Times Towers 2
Media

Welby preaches God, Jesus, sin and salvation to The Times

 

Journalists who work for The Times have a habit of tearing strips off the Archbishop of Canterbury. One day they berate him for loving big government more than Jesus; and another for preaching more about foodbanks than God. So crass, misleading and partial are some Comment pieces that earlier this year a comprehensive rebuttal was made, with this exhortation: “The Times owes Justin Welby an apology. Either that, or a conciliatory invitation to write an extended piece on the miraculous nature of Jesus Christ.”

No apology was forthcoming; nor, apparently, any invitation to write an extended piece on the miraculous nature of Jesus Christ. The irruption of God into the world just isn’t news, you see. So Justin Welby did what Jesus tended to do: he went to Times Towers and spoke to some of his critics face-to-face. It’s so much more Christian than carping behind people’s backs and spreading manifest untruths about the Church. And he didn’t mention big government or foodbanks once: he spoke with humility and passion about God, Jesus, sin and salvation. And he did so with such clarity and conviction that it might be an example to us all:

“I’m a Christian because Jesus Christ found me and called me, around 40 years ago. I’m a Christian because it makes sense to me, because Jesus rose from the dead, he conquered death and sin and suffering. I’m a Christian because in Jesus I see the God who didn’t say, ‘This is how you lot have got to behave and I’m going to watch you and judge you,’ but came alongside us and lived in the middle of the absolute foulest mess and himself died unjustly young in great agony and bore all that was wrong in this world on his shoulders.

“I’m a Christian because in my own experience I’ve run away and he’s met me and yet not been angry with me; when I’ve failed he’s picked me up and healed and strengthened me.

“That’s why I’m a Christian. And that’s why, whatever happens, whatever stupid mistakes, I know that even at the end of it all, even if everything else fails, God doesn’t, and he will not fail even to the end of my life.”

While The Times has a tendency to pontificate infallibly, Justin Welby talks movingly about his inadequacies and failings. While The Times looks at the Church through the distorting prism of temporal politics, Justin Welby tells them to forget the Church and to follow Christ. This Archbishop is preoccupied with prayer, reconciliation, evangelism and witness. He is passionate about doing mission and the “inescapable reality” of Jesus in his life. All The Times sees is foodbanks and Wonga, interspersed with sexuality and gender. That is the inescapable reality of media obsessions and Church caricature.

Archbishop Justin told News UK staff (which also includes The Sun, Sunday Times and the TLS) that he found being a Christian “a reasonable thing to be” because “the best answer to where was Jesus’s body after the crucifixion is that he rose from the dead”. Reason is a good place for the Christian to start when speaking to journalists – even Christian journalists who prefer to lecture the rest of us with their righteous shoulds and oughts. They may become irritated or inflamed, but the truth of the facts tends to have that effect on those who are so persuaded of the truth of their facts that there is nothing more to discuss – if, that is, they deem you worth talking to at all.

The Archbishop spent most of time talking about “the person and presence of Jesus”. But you won’t read about that in The Times. He explained that “Christian faith doesn’t hide us from the cruelties of life. Jesus himself faced every aspect of the cruelty of life that is possible. It’s just in it he is there in it in the middle of the mess with us.” You won’t read about that in The Times, either.

He then challenged his audience: “Christ is the light who draws close to us whatever life can bring to us. All of us will experience bereavement, again and again many of us, all of us will experience death. What is the company? Who is the person that will be with us at those last moments?”

But you won’t read about that in The Times, either. Or perhaps you will, but you’ll find it couched in a trite column as ‘Justin Welby’s holy disorder‘, leading with chatter about the oil industry and fat-cat salaries, juxtaposed with nuggets of tittle-tattle about George Osborne and Bach . If all that Times‘ journalist can glean from Justin Welby is the snarl of ‘holy disorder’, the derangement is theirs. And that is why the Archbishop visited them with the gospel truth. It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

  • Old Blowers

    Your Grace

    We are surrounded by a mad world that has Conservatives such as Boris Johnson saying that ‘British’ citizens can wear or fly the IS flag with pride in our ‘free’ country yet irk with outrage at the confederate flag being a symbol or slavery and persecution over 100 hundred years after it being torn down after civil war. Where is the discernment in any matters that look at where we are as a world, morally, as you quote above in this post.

