justin-welby-freedom
Church of England

Welby dedicates the next year of his ministry to the defence of freedom and Judæo-Christian values

You might almost have missed it – especially if your favourite spiritual sport is Welby Wanging, which is open to all people irrespective of age, sex, sexuality, race, creed, religion, nationality, and beliefs about the EU. The Archbishop of Canterbury made quite an important speech about freedom. Actually, he’s made two or three important speeches of late, which, considered apart, merit a few dutiful column inches in the MSM because he is who he is. But, taken together, there are nuggets contained within them which really ought to mollify hyper-critical minds and mitigate the carping of those who believe they have eyes and ears but are really quite insensible to the signs of the times and the way the wind is blowing.

At the launch of ‘In Good Faith’, a new Christian-Jewish dialogue project in partnership with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Justin Welby set out a bit of what the Governor of the Bank of England calls ‘forward guidance’:

It is vital that we can make a substantial contribution to the debate around our shared values in this country – what the government has referred to as British values. As members of the Jewish and Christian communities, it is imperative that we remind the nation that our values have not emerged within a secular vacuum; but from the resilient and eternal structure of our Judeo-Christian theological, philosophical and ethical heritage. I’d want to add here that over the next 12 months this is one of the major themes of my writing and speaking – the issue of where we find our values, and a re-emphasis that we find our values in this country within the Judeo-Christian tradition, whether we are believers or not.

One might almost think he reads this blog every morning and meditates upon its musings. (Dear Archbishop, you could save yourself a bit of time by reading THIS, too). Note he says “what the government has referred to as British values”. He hammered the point further in a speech on religious freedom:

In the UK we find British values, so called, defined by Ofsted as belief in democracy, in the rule of law and in mutual respect of faiths, or for those of no faith. This approach is good, but entirely inadequate as a foundation for a healthy society. Democracy without fundamental values around the value of the human being, and, I would say, without the understanding of God’s grace and love for the humanity God created, is a recipe for majority tyranny.

There is more than a sigh at the ethical vapidity, religious illiteracy and historical ignorance of the government’s apprehension of British values. These aren’t quite the same as Christian values, or Judæo-Christian values (with the correct diphthong). It’s interesting that ++Justin lucidly controverts the emphatic view of his predecessor: “It’s not about – God forbid – protecting Judaeo-Christian values,” said Rowan (Lord) Williams. “You will search Scripture from end to end and you will not find the term Judaeo-Christian values… so for goodness’ sake let’s park that term.”

Nah, let’s un-park it, shall we? For goodness’ sake and God’s sake and the sake of our theological, philosophical and ethical heritage.

“The right to life, liberty and the rule of law and robust democratic government does not come cheaply, nor is it held lightly,” the Archbishop said. “The roots of our freedom in this country are deeply embedded within our British constitutional and civic life because their foundation lies within the shared scriptural inheritance of our faith traditions.” It really couldn’t be more emphatic: the ultimate source of our freedom is the Bible, from which we have derived government by the people. He continues:

Democracy is not in and of itself the final answer to things, nor is the rule of law. Martin Luther King did not accept the final authority of the rule of law when the law is unjust. Quite rightly, Bonhoeffer in the 1930s did not accept the final authority of the rule of law when the law was palpably racist, unjust and anti-Semitic. That’s one of the reasons he ended up going to the gallows.

As for tolerance, it’s a word like ‘nice’, isn’t it? Completely meaningless and overused. Respect is something else – I won’t go there.

O, go on. Go there, please.

Tolerance.. respect.. blah.. blah. It’s just a pink and fluffy mantra designed to inculcate mushy feelings of togetherness while robbing us of our religious liberty. And if you don’t subscribe to the new state orthodoxy, well, you’re not being very British, at least according to the government. Indeed, this Archbishop is perfectly attuned to the logical consequences of religiously-illiterate politicians and civil servants imposing concentric circles of ‘tolerance’ upon society: “Government officials know so little about religion that they cannot see the difference between Muslim extremists and traditionalist Anglicans – and so just assume both are ‘bonkers’,” the Telegraph reported another speech. And there the Archbishop went further, disclosing that he once told a senior Government minister that he would himself count as a religious ‘extremist’ under the definition that was being applied because he believed that faith could outweigh the rule of law in some circumstances. For Justin Welby, the leitmotif is freedom, freedom and freedom, and this it seems will be a dominant theme of his ministry for the next 12 months:

Our understanding of the rights and responsibilities that flow from our God-given inheritance as human beings, enable us – Jewish and Christian communities together – to be powerful and compelling advocates for freedom in British society.

The cutting edge of freedom must include the right to disagree, disengage and dissent.

It means the freedom of others to criticise us or our views, or for those of us who hold beliefs strongly to change our minds or our beliefs.

It means that we all need to be accountable to one another before God and we all need to affirm the right of others to not believe as we do.

What it doesn’t mean is freedom without accountability to undermine each other’s faith, whether casually, incidentally or wilfully.

What it cannot mean is the freedom to use language destructively and negatively about those who are different to us – or who take opinions and views with which we profoundly disagree. We have had egregious examples of that in recent weeks, aimed at our judiciary.

And what it must never mean is the denial of others to practise or not practise their understanding of their religious or secular identity.

Freedom must always come with responsibility if it is to thrive and endure.

Moreover, the Archbishop has unequivocally condemned the EU for its bureaucratic policies which impoverish and alienate the people. In a speech about  ‘the common good and shared vision for the next century‘, he referred to the “mismanagement and even corruption by an elite” and “policies that are pushing and keeping large sections of entire countries in increasingly desperate circumstances, with no apparent vision for how the circumstance might be overcome”. He has in mind the oppressed and abused Greeks, Portuguese, Spanish, Italians and Irish. And he notes the symbiosis of “centralisation, corruption and bureaucracy”, with lobbies and shady lobbyists for certain interest groups, “but there is less sense of towns and communities, of families and informal groups being valued, enhanced, and liberated”.

Ah, liberation. Again, the theme is freedom, national freedom, but with a caveat:

If we allow our national and international political contexts to define our values and virtues, then we will be disappointed. Values emerge from histories of interaction and are rooted in stories of virtue, above all in Europe the stories of the Judaeo Christian tradition. They are embedded as much in informal and intermediate groups as in the state, probably more than in the state.

And for those who carp (and carp and carp) that he never talks about Jesus or the gospel:

In the United Kingdom, our counter-radicalisation programme in schools and universities is called ‘Prevent’, which I believe sums up the overall approach to religious extremism. Rather than simply seeking to prevent ‘bad’ religion, however, we have to offer an alternative vision of the role of faith in our societies that is more convincing. That is more profound. That is more satisfying to the human spirit. And where to do we find a better vision than in the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the good news of Christ?

And:

Historically we have based these values partly in reason, but fundamentally, as Christians, on our understanding of the nature and requirements of God as revealed in Jesus Christ and attested in the Scriptures. If Christians hold fast to the teaching of Jesus that “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”, then the open discussion and testing of what we believe to be true, can only be to our collective advantage.

And so we return to the fons et origo of true freedom:

Religious freedom is more than just freedom from persecution; it is the freedom to choose how to express our understanding of our relationship with God. Faith groups should be at the forefront of advocacy for human rights because we recognise that ultimately, we are answerable and accountable to God alone who created individuals with dignity and integrity.  This freedom is integral to the flourishing of our societies, but it does not emerge in a vacuum and neither does it come without responsibility.

It’s going to an interesting 12 months, isn’t it?

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Just next year? Who will it be the following year?

  • Anton

    Certainly he mentions Christ far more often than the mainstream media report. (And Yes, some Christians have therefore mistakenly supposed he doesn’t.) What he needs to do to make his words about freedom count is repeat the words of street preachers who get persecuted, provided that those preachers are keeping to a biblical line. I have in mind the entirely peaceable public criticisms of Islam and of gay relationships for which some street preachers have been hauled before the courts. Then Justin would do well to turn up in court in full kit to support them, and repeat the same words on the court steps. And instruct his bishops to do the same whenever this happens in their dioceses.

    Justin is certainly talking the talk. Now he must walk the walk, for if not then talking the talk is actively worse than useless. Do it, Justin, and God will walk with you!

    • Will Jones

      Such utterances probably come under his forbidden category of destructive and negative language. He only seems to support the freedom to be nice. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall his statements of support for Ashers or for the Christian foster parents or employees being penalised or taken to court for expressing orthodox Christian faith in the public and professional realm.

      • Anton

        I agree. One may pray that he does his job, of which this is part.

  • Will Jones

    ‘What it cannot mean is the freedom to use language destructively and negatively about those who are different to us – or who take opinions and views with which we profoundly disagree. We have had egregious examples of that in recent weeks, aimed at our judiciary.’
    No, sorry – the freedom to use ‘negative language’ about those with whom we disagree is basic to freedom. Freedom means being free to describe people’s views (and actions and behaviours) as wrong, misguided, reprehensible, sinful, evil, stupid, ignorant, uneducated, yes, even deplorable. Sure, there need to be limits of civility – but any freedom worth its name needs to draw those limits broadly. Why do people always seem to think freedom means everyone has to be nice to one another and never say negative things about each other? What kind of freedom is that? Freedom to criticise, freedom to mock, freedom to hold up the ridiculous to ridicule – if you won’t defend that then you’re not defending freedom.

