one and no nation has any right to defraud Christians by dividing the unity of the Church.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Nein!

          ‘Propaganda,’ noun: A committee of cardinals of the Roman Catholic church responsible for foreign missions, founded in 1662 by Pope Gregory XV.

        • pascal78

          True. And protestantism is just a man made version of the Catholic Faith. It was made to satisfy man’s lack of humility and his pride to decide for himself the teachings of Christ rather than listen to the Holy Catholic Church that He founded.

      • Anton

        Here’s a wonderful quote, about Wycliffe, whose bones were not only dug up but burnt and then thrown in the local river:

        They burnt his bones to ashes and cast them into the Swift, a neighbouring brook running hard by. Thus the brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon, Avon into Severn; Severn into the narrow seas; and they into the main ocean. And thus the ashes of John Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine which now is dispersed the world over (Thomas Fuller).

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Thank you.

          • Anton

            I have visited the spot. It’s obvious where it is: just follow the road straight down the hill from the church to the river. A bridge now carries the road over the River Swift, of course.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      You wicked woman; you ‘stole’ that photograph from a Polish officer.

      Can you imagine the distress you’ve caused her and her family?

      You, and the rest of your fascist friends disgust me.

      • 1642again

        Ukrainian actually CC.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Excellent.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The reformation in Britain was in fact initiated by the Holy Spirit. End of.

  • Skippy

    Hang on. Magna Carta and coronation oath were broken by Henry VIII and Edward and Elizabeth. The deformation started then. The C of E is nothing but the pet poodle of the English state that broke the church and bent it corrupting it. AThe C of E is fakery. The queen just as good as any layman the rest is guff.

    • dannybhoy

      My advice?
      Stay in bed.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      I sy old chap, add King Charles I to that list.

      Get back to bed.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Nina, the Fish of Nineveh,

      Isn’t the greatest enemey of Christ, Satan himself?

  • Dominic Stockford

    Can’t allow that to be the last comment. The CofE originally got some things right – such as the declaration that the Scriptures contain ALL things necessary for salvation, and that the Pope of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm. Adoption of the Biblical notion that faith is a gift, so that we cannot boast, was the icing on the cake (Articles 11-14). The reformation was a fabulous return to the joys of Godly faith, based on His Word, in Christ, who has completed the work for our salvation.

    Since then the CofE has re-adopted too many of the fripperies and theological follies of Rome, as well as the empty rituals (which it frequently doesn’t even do ‘right’, probably because they don’t understand why Rome thinks they should be done). Then, having thrown aside sincere and full Protestantism it was an easy target for liberal nothingness, which has led to today’s desperate sadness – and the foolish comments from Sentamu and Welby in this statement.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Excellent points as usual for the Archbishop Cranmer author(s).

    “This year is a time to renew our faith in Christ and in Him alone. That’s an interesting sola, and one from which no child of the Reformation would demur. But what ecumenical rapprochment, let alone unity, can or should there be with those who insist it is Christ and…? At what point does Christ and.. become a false gospel? At what point does Christ and.. become ‘another
    Jesus’ (2Cor 11:4)?” My questions as well.

    The and … has most certainly become ‘another gospel’ in the western cultures who have been almost overcome by cultural Marxism.

    The issues having to do with the Queen are so trivial (in the mind of most Americans) that I will not give it the respect of a response except for this. She has never been allowed a true personal and public opinion.

    Now I am looking to see if the commenters here will stick to the topic and not merely indulge in playful ironic games and pub mentality.