    The west really doesn’t know if it wants to ride side saddle or horseback???

    People wonder why Joe public hates the current media and political class??

    E S Blofeld

  • dannybhoy

    If indeed the Archbishop is coming out more strongly and unapologetically as a true Christian that is wonderful. I think God is shaking us His people out of our lethargy and making us realise it’s time to stand up and be counted. We see the forces of secularism and extremism rising up against us in ways many of us older people would never have believed possible in our country. We desperately need Christian leadership pointing us to prayer and repentance. If Justin Welby has come to the same realisation we can all rejoice.

    • I think ++Justin has always spoken about Jesus, repentance etc. it’s just that he also speaks about temporal matters (foodbanks etc) and as His Grace points out these are the only utterances that usually get reported by the secular media.

  • Shadrach Fire

    ++Justins IS a true born again Christian. I know that but when he became AofC he seemed to get burdened with the formalities of office and seeming to want to be seen as a leader of all believers and not. I was so disappointed when he associated with the pink brigade and has not come out more strongly against rebellious Bishops and clerics with a limp hand shake.

    Now perhaps he is shaking off the robes of religiosity and standing four square on the side of the Gospel as the only means of allowing the Holly Spirirt to reach the lost.

    • dannybhoy

      So don’t you think that the problem is being the established Church, the CofE has to compromise especially with the Establishment and government of the day?
      Even within the Church there are non believers, or people who don’t accept the authority or credibility of the Bible: there are freemasons and people with ‘agendas’ and apparently the role of the Archbishop is to try and keep all these factions together?
      That’s the burden all archbishops now carry. The last one mooted the idea of including aspects of Shar’ia law into British law, because the growth and influence of Islam ‘is inevitable’?
      I just can’t see how one can reconcile all these issues. Something has to give.

      • Shadrach Fire

        That’s what the role of AofC has been, but it needn’t and shouldn’t be. He should challenge the world with the Gospel as well as his own flock, starting with the Bishops and so on down. No excuses and no compromise.

        • dannybhoy

          Exactly right Shadrach. In fact go further back when we are a homogenous society, Archbishops did tend to speak out on moral issues on the assumption that we were officially a Christian country, so everyone knew what he was talking about.
          I admit I am sometimes harsh on some of our CofE leadership, but it’s because I care. Because the CofE is in the best position to lead and inspire the nation’s Christians. There are so many well meaning bumblers who smile and seek the way of conciliation. That’s fine if you’re dealing with other Christians, but when you are faced with something opposed to our faith and Jewish faith, and pretty much any faith, you have to stand up for the Lord. If the msm or others don’t like it, tough.
          Luke 10:16..
          ” He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

          • Dominic Stockford

            I believe that he would be better speaking on the same assumption today as well – those who are not Christians will never understand what we are going on about, until the Holy Spirit indwells them, so speak up the Gospel, and the moral principles it demands and worry not.

          • dannybhoy

            One’s own experiences are always subjective of course and of limited worth. Yet I grew up hearing the Gospel, hearing moral teaching in boarding school, meeting Christians on almost every corner.
            I think the battle wasn’t that I rejected Christianity (because I was pre programmed to do so anyway ;0), the battle was that like the Prodigal Son I wanted to taste what the world had to offer, and I wanted to continue as king of my own little kingdom..
            It seems to me that God through the Holy Spirit and utilising the prayers and obedience of His people, built up a case against me. The case was so strong that when I was really struggling the grace of God broke through. I saw myself as the sinner I was.
            The Hound of Heaven
            By Francis Thompson (1859–1907)

          • It’s called Irresistible Grace

          • dannybhoy

            Irresistible?
            Hard to analyse what I think about that, because I think God applies that same love to any soul that incrementally starts to respond to Him.
            I believe some people do seek truth. Being a sinner does not mean you are necessarily depraved, it means you are separated from God by sin/self centredness and a rebellious heart. Some people are seriously into evil, into witchcraft whatever, but it’s like when someone with an anointed ministry begins to preach the Gospel some people will begin to respond to the Holy Spirit’s gentle voice speaking to our hearts.
            I cannot see on what moral basis God would select some for salvation and others for damnation.

  • Whilst welcoming much in the Archbishop’s address, in a spirit of courteous and respectful discussion, I was concerned by the sentence, “In Jesus I see the God who didn’t say, ‘This is how you lot have got to behave and I’m going to watch you and judge you”.