    • Anton

      I agree. Compromised, sadly.

    • CliveM

      He also used the word destructively in that sentence. I believe it gives a different emphasis and what he says doesn’t mean he is saying you can’t criticise.

      • chefofsinners

        What can’t you say?

        • CliveM

          Lies and hate. We are to speak truth and we can speak in anger, but to simply be destructive I don’t believe is right.

          • chefofsinners

            Should we not hate evil?
            And when it comes to faith, one man’s truth is another man’s lie.

          • CliveM

            We are perfectly entitled to hate wrong in all its forms, but are we allowed to speak hate?

            Yes what one person believes to be truth is another’s lie. But what I am talking about here is deliberate untruths.

          • chefofsinners

            That’s about right. Hating the sin but loving the sinner is a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a good reason.

          • Anton

            It’s a vague word but I probably agree with you that it’s not right. The question, though, is whether it should be illegal, which is not the same thing.

          • Will Jones

            He didn’t just say destructive. He said destructively and negatively. Perhaps he didn’t mean to imply all negative language. But then why use the word? And destructive is a vague term anyway. In these fraught days public figures commenting on freedom should aim to be specific and not appear to support the illiberal winds of our culture.

            He didn’t say deceit. No one is defending the use of deceit.

          • CliveM

            Destructive language or using language destructively is not the same as speaking out against something however strongly. It is to use language simply for negative purposes with no attempt or desire to engage. Trolling is an example of this, a lot of what goes on in social media is an example of this. It’s hard to be certain what is meant, but this seems a likely candidate.

    • Will Jones

      Some negative and destructive language which, we can hope, would not fall foul of the Welby freedom test:

      ‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean…You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?’

    • Absolutely. Elijah, Paul, and yes, even Jesus, were strongly critical of some. Their words would be considered ‘abusive’ by many today.

      (NIV) 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!… Gals 5

      (NIV) Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. 27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean… You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Jesus Matt 23

      Such robust language would provoke mock outrage, sanctimonious dismay, and faux cries of offence by our liberal society. Though it doesn’t think twice about demonising and denouncing any views that threaten its cherished shibboleths.

  • Dreadnaught

    He could of course simply cut to the chase and state that the Koran and Islam in it’s present form, undermines the basic tenets of individual freedom.

  • len

    If we have the perception(the humanist perception) that we are on ‘ neutral ground’ (in a religious sense) and ‘all faiths are equal’ then we have fallen into a very cunningly conceived deception..All faiths are not equal, all truth is not relative, and there are physical and moral laws created by God which are operative whether we acknowledge these or not.

    When we look at ‘the book of Job’ we see the contest between two spirit beings God and Satan.
    The contest is between good and evil, between truth and error, between light and darkness.
    God will not force any of his attributes on anyone(unlike Satan) it is up to us (united with God’s Spirit ) to become Children of God on the side of truth.There is no neutral ground in a war, we are either on one side or another.

    This is a war, and Christians cannot be passive in a war.

    Those who fight against the Light are becoming more aggressive in trying to shut out the Light and we see this happening worldwide as it gets darker.But darkness will not prevail as it did not at Calvary.

    We Christians must pray that Welby is strengthened and guided by the Holy Spirit in the battles ahead.

  • IanCad

    To be a faithful Christian and also the AoC is a hard row to hoe. I will say this; Welby is doing what is surely, the hardest job in the world, pretty darn well.
    Now, if he is bold enough to take a stand against state sponsored perversion, he will be well remembered.

    • Inspector General

      Ian. At last, and in the spirit of the new realism sweeping the West, the times – they are a-changing…
      “School issues apology to teaching assistant who told student gay relationships are wrong”
      http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/11/29/school-issues-apology-to-teaching-assistant-who-told-student-gay-relationships-are-wrong/
      The madness is soon to end…rather similar to the genuine witch hunts of hundreds of years ago which abruptly finished and gave the English language a useful phrase that one is quite sure none of us middle aged types ever expected to encounter an example of in our lifetime after learning about it at school…

      • Anton

        Have you seen that vegetarians are whingeing that the new plastic 5-pound-note is made partly with gelatin? Nobody’s asking them to eat the things…

        • chefofsinners

          The new plastic 5 pound note was much lauded as washing machine proof. Unfortunately it shrivels to nothing in the tumble drier, to which the old note was impervious. Progress, they call it.

          • Anton

            It shrivels to nothing under QE too !

          • chefofsinners

            To be fair, the QE2 is heavy.

          • Anton

            I did wonder if you’d spot that. Good show!

        • Inspector General

          Yes. So many out there, truly hurting, and with good reason…

          : – >

      • IanCad

        The fog is lifting; perhaps we may even believe that women will again become women and the disgusting race of pansies known as British manhood may yet regrow a spine.
        You have more balls than I Inspector; I shall not yet hazard a visit to PN. Thanks for being the FOO of the blog.

    • But does this not implicitly question/challenge the office itself, at least in its current form?

      • IanCad

        Have to agree John. The role of the AoC, as partly understood by me, is to straddle the fence. We serve God or Caesar that is made clear. When political considerations are brought into the mix compromise must follow. I would be happier if the AofC would champion the admission of our persecuted Christian brethren into our country, After all, it was largely due to our infantile representatives that the crisis developed in the first place. No chance of that of course.

  • we find our values in this country within the Judeo-Christian tradition

    From an article by Yori Yanover, ‘There’s No Such Thing as Judeo-Christian Values’:

    ● Arthur Allen Cohen’s The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition…questions the appropriateness of the term, theologically and historically, suggesting instead that it is an invention of American politics.
    ● Far from ‘sharing’ one tradition, Orthodox Jews are prohibited from marrying Christians, setting foot inside a Christian church—and we can’t even drink from an open bottle of kosher wine that has been used by a Christian. We reject the Christian idea of salvation, we abhor Christian divine teachings on every subject, and we are repulsed and outraged by incessant attempts by Christian missionaries to bring us into their fold.
    ● we have more in common with Muslims than we do with Christians; Jewish law permits Jews to enter a mosque… but not a church.
    ● To insist that we have some kind of bond with religious Christians because of similar core values, is to propagate a terrible lie.
    ● Jews and Christians differ on every single fundamental principle—even on the meaning of core Scriptural texts.
    ● ‘Judeo-Christian’ is as valid a concept as happy-joylessness, or tall dwarves.

    Democracy without fundamental values around the value of the human being, and…without the understanding of God’s grace and love for the humanity God created, is a recipe for majority tyranny

    John Major has also recently described democracy as the tyranny of the majority; it must be one of the Establishment’s clever memes for scuppering Brexit. Good old Welby, dutifully siding with the elites against the people.

    Welby dedicates the next year of his ministry to thwarting freedom and to wittering on about a fictitious concept.

    • len

      Judaism and Christianity are inextricably linked together.
      We should never try and separate them, the Church tried that and is partly responsible for the evils that befell the Jewish people.
      Christians owe an enormous debt to the Jewish people not the least to Christ who is and always will be’ the Lion of Judah’.

      • @ len—According to the Talmud, the Son of God, Lion of Judah, is immersed in boiling excrement in Hell. That suggests to me that Judaism has placed a whole world between itself and Christianity, whatever fond notions Christians may entertain.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Another helpful post.

          And of course, Jews are dead in their sin, just like anyone who doesn’t trust in Christ alone.

          • Anton

            You write as if Jews are not Christians, but I know some who are. Johnny’s post fails to distinguish between Orthodox Jews, who are today’s Pharisees; secular Jews, who have little interest in Talmud; and Christian Jews, who are exactly as Peter and Paul were. I agree, of course, that life is to be found only in Christ.

          • Dominic Stockford

            In the context in which we are speaking we are talking of ‘Judaeo-Christian’ issues. This cannot be genetic on one side and spiritual on the other side of the hyphen – for there is no such thing as someone who is genetically Christian, only spiritually so. We are therefore talking of spiritual Jews. I know no-one who is a spiritual Jew and a Christian as well, simply not possible. I myself, however, am a genetic Jew and spiritual Christian.

          • Anton

            Yes, there is a question of definition. As the thread originated with Johnny, I was going with his usage.

        • len

          Judaism without Christ is an unfinished story(at the present moment in time…)

    • Busy Mum

      “Democracy without fundamental values around the value of the human being, and…without the understanding of God’s grace and love for the humanity God created, is a recipe for majority tyranny”
      And that, of course, is why the Monarchy is so important in this country. The Monarchy restrains godless democracy – or it should do.

      In the most fundamental way, it is certainly true that Jews have more in common with Muslims than with Christians.

      ‘ “What think you of Christ?” is the test,
      To try both your state and your scheme.
      You cannot be right in the rest,
      Unless you think rightly of Him.’

      John Newton
      (cf Matthew chapter 16 vv 13-16 and chapter 22 vv 41&42)

    • Dominic Stockford

      A very helpful post. Thank you.

    • Anton

      Your extended quote accurately captures the view of Orthodox Jews, who are the spiritual descendants of the Pharisees with whom Jesus frequently clashed. They are, however, a minority, for most ethnic Jews today are secular – and some are Christian.

      • @ Anton—most ethnic Jews today are secular

        In 15 years, it is expected that ‘a majority of British Jewish children will be born into Charedi families’.

        • Anton

          What I said is still true; I was speaking about all Jews, which means worldwide. As for how things look in 50 years, that is wholly unpredictable given world politics today. If the haredim reproduce faster than secular Jews, that is a choice of both.

    • Anton

      The ‘values’ are all included in the Jewish scriptures, the Old Testament. The New Testament is all about how God changes people so as to be able to live up to those values. So Yori Yanover is wrong.

      • @ Anton—Yesterday, you said that the Yanover article ‘accurately captures the view of Orthodox Jews’. Today, you say that Yanover is wrong.

        While you decide about Yanover, let’s turn to the secular Jews you mentioned yesterday as forming the majority and who do apparently believe in Judæo-Christian values. From the American Jewish newspaper Forward:

        ‘Most of the values, goals and policy objectives of the Trump administration, even if they turn out to be a paler and more palatable version of his campaign rhetoric, are diametrically opposed to those of most American Jews. They support immigration, pluralism, multiculturalism, social reform, government intervention, separation of church and state, gay marriage, abortion rights and on and on.’

        To sum up, orthodox Jews reject the idea of Judæo-Christian values, and secular Jews subscribe to values which can scarcely be described as Christian. Orthodox and secular Jews having declined membership of the Judæo-Christian fan club, it looks as though Christians have the fool’s paradise all to themselves.

        • Anton

          you said that the Yanover article ‘accurately captures the view of Orthodox Jews’. Today, you say that Yanover is wrong

          These statements are easily reconciled, Johnny: Orthodox Jews are wrong. Jesus spoke scorching words to the Pharisees, who are the spiritual ancestors of today’s Orthodox.

          Secular Jews come in all shades of political opinion. Some support the things you mention, some don’t.

        • IanCad

          I may be wrong Johnny, but there is nothing in The Torah to support the existence of a “Hell.” Certainly the Talmud is the work of scholars, and we know how wildly creative they are. The writings of man vs. the inspired word of scripture.

          • @ IanCad—During the Babylonian exile, the Torah itself was revised by scholars. See here, under ‘Cultivation of Literature’: ‘[Scribes extended] the body of the laws by means of revision and amplification (see Pentateuch). Historical writings also were now revised in accordance with the standard of the Law, establishing as a basis the historical conception of Deuteronomy.’

            In Chapter 3, page 43, of A People That Shall Dwell Alone, Kevin MacDonald writes: ‘recent scholars have emphasized that the entire Pentateuch must be seen as a statement of the priestly group writing during the Babylonian exile.’ He cites Jacob Neusner’s Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Exile and Return in the History of Judaism among others.

          • Anton

            Johnny, in advocating the writing of the Law of Moses AFTER the prophets who warned that it was being disobeyed, you are siding with apostates and paddling in the waters of liberal Christianity. These are the same people who call themselves Christian but don’t really believe in the Resurrection of Jesus and the Virgin Birth of Jesus. They have plagued the church as much as they have plagued Judaism for 200 years. Be careful what company you keep.

  • john in cheshire

    Why can’t he just concentrate on defending and promoting Christian values? He’s supposed to be a Christian, not a Judeo-Christian, so why doesn’t he just concentrate on preaching Christ’s message?

    • David

      “Why can’t he just concentrate on defending and promoting Christian values?”
      Because Christianity has Jewish foundations. Like any structure if you abuse the foundations eventually it will all fall down. One of the hallmarks of a well rounded preacher is that, when appropriate, they will preach on the OT and always, always be aware of the linkage between OT prophecy and its fulfilment in the NT. Jesus did not just appear fully formed from nowhere. He was a first century Jew steeped in the Hebrew Scriptures.

      • Busy Mum

        Doesn’t Christianity pre-date Judaism? Genesis 3 v 15

        • CliveM

          I do see how your reference supports your comment?

          • Busy Mum

            This verse is the first promise of a Messiah. The ‘seed of the woman’ – a descendant – was promised and this seed would bruise the head of the devil. The ‘seed of the woman’ found its fulfillment in Jesus, who overcame death.

          • Anton

            The Trinity pre-dates the entire universe, but you would do well to define “Christianity” before going further.

          • Busy Mum

            Agreed – but it’s milk rather than strong meat time when others believe ‘Christianity’ was a new religion started by Jesus. What is Christianity but the belief that Jesus of Nazareth was – is – the third person of the Trinity?

          • Anton

            Agreed – and how old is the belief that Jesus of Nazareth is the third person of the Trinity?!

          • Busy Mum

            From everlasting to everlasting. I am Alpha and Omega. Amen and Amen.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Indeed so, it doesn’t require humans to believe it for it to be true.

          • Anton

            The point I’m trying to make is that nobody believed Jesus of Nazareth was the second person of the Trinity before Jesus of Nazareth was born! But I think we each know what the other means…

          • Busy Mum

            !! Yes, I replied in a rush and then chewed it over whilst resuming my maternal and culinary duties in the kitchen and realised what you were getting at. It’s a glorious conundrum really – whose day did Abraham rejoice to see? Abraham was a Christian, he certainly was not a Muslim nor can he have been a Jew. And Simeon saw the baby and believed He was the Saviour without apparently knowing His name.

          • chefofsinners

            And who walked in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?

          • Busy Mum

            Yes….and who was the ‘man’ who wrestled with Jacob at Peniel? And who was the ‘man’ who appeared to Joshua before the Israelites compassed Jericho?

          • chefofsinners

            It’s almost as if you’ve been to a church that teaches properly AND you’ve listened.

          • Busy Mum

            I have, but even if I hadn’t, there’s nothing stopping me – or anyone else – reading the Bible at home, is there?

            …..or is there?

          • chefofsinners

            Only TV, social media, apathy, unbelief and illiteracy.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes, and I agree with you in essence. The Son of God was always there, in Creation, and referred to directly in the verse you mention.

          • chefofsinners

            This text is widely known as ‘the protoevangelium’.

        • David

          We don’t need complicated biblical exegesis here. Simple historical truth is a perfectly adequate guide. Christianity started with Jesus. Essentially Christianity is The Jesus Movement. Of course his future arrival, the long awaited Messiah, was prophesied in the OT. The final prophet was John the Baptist who links the ancient prophecies with the living Jesus.

          • Busy Mum

            Agree – but if I can do it, it’s not what I would call ‘complicated’ 🙂 I actually think it is incredibly important; I get really annoyed by school text books etc that show timelines with Christianity starting with Jesus, making it look like a very ‘young’ religion, which is really deceitful, the result being that the younger generation just ‘does not get it’.

    • Busy Mum

      Agreed – it’s no different to when he meets imams for breakfast. As the Archbishop of Canterbury, he should have no qualms about preaching Jesus to any Jew or Muslim he meets, whether the Chief Rabbi or Chief Imam or just a deluded soul on the street. He should be instant in season and out of season and he will be held to account by the King of Kings for his failure in this respect.

      • Merchantman

        These breakfasts must I think be sadly muted affairs without the lovely smell of Best British Bacon; ah well.

  • carl jacobs

    The Archbishop of Canterbury made quite an important speech about freedom. Actually, he’s made two or three important speeches of late

    He doesn’t need to talk about freedom. He needs to talk about truth and virtue and constraints on human freedom. He needs to say “Thus far you may go and no farther.” But of course that will be met with “Who made you god over us?”

    And that’s the problem. The West has made an idol out of freedom – by which it means moral freedom. It has shifted the center of moral authority to man himself and demands that all pay homage to that arrogation. The need of the hour is to deny that moral authority. He must challenge the presumed freedom of man, and do so in its own temple.

    Yes, I’ll believe he will do that when he puts paid to this idea of “Good disagreement.”

    • Dominic Stockford

      Did he mention John 8:32 I wonder?

  • David

    I for one strongly welcome ++Welby’s adoption of this cause which urgently needs friends in high places.
    Tyranny is growing as confused, morally anchor less, secular governments attempt to hold down the forces of evil. In their confusion they lash out with ill considered laws that threaten everyones freedoms. These laws need to be identified, exposed, criticised and either amended or repealed.
    Let us hope and pray he is guided by the Holy Spirit in his endeavours.

  • Inspector General

    After delivering his speeches, Archbishop Welby exited the room and left the Inspector to field questions from representatives of the world’s media…

    “Sir. Will there be meaningful dialogue with Islam?”

    “There will be meaningful nothing with Islam.”

    “Sir. When can we expect to see gay marriage in the church?”

    “Never. There will be no special privileges for homosexuals, or for cat owners come to that. If the militants don’t like it, they can walk”

    “Sir. Anymore women bishops coming up?”

    “Women bishops! What a stupid mistake that was. Next question”

    “尊敬的 Inspector, 用于沐浴小室在哪里”

    “Straight down the corridor, son. It’s a door on your left…”

    “Sir. Do you support Asher’s bakery?”