    These words could surely be taken to mean that the Trinitarian God is not concerned about personal behaviour, is not watching us (including our thought lives) and does not judge us. In each case it must be asserted that this is exactly what God in Christ does do.

    The love of God most certainly does not preclude the need to warn of judgement and of the necessity of repentance. May I cite these Scripture verses in support :

    2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body” (God judges us).

    Jeremiah 17:10 “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (God is watching us).

    Luke 13:3 “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (God says how we must behave).

    • Dominic Stockford

      I shared that concern, thank you for putting it into words.

  • IanCad

    “a reasonable thing to be”

    What a wonderful phrase. A humble and inviting answer to any who would ask why we believe.

    I shall remember it.

  • CliveM

    Sadly it is very difficult for anyone to engage fruitfully with the media. They all to often have an agenda which they will pursue despite all the evidence to the contrary. Welby has frequently talked about Jesus and the need for a relationship with him. The media won’t care. They have decided on a narrative and the narrative is that the AofC (and the wider CofE) dont ‘do God’ he does food banks and Wonga. They pretend that they want the Church to do God more, they don’t, it embarrasses them. They feel uncomfortable with it and pretend it doesn’t happen.

    The AofC is a man of faith. We shouldn’t get our views of him from MSM.

    • dannybhoy

      ‘The AofC is a man of faith. We shouldn’t get our views of him from MSM.’

      I’m our Deanery and Diocesan rep..

      • CliveM

        Apologies DB, I don’t understand?

        • dannybhoy

          What I mean is that personally I don’t just take my views from the MSM. I’ve met the previous incumbent, and I know what the focus is at our Diocesan synods. As I said to Shadrach the CofE is such a broad church that compromise is inevitable, and as far as I can see it’s the Gospel that loses out.

          • CliveM

            Hi DB

            all fair points, however my points were more about the nature of the media, the difficulty of getting a fair representation from it once it has decided on its narrative and the pointlessness of worrying about it! We need to use more then MSM to make an opinion about someone and if we don’t have these additional sources, we need to be careful.

          • Martin

            Clive

            The AoC tweets don’t seem to have much of the gospel in them. Presumably he writes those himself. Mind you, York is even worse.

          • CliveM

            Ps I’m not saying you do rely only on MSM, but a lot of people our generation do!!

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    WELBY PREACHES SALVATION

    Salvation comes only through Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Given that Welby is ‘preoccupied with’ evangelism, you could reasonably expect him not to rest until the entire country had accepted Christ as Saviour. Instead, we get: ‘Archbishop Justin told his audience that diversity was a “gift not a threat” and he did not want to live in a “monocultural” society.’

    Welby does not want to live in a Christian England. Does that mean he is happy for the followers of other faiths not to be saved, or does he believe that every faith brings salvation? If the latter, does he believe the Bible is wrong and that Christ is not the only way, truth and life?

    • The Explorer

      Yes it’s a very good point. But the biblical message is that the Gospel will be preached throughout the world; not that the Gospel will be accepted throughout the world. The authority of Christ over all (which may include realising that authority, but rejecting it) will occur only with the Second Coming.
      The Christian message seems to be that God would like everyone to respond to Him, but because He has given everyone free will, He knows that many of them won’t.
      This is different in emphasis from the Islamic message of all being for Allah. That simply means everything must be under Islamic control, not that all must become Muslims. After all, if all are Muslims, who will pay the jizya? It would destabilise the taxation system.
      To answer your direct question, what any archbishop may believe, and what any archbishop will be allowed by the political establishment to say, are two different things.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ The Explorer—Two rhetorical questions. 1. If the Gospel is to be preached throughout the world, why wasn’t Welby the Great Evangelist preaching it to his audience in Southall that day, rather than placating them with politically correct crap? 2. If the leader of the country’s foremost denomination doesn’t care whether England is Christian or not, why should anyone else?

        • The Explorer

          Yes, I can’t see how we can have both an established church and a multi-faith society, and I don’t think the current situation can last.
          I predict the future status quo in Britain will be like ancient Rome: acknowledge the Emperor, and do whatever cultic stuff you have to. Official secularism. Obey it (unless you’re Muslim, because we’re scared of you) and believe whatever nonsense you want to in private. A celebrity like Simon Cowell to replace the archbishop for public ceremonies.