    “One hundred percent. In fact, the Archbishop is going to invite the Ashers couple to stay at Lambeth palace”

    {TREMBLING VOICE FROM THE WINGS} “He is, I mean, I am???”

    • David

      Inspector, congratulations !
      You’ve go the job of ++Welby’s Media Manager.
      The job involves monthly payment, in lieu, using skip loads of out of date Hymn Books, worn cassocks and the occasional trip to the Anglican diaspora, usually in dangerous parts of Africa during the monsoon season. That should not be a problem to a man of your means and intrepid nature.
      I can just see tomorrow’s headline : –
      “Well known media tamer and blogger, The Inspector, famed for his tact, quick wit and theological orthodoxy, becomes Archbishop Welby’s new media man.
      England depends upon you ! Go to it Inspector !

      • Inspector General

        Now, David. That would be the ideal job for our Cranmer. And jolly good at it he would be too! No, one sees himself as Welby’s enforcer, trusted confidant, font of eternal wise counsel, and deliverer of bad news, very bad news in some cases, to the wicked whom infest the church…

        • Dominic Stockford

          Jolly good end to the Press conference I thought.

        • David

          Right ! I’ll re-advertise that Media Manager post again, starting with “The Church Times”, and “leak” a copy to Cranny. There, that’s fixed that !
          And if you could kindly send me a Job Description for the job you’d like to have on the archbishop’s staff, one will see what one can do, …… pregnant pause, and tiptoes off (stage directions – lights fade)

        • Merchantman

          Gatekeepers, yourself and St Peter apart are often ‘the wicked whom infest the church’ and stop believers from entering in. Sadly they are growing at an alarming rate in the C of E and doing much damage in the process.

          • Inspector General

            One recalls the last General Election and the antipathy held by some priests towards that part of the flock not prepared to vote for any of the soft Marxist parties…

  • Andrew Holt

    Justin Welby becoming Archbishop of Canterbury was the best thing to happen to the Church in a long time. We should be praying for him, supporting him and thanking God that He chose him for such a time as this. No disrespect to Rowan Williams but at last we have an Archbishop who speaks in plain English not Academish. Who has put prayer at the very heart of his ministry and is not afraid to be seen to be subject to doubt. When I heard he’d been made Archbishop I was in tears of joy, and I’m a Pentecostal. Please can we “pursue unity in the bonds of peace”, just for once.

  • chefofsinners

    “Freedom… cannot mean freedom to use language negatively about those who take opinions and views with which we profoundly disagree.”
    Oh really? Are we to tear from our bibles the many passages which do exactly that? Or retranslate for the 21st century progressive version:
    Jesus’ “Whited sepulchres” to be translated “sun blanched rest facilities for the recently euthanised”
    Jude’s “Wild waves of the sea foaming up their shame” to become “eco friendly potential hydro electric power resources”.
    Paul’s “Their God is their stomach” becomes “Michelin star clientele and Great British Bake-Off viewers.”

  • Mike Stallard

    “a recipe for majority tyranny”
    Paedophilia: we have someone on a local website who has entrapped a “nonce” and beaten him up. But – hey – he’s a nonce!
    Refuge: If you want money from the various bodies, you try and pretend that you have nothing to do with the Church next door. That means that, slowly, the Centre where these values were once maintained are now being lost. There are few if any people in trouble any more.
    Education: Our Academy is now in smart new uniforms which are worn proudly after school. The three houses are calles – wait for it – Madiba, Mandela and Pankhurst – all great examples of Christian faith. The school is called after a great christian – Thomas Clarkson – but he is never referred to as a christian, even though he was a beacon of the local Quakers.
    BBC: No mention of religion of any kind – except for paedophile priests, natch.

  • bluedog

    At last. It seems Justin Welby has cottoned on to the truth and will put substance into the vacuous term ‘British values’. Together with Mrs May as PM, there is just a chance that Christianity will be allowed to return as a point of reference and the secular state has reached its peak.

    • michaelkx

      all I can say is “to late to late She cried”

  • IrishNeanderthal

    About the “Judaeo-Christian” descriptor:

    I see two contrary things running in parallel (if that’s not an oxymoron):

    On the one hand, everything that is recorded of the sayings of Jesus is so Jewish in its root. This is increasingly apparent to me, since I have for a while now been learning to listen to the Tanakh in Hebrew.

    On the other, what he says is bound to have been immediately shocking to the hearers of his time. This is well put forward in a 1909 article by G.K.Chesterton THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.

    Open for your thoughts and reactions.

    • chefofsinners

      It’s simpler than that. By Judaeo-Christian values most people mean then ten commandments.
      Except the one about the Sabbath because Sunday shopping is really helpful.
      And lying isn’t generally a crime.
      Covetousness, of course, is pretty useful in driving the modern economy.
      Oh, and honouring your father and mother (if you even know who they are) is a bit old hat.
      And you can have any gods you choose ‘cos we’ve gotta respect it.
      And a bit of the old swearing is – well, my God, we all do that.
      Marriage is fairly negotiable – people kind of grow apart and you deserve to be happy, don’t you?
      So, um stealing, other than tax evasion and dodgy insurance claims, is quite bad.
      Leaving… murder. (Other than murder of unborn children and old people and terminally ill people and disabled people and people in vegetative states.)
      There you are. Judaeo-Christian values for the modern day.

      • My God! when you put it like that, how low we have sunk, shocking and shameful.

        • michaelkx

          I agree.

    • Busy Mum

      The fact that Jesus of Nazareth, well-versed in Hebrew Scriptures, persisted in His claim that He was the Son of God, is proof that He was. He was well aware of the penalty, and His hearers were aware of His learning, and He had ample opportunity to backtrack…but He didn’t.

      • Oisín mac Fionn

        By that criterion, David Icke must be the Second Coming.

        He was well aware of the penalty for claiming to be the son of God, i.e. universal ridicule and the loss of a high profile media career. He had ample opportunity to backtrack … but he didn’t.

        So why aren’t you out there bowing down to every madman who claims to be divine?

        • Busy Mum

          Because there is only one Divine Man.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            And who’s to say that Icke isn’t that same divine man come again?

            By your criterion that suffering for a claim proves its truth, he’s as good a candidate as any.

            Or maybe the second coming was Jim Jones. He claimed to be God too. He died maintaining that claim. So he must have been telling the truth.

            Him and all the other crackpots who claim to be divine…

          • Busy Mum

            Jesus of Nazareth said He would descend from the clouds, so He and Icke cannot be the same person.

            Jones may have died maintaining that claim, but he didn’t die because of the claim; neither did he die at the hands of others.
            As far as I am aware, Jesus is the only man to have ever been put to death purely as a result of making that claim.

          • chefofsinners

            If David Icke was the son of God, he wouldn’t have let in so many goals when he was playing for Hereford.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Ever been to Hereford?

            God clearly sent his son to play on their football team as an act of revenge.

    • Anton

      ‘Values’ are all set out in the Jewish scriptures, the Old Testament. The New Testament is all about how God changes people so as to be able to live up to those values. The phrase “Judaeo-Christian values” is fair.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector is in correspondence with ‘disgusted Christian cat owner of Croydon’ following his main post tonight…

    “Inspector, my cat loves to enter the local church. Would you arrange for a cat flap to be fitted in the precious medieval oak doors”

    “Certainly not, Madam! If your cat is caught in the church, then he, she will be sent to the nearest cat rendering plant and any monies received will go towards the steeple restoration fund”

    “Oh! You really are a cruel swine. My second request was to be that my son is a poof and would love to marry his, er, boyfriend at the moment before God.”

    “Dear heart, you are the reason no one goes to church anymore…kindly watch television or whatever it is you liberal degenerates do on a Sunday instead.”

    • chefofsinners

      No wonder that Christian cat was disgusted.

      • Inspector General

        The Liberal Degenerates are a growing political party, and now have no fewer than 8 seats in parliament. They need YOU chiefofsinners to continue their goodly work. Don’t forget to ask them about their ‘5% of the population permanently stoned’ policy…

        • chefofsinners

          I’m washing my hair.

          • Inspector General

            {HOWL!}

          • chefofsinners

            Remember when you had hair?

          • Inspector General

            Wouldn’t “I’m washing my hairs” be more appropriate. One expects you given a few of them names, like ‘Sid’….

          • chefofsinners

            There’s one called Pecia. I say ‘Alo’ every morning.

          • Pubcrawler

            Is your hair waving . . . ‘goodbye’?

          • Anton

            Money talks…

        • Anton

          Probably 5% is in that state anyway. The LibDem way we get taxes off them. State Hypocrisy? Then ban whisky, because probably as many people are dependent on alcohol.

      • Anton

        In my Anglican days the vicar’s cat used to trot in and out of church during services.

        • IanCad
          • Royinsouthwest

            The Canadian commentator on political and social events and cultural trends, Mark Steyn, has recorded an album of songs for cats.

            Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin’ Cats
            http://www.steynstore.com/product135.html

            I don’t know if church cats have different musical tastes from more secularly minded cats.

          • Anton

            Another good reason to support Mark Steyn.

          • IanCad

            Can’t get the link to work Roy.

            Garrison Keillor did “Songs of the Cat” Here’s one:

          • Royinsouthwest

            I don’t know why it didn’t work for you Ian, I checked it by clicking on the link in my comment above just now and it worked for me!

          • IanCad

            Got it eventually Roy; Thanks. I really must change the elastic band in my hard drive.

          • Anton

            Just tighten the steam valves a bit.

        • chefofsinners

          In my Anglican days the truth used to behave in the same way.

  • I’ve read many but not all the comments. Has someone defined what biblical ‘freedom’ is? Freedom is a buzz word but it can mean very different things to different people. What is biblical freedom?

    • IanCad

      As best as I can make it out John:
      “—The perfect law of liberty.–“

      “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the Law that gives freedom.” James 1:25, 2:12.

      • Dominic Stockford

        So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

        John 8:31-2

    • chefofsinners

      It is freedom from the guilt and power of sin. Which is not at all what Welby is talking about.

  • Jon Sorensen

    Funny how Judæo-Christian values are Christians values not Jewish values…

    • The Explorer

      In the UK you can’t vote at sixteen, but you can vote at eighteen. Funny that, isn’t it?

      • Anton

        Actually the ‘values’ are all set out in the Jewish scriptures, the Old Testament. The New Testament is all about how God changes people so as to be able to live up to those values. Jon has a point.

        • The Explorer

          In the US they speak of the three Abrahamic faiths. Muslims might complain that, despite this, sharia law doesn’t get equal weighting in the US.. Polygamy isn’t legal, a woman’s testimony is equal to that of a man, a woman claiming rape doesn’t have to get four male witnesses to testify for her etc.

          I took that to be the sort of point John was making. We speak of Judaeo-Christian, but Judaism and Christianity don’t get equal weighting.

          • Anton

            Was God wrong to institute that in ancient Israel, and if not then what are your grounds for believing it’s not appropriate today?

          • Royinsouthwest

            You know perfectly well that Jesus was not in favour of stoning. If stoning is morally wrong today it was morally wrong in Old Testament times.

          • Anton

            So God the Father was wrong?

          • Royinsouthwest

            No, Old Testament prophets had only a partial revelation. Even today, as Paul wrote, “we see through a glass, darkly.” Laws are necessary for the maintenance of order in society. The Old Testament Law was introduced after the Fall and was not meant for a perfect society nor was it capable of producing a perfect society.

          • Anton

            You are making true statements that avoid the question I am asking you. You have said that “Jesus was not in favour of stoning. If stoning is morally wrong today it was morally wrong in Old Testament times”. Yet God enacted it in Old Testament times in ancient Israel, via the Law of Moses. So according to you Jesus is disagreeing with his Father.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Moses was not just a religious leader. He was also a political leader. The Ten Commandments are moral laws. Penalties for breaking the law involve more pragmatic judgments. Gandhi is supposed to have said “An eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth would lead to a world of the blind and toothless.”

            I remember reading an article in some newspaper by a Jewish rabbi (I forget which newspaper and which rabbi but it might have been the British chief rabbi) who said that in many ancient societies the punishment for an action depended on the status of the victim and the status of the perpetrator. In contrast the Old Testament law was impartial; the punishment depended on the offence and for a crime against a person of low status it would be the same as that against a person of high status. That, and not the literal meaning, he claimed, was the true meaning of “an eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth.” Jesus also contradicted the literal meaning.

          • Anton

            Yes, there is a rabbinic view that eye-for-eye means “equal value of an eye for equal value of an eye”.

            The trouble with that view is that Deuteronomy 19 and Exodus 21 both say “life for life” in the same breath as “eye for eye”, and it is a basic principle of God’s law that human life is a currency non-interchangeable with money, because humans are in the image of God. There is no weregild financial compensation for human life in Mosaic Law.

            Jesus did not contradict lex talionis; he suggested that the wronged party should forgive. He nowhere said that lex talionis was wrong, and having it on the statue book is a powerful deterrent even if it is not enacted in some cases.

            PS You still haven’t dealt with the fact that, according to your view, Jesus is contradicting his Father.

          • The Explorer

            No God wasn’t wrong, but the terms for a covenant people in a theocracy were different.

            Let’s choose a clearer example. We eat pork products and shellfish (if we we’re not allergic) because Christ declared all foods clean. Orthodox Judaism still bans them. We say Judaism has been superseded, so it’s okay to import Danish bacon. Jon, presumably, would disagree because he does not concede that the law has changed in any way. We are still under the terms of the Old Covenant.

          • Anton

            God wasn’t wrong, but the terms for a covenant people in a theocracy were different.

            There were no terms for non-covenant nations; simple as that. The point is that in the one place where God chose to set the laws, he instituted capital punishment for adultery. It is, therefore, the right punishment, even if our nation does not institute it.

            In case you are wondering whether we should then avoid pork and seafood, the difference is that those regulations are obviously in the Law of Moses because these were the foods most liable to cause health problems. Today we have freezers, and forms of cooking that reliably heat the interior of a cut of meat, so we need not worry; and we are not under the Law of Moses, so we are free to eat these things. But human nature and moral good and evil have not changed at all since Moses’ time, so the moral components of Mosaic Law remain appropriate precedent.

          • The Explorer

            “It is, therefore, the right punishment, even if our nation does not institute it.” On the other hand, in ‘Matthew’ Christ allows divorce for adultery. That assumes, surely, that the guilty party is still alive; otherwise, the divorce brought about by death would have happened already?

          • Anton

            A cuckolded husband was free to forgive his wife or call for a lesser penalty than stoning. In any case, in Jesus’ time the Jews needed permission to enact the death penalty from the Roman occupiers (John 18:31), and it was not forthcoming since the Romans did not regard adultery as a capital offence. These things do not alter the fact that human nature and moral good and evil have not changed since Moses’ time, so the moral components of Mosaic Law remain appropriate precedent.

          • The Explorer

            NIV & NEB Mark 7:19, and Acts 10:14

          • Anton

            For Mark 7:19 please see the Greek

            http://biblehub.com/text/mark/7-19.htm

            and the word-by-word translation

            http://biblehub.com/lexicon/mark/7-19.htm

            The NIV quite simply says things that are not in the Greek that are what the translators think Jesus meant. The King James is a better translation. It is arguably the body that is purged by defaecating, rather than the foods themselves. (Pubcrawler?)

            Acts 10 is after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and Peter had no more need to avoid pork than he needed to take lambs to the Temple for sacrifice, as the vision explains to him.

          • Pubcrawler

            It’s not clearly expressed so it’s hard to draw any definitive interpretation. Two questions need to be answered before any sort of satisfactory translation can be made:

            1 Is καθαρίζων/ον πάντα τὰ βρώματα part of Jesus’ utterance or an editorial gloss by Mark — what he thought Jesus meant?

            2 Is the correct reading καθαρίζων (masc. sing.) or καθαρίζον (neut. sing.)? I.e. who or what is doing the purifying? The MS evidence for both seems pretty good; the former is preferred in the West and implies (though does not entail) the NIV translation, the Orthodox go with the latter, which supports the KJV.

            Unfortunatly the answer to each question depends to some extent on the answer to the other.

          • Anton

            Thank you!

          • The Explorer

            Peter was the source for Mark’s Gospel; so Mark would have known about Peter’s vision of the animals. If Mark’s primary audience was Gentile Christians in Rome, then it makes sense that he would have stressed the point about all foods being clean: a Gentile audience would have been pleased to hear it.

            Christ fulfilled the law with His death and resurrection. The question for me is what He fulfilled by his incarnation. In ‘Matthew’, after the beatitudes there is the section, “you have heard… but I tell you.” Is Christ simply correcting the teachings of the Pharisees, or is he doing something more?

          • Anton

            He is saying that his own followers, who are a voluntary movement (whereas Israelites HAD to obey the Law) must have higher standards.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Any member of a wandering tribe in the desert who ate shell fish from a sea many, many miles away was a fool. what would have been worse, they would have brought disease into the entire camp.

          • Anton

            There weren’t fish and chip shops in that desert! I take the legislation to be relevant to Israelites who settled on the coastline of Canaan.

          • If you are going to have a go at rationalistic explanations of dietary restrictions whose real purpose may only be known to the Almighty, note that pork is no more dangerous than mutton or beef. But pigs do compete with humans for their food (they can’t survive on grasses), engage in destructive foraging (which is manageable in temperate forested zones) and pig-raising requires a lot of water (for cooling), all of which strain marginal, semi-arid environments.

          • Anton

            As I understand it, the diet of pigs, which are omnivores, is likely to cause them to carry trichinosis roundworms, which pass to humans if their pork is undercooked. The diet of sheep and cows is exclusively vegetarian and this does not happen.

            God does not give reasons for may of the laws in the Pentateuch, but it is an invaluable exercise in spiritual growth to ponder his reasons even if we cannot be certain of our answers. King David said “How I love your law; I meditate on it all day long” (Psalm 119:97). These laws uniquely contain God’s wisdom, so pondering them is an invaluable thing to do.