        • Ivan M

          JR. the senior Bishop has a role in the society of UK and the world. It is not for him to denounce every other religion as deluded or approximations to the Truth. Suppose he tells an audience of Hindus that they are all going to Hell, how do you think this will play in India where there are millions of Christians? Or the same to Muslims, and see the effect on Christians in the various Muslim countries, from Indonesia to Western Sahara. The senior clerics are well aware of the difficult position of Christians throughout the world, they get reports everyday. They have no wish to make it any worse. And in any case Welby’s first loyalty is to Christ. He would rather win men for Christ, than score points for the English.

          • Johnny Rottenborough

            @ Ivan M—Welby has the option of keeping his gob shut. Instead, he chooses to insult the English by declaring that the fewer of them there are, and the more Muslim England becomes, the better the country suits him. Small wonder that the English are voting with their feet and quitting the C of E. If Welby were remotely loyal to Christ, he would refuse to accept the replacement of Christianity by Islam as the religion of England.

    • I think we need to define what we mean by a ‘Christian England.’ Whilst I long to see vast numbers of people saved by the Gospel, I have no desire to live in a country where one can only be a politician/teacher/civil servant if one is a Christian.
      All that would result in is people lying about their beliefs.

    • Inspector General

      It’s not just you and the Inspector who appreciates monoculture with its peace, stability, security and brotherhood, JR, but so do the muslims. Whether Mr Welby is so concerned about this erroneous stance they have taken that he will tour the country’s mosques and put these fellows right on a issue which seems to be as dear to his heart as Christ’s offer of salvation is yet to be seen. But as the good multiculturalist that he is, we cannot rule that possibility out.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ Inspector General—The rate that public opinion is turning against Islam and multiculturalism, Mr Welby will find himself the only multiculturalist left in the country.

        • Inspector General

          Breaking news chaps…

          All British nationals are being urged to leave Tunisia because “a further terrorist attack is highly likely”, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says – BBC

          Looks like our population is indeed being prudent to appreciate the threat of Islam, JR

        • Pubcrawler

          Oh I don’t know… Not to be outdone, Cardinal Nichols nails his colours to the mast

          http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/07/09/englands-most-senior-catholic-we-weary-westerners-need-migrants-to-bring-us-new-hope/

          • Johnny Rottenborough

            @ Pubcrawler—The Bishop of London does at least have the canniness to sit on the fence: ‘Our London is a laboratory for testing whether it will be possible for the cosmopolitan civilisation which is becoming a global reality to hold together.’

            A ‘global reality’ that applies only to formerly white countries, of course.

          • Inspector General

            Now, there’s a thing, JR. The out and proud types on Pink News are complaining of, let us say, Islamic concern about their activities. Such a beastly situation, as the worst of the sufferers fled to London to get away from their ‘homophobic’ surrounds they had as a child, as well as to indulge in the opportunity to bugger the like minded until all were HIV+. It’s enough to make anyone who cares about these types weep…

          • Johnny Rottenborough

            @ Inspector General—A section of WikiIslam catalogues the Muslim persecution of homosexuals. The UK page is here.

  • Malcolm Smith

    I remember a press conference in my own country in which a clergyman was on a panel. Some journalist said, “The Archibishop of [wherever] has only made one public statement, and it was on [pensions, if my memory serves me correctly].
    To this the clergyman responded: “The Archbishop makes a public statement every Sunday. It’s not his fault if it doesn’t get reported.”

  • preacher

    Well done Justin Welby for speaking out & telling of your faith in a simple manner.
    But would the media have taken as much notice if he was just plain Justin Welby ?
    One would hope so, but one of the problems with the institutional Church is that immediately one attains high office, one is seen as a member of the establishment & as such, ones credibility & motives are suspect plus the raw power of the gospel is blunted as the diversity of the Church members mean trying to tread a middle course to keep them all happy.

    Perhaps this is why Jesus came as a simple working man, rather than a member of the Priestly class or Sanhedrin. Thus,He was able to speak the truth openly to all who would listen. He let His actions speak for Him & let the people decide.
    Likewise the first Apostles steered clear of a traditional approach for the same reason, plus the Holy Spirit was actively guiding them daily, so a traditional reversion to the old Judaic system was impossible & thus avoided.
    Result : A Church that has stood the test of time.