          • True, but pigs are not on on top of the list of deadly risks. With two million people dying annually of diseases passed on by livestock today, most of it not from pigs, one would think God would have banned all meat consumption.

            Yes, we must ponder, and above all, comply with the heavenly regs…just as we don’t know all the reasons, we don’t know all the consequences!

          • Inspector General

            It is true, Avi. Keeping a pig is almost as expensive as keeping a woman…

          • I ubderstand that the expense discrepancy is due to the fact that piggies don’t ask for costly tattoos. Yet.

            I think you just alerted the PC brigade, so excuse me for ducking out….

          • Inspector General

            Indeed, Avi. Best keep it under your hat, old chap. The Inspector has not remained a bachelor for no reason…

          • LOL!

      • You may very well think that, as long as you know that my sort are waiting for your sort to clue in and join us. Our Orthodox conversion bet dins (courts) have been overwhelmed these past two decades…but mum’s the word on that.

        • The Explorer

          Yes indeed. I know several who argue that Judaism is ethically superior to Christianity.

          Judeo-Christian is not a term I personally use; I was simply trying to answer Jon’s question about equal weighting.

          • Hi Explorer, yes I know, I was actually just being cheeky. Judaism and Christianity are theologically irreconcilable, which actually doesn’t bother me (I loiter here, don’t I?), as long as the two can, first, find a way to coexist nicely and secondly, to function without draconian coercion of their own members, all which has happened in a meaningful way for the first time only since the latter half of the 20th century. And that’s paradoxically thanks to the emergence of secularism, which on its own has proved to be even more problematic and outright dangerous!

  • michaelkx

    All I can say is bit late, but better late than never.

  • len

    The Church needs to get on with the great commission Christ gave His Followers.
    Could it be that the church has now lost its way and is groping around in the dark trying to find a way to be ‘relevant ‘in today’s secular world…and failing?.
    God was never going to entirely trust fallen men with His Plan for the salvation of Humanity.The first Adam failed and God placed all authority not in fallen man but in His Son.

    Christ IS the church and with Christ at the Head the Church can reconnect with God and the Gospel can once again go forward.

  • len

    I cannot but wonder why God hasn`t given up entirely with humanity!.

    God has worked with infinite patience through fallen men revealing his Plan for salvation plagued with pitfalls and roadblocks.Gods patience is truly amazing.
    Salvation came through the Jews but their leaders did not recognize their Messiah because He did not fit their pattern of ‘what a Messiah should be’.IF Christ was not their Messiah then there will be no Messiah because no one else can fulfil the Prophecies regarding the Messiah.
    Then the Church took up Gods plan for salvation and corrupted it for their own gain.

    But God continued patiently working through a few men (most of which the church killed) working out his Plan for salvation these brave men fighting to proclaim and preserve Gods Plan for salvation.
    The Church needs to repent and to get back on course with God or it will get trampled underfoot by secularists or’ sold out’ by those within the church who’s main interest is their own popularity which is in direct opposition to proclaiming the truth of the Gospel which can be an offence to liberals within the Church.

    • Inspector General

      Why should God get rid of us, Len. We are doing a splendid job entertaining him. That’s what we are here for.

      • Anton

        He doesn’t find it much fun. Read the prophets in the Bible.

        • Inspector General

          Certainly not. One has little interest in the thoughts and words of those bearded OT horrors…

          • Anton

            But it was not their thoughts and words; it was God’s. Jesus himself believed that.

          • Inspector General

            God’s creation mysteries are continuing to unravel as a revelation to us all. Since they have done all along. We need to move with them. Otherwise we’ll all dwell in a previous time of concubines, slaves and foods that are off the menu because refrigeration doesn’t exist….

          • IanCad

            Inspector; Over 30% of the NT consists of the OT. My beard is itching.

          • Inspector General

            Ian, did you know that humans share 30% of their DNA with the daffodil? We also share a bit with the £5 note too, apparently…

          • Royinsouthwest

            Some of our DNA comes from Neanderthals. Do we have more in common with them than with £5 notes, I wonder?

          • Anton

            The Inspector believes that we need to move with the times? The Inspector will therefore welcome gay marriage and other such innovations…

          • Inspector General

            You impudent scallywag…

          • The Explorer

            Concubines are making a comeback. Ask ISIS.

      • The Explorer

        What is your source for knowing this?

        • Inspector General

          It is the most logical explanation.

        • The Inspector’s source of “inspiration” is the by well known muse, Johnnie Walker.

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector has decided on what hymn is to be played as his coffin slides down the conveyor to the oven. The Beatles track ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. Listen to it. It’s just the ticket!

            Perhaps the weeping hordes might have a laugh about it at the bar afterwards…

          • Sarky

            I thought ‘highway to hell’ would be a better choice.

          • Inspector General

            Ah, it’s sarky. Put upon this planet to vex the souls of good men. Bit of a shame you are like life’s toilet paper. Here for one job, and nothing else…

          • Transferable applications for TP include eye glasses cleaner (no brasives), shoe shine rag, nose tissues, dinner napkins and as personally witnessed at the university of Warsaw in 1983, sown into note books.

          • Inspector General

            Did you know, Avi, there is no Arabic term for toilet paper.

          • No I didn’t, Inspector. And I wager that neither do Western immigration authorities, which should be alerted.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            I find it rather uncomfortable sharing this comment space with the Inspector. So often I find myself on the same side over this issue or that, but his supersniggative attitude to various groups of people hits me like a noxious effluvium.

            As for the Arabic for toilet paper, try this Wikipedia article.

            At least they have a native Arabic word for “toilet”. The corresponding Hebrew article נייר טואלט uses a phonetic transcription from a European language.

            However, let us not depart in strife, rather, let us enjoy this Italian song, with a video in which an unscrupulous salesman tries to take trick some country folk by taking advantage of the fact that La Tavoletta means both “toilet seat” and (computer) “tablet” in Italian.

            LA TAVOLETTA (lu tablèt) official video – Banda Piazzolla – YouTube

          • Anton

            And for degree certificates in the social sciences.

          • Sarky

            Better to be the paper than the…

          • carl jacobs

            Ouch!

          • chefofsinners

            They’ll be laughing alright.

          • Inspector General

            One has left instructions to the effect that his scalp be spared the inferno and donated to ‘coot aid’….the Inspector will live on in this life….

          • chefofsinners

            His soul is departed, but his dandruff lingers on…

          • Inspector General

            It would be the Inspector’s final gift to remaining humanity. Did you know that some men have less hair on their head than some top super model’s arse…

          • Anton

            Will your corpse be found with its fingers crossed, just like when you say that bit about Jesus being divine in the Creed?

          • Anton

            That’s totally unfair. The Inspector drinks only single malt.

        • Sarky

          Wiki??

      • len

        God wiped out most of humanity when they became totally corrupted in every way possible. Mankind’s DNA had also been corrupted by fallen angels, Noah and his family being the only Humans left with un- corrupted DNA.

        So God started over again.
        Not long before the corrupting process happened again.
        Mankind’s journey is a long, sad,tragic tale of God restoring man and Satan attempting to destroy man.
        When we see the sinful, corrupted,disease ridden, war scarred humanity we see Satan attempting to destroy the image that God had envisaged when He created man.
        The only way God could redeem mankind was to take all of humanities sin on Himself at Calvary and pay the price Himself for mankind’s rebellion against God and the ability of man to be deceived into following Satan who`s only desire is to reduce mankind into a slave to death, disease, and eventual utter degradation.

        Not much to amuse God, I suppose God feels much as a Father seeing his Children sold into every form of evil, who warns them but they will not listen to Him.

        • Inspector General

          Now look Len. The Inspector is going to inch very slowly towards the door. That’s it, the door you’re not allowed to go through. And there’s more, the Inspector is smiling, albeit weakly, but he is smiling. He’s smiling, Len, because he likes you. You’ve got to believe him on that…

      • dannybhoy

        Baloney IG.!
        Your understanding of God is too limited. He doesn’t need entertaining. In His unfathomable wisdom He decided to create sentient beings and grant them freedom of thought and action.
        Why?
        Because He decided to. I for one am so grateful for the experience. The beauty of the earth and stars, the experience of loving and being loved, of laughing and tears, and reflection. God is far far beyond our comprehension old chap, but we can rest secure in His love for us shown through Jesus Christ.

        • Anton

          The question of why God created us is worth pondering, though. Perhaps it is the ultimate act of love and power, both of which God actually is.

          • dannybhoy

            It’s an unanswerable question, but the nature of God as revealed across the Scriptures would rule out the concept of a God who needed amusement at the expense of human beings.
            I think dwelling on the nature of the universe and the Creator God who brought it all into being can bring one to a state of holy ecstasy, And that opens our mind to a greater appreciation of Him.

  • Anton

    Not all of which he believes. (Nor do I, but which parts…?)

  • Anton

    In fairness to Jack, he has called the Inspector a heretic here because of the Inspector’s denial of the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth.

  • The Inspector is probably suffering from dementia brought on by excessive alcohol consumption and years of exposure to Pink News. This may well mitigate personal responsibility for apostasy and heresy. He probably has a very understanding priest.

    • Inspector General

      Don’t bet your hat on any of that…

  • There’s no need to look to Jack for fun, Carl. All one has to do is keep an eye on Trump for the next 4 years. American Exceptionalism has certainly taken on a whole new meaning.

    • carl jacobs

      Well, at least we know better than to consume Brown Soup.

      • That’s your best shot?

        • carl jacobs

          No, I was de-escalating.

          • How un-American of you.

          • carl jacobs

            I didn’t want to talk about politics, and British cuisine is (shall we say) a soft target.

          • If Jack was American, which, by the grace of God, he isn’t, he would be keen to avoid politics too. Food stays in the stomach for 4/5 hours. Trump will be with you a lot longer.

          • carl jacobs

            If Jack was American, which, by the grace of God, he isn’t…

            Your eyes deny what your voice proclaims. It’s OK, Jack. You can admit it to me.

          • You really don’t want to discuss Trump. Unlike you not to have an opinion, Carl.

  • dannybhoy

    “Actually, he’s made two or three important speeches of late, which, considered apart, merit a few dutiful column inches in the MSM because he is who he is. But, taken together, there are nuggets contained within them which really ought to mollify hyper-critical minds and mitigate the carping of those who believe they have eyes and ears but are really quite insensible to the signs of the times and the way the wind is blowing.”
    So I haven’t been wasting my time on my knees..
    The Church in the UK desperately needs a voice, an English version of Moses if you will. We need someone to stand up in defence and proclamation of the faith, to summon the Church to prayer in repentance and re-dedication of service of the King: and no one is better placed to do this than an Archbishop of Canterbury.
    As far as I am concerned that is his calling. Not to balance the boat or keep the peace among the various factions, but to stand foursquare with his Lord and His glorious Gospel. May God bless the man and his family and anoint him with courage and authority.

  • Oisín mac Fionn

    So Welby’s going to defend Judæo-Christian values, is he?

    So which values is he planning to start with?

    Will it be the idea that women must shut up, be guided by their husbands, obey them in everything and never, ever be allowed to wield power over men?

    That’s going to make his relationship with the government and the crown rather fraught, don’t you think? Not to mention the grief he’ll get from all the vicarettes and bishopesses.

    Or perhaps he’ll choose to champion the Christian value that marriage is indissoluble and that unrepentant adulterers should be excluded from the Church. Up to and including its next Supreme Governor…

    Maybe his choice of hobbyhorse will be the belief in the gravely sinful nature of homosexual relations and the idea that unrepentant gays should also be excluded from the Church. That’ll be half the the remaining vicars gone.

    Or what about the right of Christians to impose their beliefs on others by refusing to serve them? Will he start by encouraging Christian hoteliers to refuse gay guests? Will he support Christian registrars who refuse to officiate at same sex weddings? Will he offer plenary absolution to all bakers forced to bake cakes for political causes they don’t support?

    If he does just one of these things he’ll become the darling of the fascist Christian Right and the likes of carl jacobs and even Catholics like Happy Jack will fawn on him like the bottom sub biatches they are (well, after all, they’re always crying “Oh take me God, take me! I’m all yours!” so how else would you describe them?)

    As he watches Christianity dissolving into liberal lefty tree-hugging relativism all around him, I shouldn’t wonder if ++Justin isn’t considering just such a move. Better a few fawning neo-Nazi acolytes than no followers at all, eh? He may be starting to think that when it comes to churches, size just doesn’t matter. A word of warning though: his fawning acolytes are obsessed with authority and control, so I hope for his sake that under that rather bland and milquetoast exterior there beats the heart of a Sturmbannführer. If not it could all get out of control very quickly and then who knows what might happen?

    • Anton

      Actually he’s today published a critique of the financial system:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38157626

      So much for Martyn Percy’s claim that under Welby the CoE was being “reformed by bankers”.

      • Oisín mac Fionn

        Oh, I see. So Welby’s plan is to avoid hot-button issues and concentrate on debates where he has a fair chance of uniting opinion. Evangelism by consensus. How very Anglican of him!

        Carl jacobs and Happy Jack’s disappointment will be great. There they were expecting leather, chains, holy water and shouts of “the power of Christ compels you!” Milksop suggestions about how we might like to spend our money, please, thank you, if you don’t mind, won’t satisfy them at all. They want hard orders not soggy guidelines.

        If this is how Welby plans to lead a Christian revival, he’s going about it the wrong way. All revolutions require the unquestioning support of brainwashed stormtroopers. They already exist. Indeed many of them post frequently on this site. But a softly-softly-catchy-monkey approach is never going to mobilise them or do anything except lower Welby’s reputation among them even further.

        These people are looking for a leader to rise up and command them in God’s name. And it’s ++Justin’s only chance for glory, because let’s face it, glory is what he’s after. You don’t rise to the higher levels of management in any organisation if your personality isn’t driven by a need to dominate and control. ++Justin’s problem is that overexposure to bland, polite Anglicans has decaffeinated his ambition to the point where it resembles a timid M&S korma when the only recipe that will change anything is a turbo-charged moruga scorpion vindaloo.

        If he carries on as he’s started this year promises to be a regular yawn-fest. And the Anglican Church will continue its slide into irrelevance.

        All well and good.

        • Anton

          Apparently you haven’t noticed that our Messiah has already come,

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Donald Trump, you mean?

            Why do your messiahs always have such bad hair?

        • The Explorer

          Linus, old moruga scorpion,

          Why settle for second best? I thought the Naga Viper was the hottest thing around? Unless Carol Vorderman in her prime, or old Linus himself in full venom mode. A couple of other things.

          Firstly, “There they were expecting leather, chains…” I thought YOU were the one who was into being whipped by guardsmen? Secondly, if you want the C of E to fade into irrelevance, then what are you thinking of giving Welby advice on how to revive it? Let him stick to his korma (or his karma, while we’re in vindaloo mode).

          • Anton

            My karma has run over my dogma.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Whether Welby heeds my advice or not, the CofE is on a collision course with oblivion. It’s too big, too unwieldy and too passive to do anything except go to the slaughter like a dazed cow.

            If Welby were to act decisively, he might be able to save a part of the Church. But he won’t. Archbishops of Canterbury never do. It just isn’t in the job description.

            So I’m safe giving advice because I know it will never be followed. When the Church finally fades away, I’ll have nothing to reproach myself for. Heck, I even tried to help them save themselves from their own stupidity!

            There is of course an element of self-interest in all of this, which is that although I’ll be glad when the Church ceases to exist, the dissolution process will involve increased liberalisation. On the face of it this should be a good thing, but when we reach the point where gay marriage is allowed in church, I’ll no longer have any excuse not to attend friends’ weddings.

            The thought of ceremonies presided over by Hipster Vics wearing Peruvian bobble hats and the treehugging nonsense they’ll be spouting, to say nothing of the slimy vegan canapes they’ll be serving at the reception, is quite frankly too awful to contemplate.

            While nobody would be gladder than me to see the demise of any Christian denomination, the brain-dead organic “being at one with the universe” spiritual gibberish that would take its place would be too annoying to tolerate for very long.

            A small rump of Anglican fascists who give what remains of the Church such a bad name that no liberal would be caught dead having anything to do with religion might save us all from decades of New Age nonsense. Their numbers would be so small and their reputation so toxic that they could pose no conceivable threat to anyone.

            Better a vestigial KKK reminding us all how poisonous racism is than the total disappearance of all White Supremacists and the eventual rehabilitation of their ideas.

          • Inspector General

            “The number of people contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has risen by as much as 100% in the past year. The new figures for gay and bisexual men show a very sharp rise in already common STDs. Rates of gonorrhea are up by 100%, while there’s been a 56 percent increase in syphilis and a 47 percent jump in rectal chlamydia compared with figures from 2013.”
            http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/11/30/youre-more-likely-to-get-these-stis-than-ever-before/
            “Here we are at the Albert Hall, hosting the 2016 Horrible Homosexual Disease’s contest. And here we have Rectal Chlamydia. Tells us, RC, what would you like to do if you win.”

            “Why, Inspector, I would just love to travel the world and work with children and poor people. And perhaps poor people’s children. Some of them, not too many”

            “Very commendable RC. Now over to Syphilis. Tell us, what would you like to do if YOU win?”

            “Oh Inspector, I would just love to travel the world and work with children and poor people. And perhaps”

            “Have to stop you there Syphilis, because the winner has been announced. The 2016 victor is Gonorrhea. Well done G. And what will YOU be doing in the new year?”

            “Well, Inspector, I hope to become even more resistant to anti-biotics than I am now…”

          • Anton

            But Christianity is for all races equally, since all races are descended form Adam.

          • The Explorer

            I thought Rowan Williams would preside over the final dissolution of the C of E, but it still struggles on.

            There may be biblical ambiguity about female vicars, but there is none about homosexuality. So when gay clergy (as they will) call for same-sex marriage in church and get their way, that, I suspect, will be the moment at which the C of E irrevocably splits. A practising gay bishop was what caused the split in the Episcopal Church.

            Gay marriage in itself is a minor issue: when I last looked at statistics it involved something like a quarter of one per cent of the population. What IS at issue is biblical authority, and because of the challenge to it I imagine that (as happened in the US) the confessing church will secede, leaving the liberals with the buildings and empty pews. I, of course, would secede with the confessing church.