    The Church was designed to be radical & challenging not only to the People of the World, but even more so to its members.
    According to Scripture, we are All Kings & Priests. We All have a responsibility to take the Gospel to the World at All Costs, this is our duty & we should enjoy it & do it with love & compassion for the short time that we are here.

    Surely nothing is more important than the saving of Souls for eternity, We are Commissioned into God’s service equipped for Spiritual War against the devil & his hordes. We cannot leave it to a small number of ‘ Ordained ‘ men to do the job we were assigned.

    • Martin

      Preacher

      Except the CoE isn’t radical and challenging, it goes along with the World and follows its lead.

      • preacher

        Yes brother, it’s called a soft option & most of the Churches choose it.
        We Are the Church, – not a group of men separated for service.
        We must wake up to the facts & change the slide into obscurity by our own desire & be what we were meant to be., we can’t rely on a religious foundation to lead the way. Jesus didn’t so how can we ?.

  • Martin

    So where does the Bible say that Jesus “bore all that was wrong in this world on his shoulders”? On the contrary, Jesus came to save His people, those who were chosen from the foundation of the Earth:

    She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21 [ESV]

    XVII. OF PREDESTINATION AND ELECTION

    PREDESTINATION to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God’s purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.

    As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God’s Predestination, is a most dangerous downfal, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.

    Furthermore, we must receive God’s promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture: and, in our doings, that Will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God.

    Funny how the CoE doesn’t believe it’s own foundation documents any more – could be why it is falling apart.

    • dannybhoy

      John 3:16
      “For God so loved the elect that He gave His only begotten Son, that whether they like it or not, they shall believe in Him and will not perish but have everlasting life.

      It just doesn’t say that does it?

      “God is not willing that any should perish..”

      “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye
      from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

      God has allowed all the murdering and torturing and starvation and loss of family members and innocent lives because that is what we depraved and evil sinners do. We just can’t help it..”

      http://www.calvinistcorner.com/tulip.htm

      • That is a rather dreadful pastiche of what Reformed Christians believe.
        You are confusing Calvin with his evil younger brother, Hypercalvin.
        .
        The inability of man to come to Christ is not physical but moral and spiritual. ‘And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil’ (John 3:19).
        .
        You might also like to consider John 6:37. ‘ All that the Father gives Me will come to Me………..’

        Here is your predestination. God the Father has given the Son a people to redeem, and He has done so and they will come. There is no doubt about it.

        ‘………..and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.’

        And here is the other side of the equation: the way to God is open, wide open. Whoever will may come and Christ will not cast him out. So there is nothing stopping Linus, Sarky, DanJo and the rest from coming to Christ; He will not turn them away. They are not thinking to themselves, “How I wish I could become a Christian, but I just…..can’t…….do it!” No, they prefer darkness to light for the reasons given above. And unless God opens their respective hearts to receive the truth they will continue in their wilful (Rom. 1:18-22) blindness and unbelief.
        .
        Just in case anyone thinks John 6:37 might be some sort of aberrant Scripture, our Lord repeats Himself in vs. 39-40, and the same thoughts can also be found in Matt. 11:25-30.

        • dannybhoy

          “That is a rather dreadful pastiche of what Reformed Christians believe.You are confusing Calvin with his evil younger brother, Hypercalvin.”

          Thank you. I didn’t know he had a brother.

          The main point for me is that this portrayal of a God who says we are so far gone in our depravity that we can’t even distinguish between good and evil, and therefore can’t even respond to God’s offer of salvation is (I think) inconsistent with the revealed nature of God in both Testaments and His interactions with mankind.

          Our Lord spoke at length about the need to abide in Him and He in us. He didn’t santo the rich young man with great wealth who turned away,
          “Well you’re obviously not one of my Father’s elect…”

          • He did however say, ‘But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep’ (John 10:26), not the other way around.
            Our Lord laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:11). He did not lay it down for the goats. But the Lord’s sheep are a special breed. They are distinguished by their ears and their feet (v.27).

          • dannybhoy

            But that does not mean “you are not of my sheep because you are not one of the elect..” It means you are not one of my sheep because there is something in your life you love more than Me.