            Not clear what particular aspects of racism you are alluding to. Please elaborate.

          • Inspector General

            If that isn’t the truth, Explorer. Homosexual clergy are homosexuals first, and priests second, in the Inspector’s not so humble.

          • bockerglory

            I don’t like these labels based on how one uses genitals. All rather base & vulgar. Like announcing you a right handed bum wiper or something. Many years from now people will be stunned at our obsession with genitalia.

            Anyhow I am starting a new campaign of pre-fixing labels with British. So British Muslim (not Muslim British), British Gay, British Lesbian, British transvestite, British gender fluid, British African Heritage, British Pakistani, British Indian, British Chinese. If you are not British then you should revoke all other citizenship and become British or leave the country.

          • bockerglory

            Are you the schizophrenic alter ego of Archbishop Rowan Williams?

            My son asked me the other day why only white people can only be racist (after a Jamaican heritage lad implied African heritage men were more superior at music or sport (can’t remember which one… But something like that))

    • Royinsouthwest

      It was recently reported that various clothes designers have said they will not design dresses for America’s first lady to be, Melania Trump. Do you think they should be legally compelled to design clothes for her if she so wishes? After all, what is sauce for the goose, or bakers, is sauce for the gander of clothes designers.

    • The Explorer

      Linus, dear old fellow,

      Every time I think you’ve finally tooled off elsewhere, or shuffled off this mortal coil, back you come in full fighting trim.

      ‘after all, they’re always crying “Oh take me God, take me! I’m all yours!”‘. I don’t recall the injunction. Can you direct me to a thread in which either of them says it? There’s a good chap.

      • The promise to helicopter himself to his moated castle in France after Brexit was a ruse. With the Biúró Náisiúnta an Gharda Síochána um Inimirce hot on his trail, Linus has to Frog-hopping all over Ireland’s internet cafes. The ones who will have him.

    • chefofsinners

      Well done, Linus. You’ve stuck your finger up the bum of some important issues. In your own coprophagic way, you describe Welby’s dilemma accurately.
      Society is now so far from Christianity that the CoE cannot bridge the gap.

      • Dominic Stockford

        The heir to the throne is, by the way, no longer an adulterer. He was one once, but cannot be one now. Though he still is, as far as we know, unrepentant.

        • No, he’s still living in an adulterous relationship. In the eyes of God, Camilla is still married to Andrew Parker Bowles despite their civil divorce.

          • Royinsouthwest

            “Let no man put asunder.” If a couple have completely stopped loving each other then they have already caused themselves to be “put asunder” and therefore are in the same position as the Israelites who Moses allowed to be divorced.

          • Inspector General

            Roy. One has always thought that the ‘man’ so mentioned was a third party. Of the ruling elite, and with his eyes on the wife…

          • Royinsouthwest

            The third party could also be a woman with her eyes on the husband. However marriages also break down without the involvement of a third party. I assume that Christ’s injunction applies to everybody; third parties should not imperil anyone else’s marriage and couples themselves should do everything to love one another.

          • Except that’s not the teaching of Jesus.

        • bockerglory

          Yes & no, his first wife sadly perished. But he is married to an adulterer as Camilla’s ex is still alive I think. So he could still be committing adultery. Of course if he has repented he will be forgiven etc

          • Dominic Stockford

            Good point. Though is he a fornicator or an adulterer?

            And of course, repentance surely means he should put her aside?

    • dannybhoy

      He might just start with the need to consider Jesus as being the Son of God and His coming to earth to bring salvation and redemption to all who will respond to His invitation. He might talk about God’s ten commandments and what God expects of us. He might explain about how the pursuit of personal happiness does not work; whether we attain riches or not…
      There are many aspects of the Law and the Gospel that he could address. The heart of the Gospel is man’s estrangement from God and God’s reaching out to us in compassion, and so that we might have eternal life or face judgement..

  • len

    I think the better informed sections of the secular world ( also sections of the Islamic world) are slowly waking up to the fact that aggressive Islam is filling the vacuum formed by the rejection by Western liberal society of the Judeo/Christian foundations which are the bedrock of a civilized society.

    Even that high priest of atheism Richard Dawkins recognized that fact.
    Richard Dawkins;
    “There
    are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not
    aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major
    Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I
    have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as
    Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.”

    Something ‘far worse’ is happening worldwide.

    • Dreadnaught

      But even in saying this with which I agree, he still omits to identify Islamic writ as being the root of a bid for global Islamic influence through Jihad.
      You are quite right that ‘far worse’ is happening, but we are being kept in the dark instead of being informed by the MSM and Parliament.

      • dannybhoy

        I would be content for our Archbishop to stand up for our core Christian beliefs and for days to be set aside annually for repentance, re-dedication and rejoicing.

        • Dreadnaught

          Be that as it may, the way things are going it may already be too late to state that this is a Christian country with a future anything like ‘the good old days’ when we knew who we were and minorities did not monopolise the public space.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s because our country has enjoyed peace and relative stability for so long, we forgot that other people do not share our values or societal norms, nor wish to do so. That is changing and British people are becoming aware of the dangers facing us.

          • Inspector General

            And so, the indigenous population swing to the right. And whom can blame them. Darling news, what!

    • chefofsinners

      “a bulwark against something far worse” – yes, atheism.

  • “In the United Kingdom, our counter-radicalisation programme in schools and universities is called ‘Prevent’, which I believe sums up the overall approach to religious extremism. Rather than simply seeking to prevent ‘bad’ religion, however, we have to offer an alternative vision of the role of faith in our societies that is more convincing. That is more profound. That is more satisfying to the human spirit. And where to do we find a better vision than in the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the good news of Christ?”

    So far, so good; but the problem is that these days there is no clear message from the C of E as to what what the Gospel actually is:
    Why did Christ have to die?
    What did His death achieve?
    Did He rise from the dead?
    What is sin, and does the Church have the right to redefine it to harmonize with contemporary secular thought?
    How do sinful men and women appropriate the benefits of our Lord’s death and resurrection?
    What is a Christian? How does one become a Christian?
    What is a church? (Article XIX makes interesting reading)
    .
    These are basic questions on which the C of E does not speak with one clear voice, and unless and until it does, it will continue to be an irrelevance to the world at large and an embarrassment to British Christians. ‘For if the trumpet sounds an uncertain note, who will prepare for battle?’ (1 Corinthians 14:28). What Britain needs is not so much revival as a new Reformation.

    • dannybhoy

      No, we need a call to prayer, repentance, re-dedication and rejoicing in God’s grace. Personally I’d love to see days set aside for that purpose.

      • Yep! That too!
        In the absence of any such call from Welby, why not join Dominic and myself and our respective churches in the next Concert of Prayer scheduled (DV) for January 8th?

        • dannybhoy

          My email address is [email protected],com.
          Please send me details. But I remain convinced that we should be praying for Justin Welby and his calling as Archbishop of Canterbury.

        • Dominic Stockford

          January 8th? Or Jan 7th? Please let me know, thanks. I’d lost touch of the next date what with illness earlier in the year and then other small matters going on in Richmond Park constituency at the moment.

          • Hello Dominic,
            My mistake! It all comes of these wretched calendars that have the Lord’s day as the last day of the week instead of the first!
            If the C.O.P. is being held on the second Saturday, then it will be January 14th, methinks.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Thank you Martin. I shall make a note. I had better start advertising!

  • chefofsinners

    This year’s All England Welby Wanging title has been awarded to Martyn Percy on a unanimous points decision by the judging panel of, er, Martyn Percy.
    Canon Percy also holds the Saul award for cloakroom services to stoners, and has been promoted to bronze medalist in the Judean Christ Crucified award AD 33, following Pontius Pilate’s urine sample testing positive for performance enhancing substances.

  • Silly Zac Goldsmith has let the Lib Dims into Richmond Park with his pointless bi-election.

    • chefofsinners

      Well done Dominic Stockford, standing for the truth. 164 votes is an achievement in one of Britain’s wealthiest constituencies, where the debate was dominated by Brexit and Heathrow.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Thank you. It was hard work. But worth it. And I got to preach Jesus Christ as the only way to true peace to over 200 unbelievers at a hustings. Fabulous. Their faces when I said that the 10 Commandments were relevant for today were amusing, and then when I explained how they fitted the Heathrow business (covetousness, theft, false witness, idolatry, failure to love fellow men) your could see the dawning of realisation. Lovely to see.

      • Tim Farrron has made this into more of a hard Brexit issue – any excuse to promote his opinion – when it really was about Heathrow expansion.

        Independents don’t usually make much of an impact.

  • Good luck to him. As you’ve indicated, some of his own clergy are intent on marginalising Judaeo-Christian values (and pre-Positivist humanism, which sprung from them) and substituting previously marginalised dispositions such as politicised Islam and PC, à la Derrida. I’ve heard no end of CofE churchgoers mourn the passing of a muscular Anglicanism whose senior ministers acted as if Jesus’ teachings meant something. Let’s hope the embers of that Anglicanism hold enough spark for life to be breathed back into them.