            Look, whatever verses say we have to look at the overall picture of mans alienation from God and how God goes about trying to bring us to repentance and salvation.
            Is God offering salvation to ALL men, or only the ELECT, those He has chosen to rescue from a doomed species?

            (Rather like a vet who only has a small supply of vaccine to treat a few cows stricken with Mad Cow disease. He knows all the rest will be put down, but at least he has saved a few..)
            Were all the men and women He interacted with in human history born with an ‘E for Elected’ tattooed on the back of their head?

            When He agreed to ‘bargain’ with Abraham over Sodom and Gomorrah, was He just stringing Abraham along; or did He really look to see whether there were 10 righteous souls in that evil place before He brought judgment?

            Without ignoring these verses my take is that God knows when He will finally pull down the curtain on the human race and implement His end time programme.

            Until that happens He wants the Church Universal -with a ‘E’ or without a ‘E’-, to work with Him in proclaiming the Gospel, and living the Gospel and doing everything we can as His children to draw others to the salvation provided by the sacrificial life of our Lord Jesus.

            But He doesn’t leave it all to the Church, because He knows that the Church has a habit of frequently ‘blowing it..’

            So as I understand it, not a man or woman or child will be lost because the Christians around them failed. I believe the Holy Spirit works wherever He has an opportunity to work, and God who knows our hearts will bring into His kingdom all whom He knows will respond. Not because they are chosen, but because they responded.

            20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
            Revelation 3..
            “For God so loved the world.. that He gave His only begotten Son, that whomsoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life..”
            God will do everything He can to bring us to eternal salvation, but He will not force us to believe.

      • Martin

        Danny

        Tell me, how can the dead choose life? As Martin said, they will not come. Remember, Paul did not come of his own accord, he had to be stopped on his journey and his mind changed. We are all the same, enemies of God, refusing the offer of mercy.

        Not only is God not willing that any should perish, He is also not willing that any should sin, yet they do. On the other hand God has determined that He will have a people, so His servants are sent out to compel them to come in.

        Why will they not turn from their sin? Why did Israel not turn from their wickedness? They would not because they chose not to. Those born again are not robots, indeed they still sin. Mankind has chosen their way, they have chosen wickedness but God restricts how wicked they are, they are not robots.

        • dannybhoy

          “Why will they not turn from their sin? Why did Israel not turn from their wickedness? They would not because they chose not to.”
          That is different. I don’t disagree with that. They CHOSE not to, but there were those within Israel who CHOSE to try and live a righteous life according to God’s commandments.
          What do you think the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are about?
          Or the books of the prophets who were called to warn Israel of what would happen if they CHOSE not to return to the Lord?

          If they were unable to choose then it would be unjust of God to judge them, as on that Day He surely will.

          • Martin

            Danny

            It is the nature of Man, inherited from Adam, to choose wickedness rather than righteousness. Until God works in a Man’s heart he will not choose to seek God

          • dannybhoy

            I think I just quoted St Paul on another thread when he said in his letter to the church in Philippi..
            ” 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

            You are quite wrong Martin, to say that
            “it is the nature of man to choose wickedness rather than righteousness.”
            If that were true God would have been going against His own holy nature to interact with sinful depraved men who sought only wickedness.
            The truth is as St Paul shows, that even though he was leading a righteous life according to the Law, he was still separated from God.
            Some men are deliberately evil, but some do seek after God, and in the seeking come to realise that their righteousness will never suffice.

          • Martin

            Danny

            When Paul says to the church at Philippi that he was blameless with respect to the law he was speaking from a human perspective. The Pharisees would have said the same thing of themselves as Paul. Even the angels are charged with error so how can a Man be sinless before God?

            But God changes men, takes away their sin and makes them righteous in His sight

        • dannybhoy

          “Remember, Paul did not come of his own accord, he had to be stopped on his journey and his mind changed.”

          It nowhere says that Rabbi Saul hated God though. He regarded Jesus and the believers as a perversion of Judaism. In fact Saul says himself,

          Acts 23..
          “And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” 4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” 5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.”

          So it’s not that Rabbi Saul was an evil man, he was righteous according to the Law..

          Philippians 3..
          “..though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,[c] blameless.

          So he wasn’t evil, he wasn’t depraved, he was zealous for the truth of God as he understood it..

          • Martin

            Danny

            If Saul did not hate God why did he kill God’s people?

            His conscience may have been good, but not before God. His keeping of the law was entirely man centred, he had become his own god.

            He was kicking against the pricks, against what was demonstrated to be the truth by the miracles and resurrection of Jesus. He knew Jesus had risen from the dead.

          • dannybhoy

            His conscience was good, according to God’s revealed commandments to His Chosen people Israel and the laws regarding those who depart from the worship of the One True God.
            Remember that the Jews believe in One God, not the Godhead as we do. So according to Judaism Saul was doing the right thing by trying to stop the spread of Christianity which was in effect a blasphemy.

            Whatever he thought about the miracles and the resurrection he doesn’t say, but obviously he didn’t believe it was of God. Although it is recorded that he approved of Stephen’s martyrdom it is not recorded that he regularly put believers to death, only that he had them imprisoned.
            The point is that Rabbi Saul was a devout and righteous Jew who when apprehended by our Lord Jesus in a vision, realised that all his righteousness was as dirty rags in the light of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross..
            In no way could he be described as wicked and depraved. For that matter neither could many truly devout Jews.

            ” Paul, The Apostle. From “Crazed Destoyer of Christians” to Committed Christian Leader.” Why did Paul Change?

            http://www.harvardhouse.com/paul.htm

          • Martin

            Danny

            And there are plenty of Atheists out there who will say their well trained consciences are clear. We all train our conscience to approve of what we approve of and disapprove of what we don’t like. Saul was no different from his fellow Pharisee in ensuring his interpretation of the law was what his conscience approved of.

            Doubtless, Saul, like others recorded, considered that the miracles could not be of God but perhaps were of Satan. And I doubt that Stephens was not the first such death he had witnessed. You will note, of course, that Saul was not persuaded, he was apprehended, stopped in his tracks and brought into the Church. Anyone who is not saved is wicked and depraved, we are all born into that same boat.

            What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:
            None is righteous, no, not one;
            no one understands;
            no one seeks for God.
            All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
            no one does good,
            not even one.
            Their throat is an open grave;
            they use their tongues to deceive.
            The venom of asps is under their lips.
            Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.
            Their feet are swift to shed blood;
            in their paths are ruin and misery,
            and the way of peace they have not known.
            There is no fear of God before their eyes.

            (Romans 3:9-18 [ESV]

            We need to realise how wicked mankind is to understand the nature of our salvation.

          • dannybhoy

            “Danny,
            And there are plenty of Atheists out there who will say their well trained consciences are clear. We all train our conscience to approve of what we approve of and disapprove of what we don’t like. Saul was no different from his fellow Pharisee in ensuring his interpretation of the law was what his conscience approved of.”

            Martin,
            We are not arguing about whether men are sinners or not.
            We agree that we are.
            The argument is about whether they are so sinful that they cannot respond to the Gospel, and that God therefore chooses or ordains some to be saved, because He chooses to.
            Which means that all he didn’t choose go to Hell.

            Not because they chose to be guilty, but because they were born guilty!

            I believe that the obvious teaching of our Lord is that despite their sinfulness and rebellion, men can still understand their position before God, even though they try to justify themselves.
            I also believe that the Holy Spirit uses the preaching of the word to convict the heart of sin, and that Christians are called tolive lives worthy of their calling by being salt and light in the community.

          • Martin

            Danny

            I am saying they will not turn from their sins. They choose to continue in their sin. They justify themselves, even though they know they are rebelling against God. They also choose to ignore God and even pretend He does not exist.

            Indeed, the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of men that the preaching of the gospel may become effectual and save them.

    • chiefofsinners

      So where does the Bible say that Jesus “bore all that was wrong in this world on his shoulders”?

      In 1 John 2 verse 2: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

      • Martin

        CoS

        Yet that ‘whole world’ cannot mean all, for men still go to Hell. Nor does it mean “bore all that was wrong on His shoulders”

        • dannybhoy

          It means that His atoning sacrifice was sufficient for all the sins committed by all people since mankind was created, and our father Adam did what his wife told him…

          • Martin

            Danny

            Except that the Bible also says He was to save His people from their sins:

            She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21 [ESV]

            And who are His people:

            All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (John 6:37 [ESV])

            You need to understand that all does not mean everyone without exception, but must be taken in context.

          • dannybhoy

            “Except that the Bible also says He was to save His people from their sins:
            She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21 [ESV]
            Yes of course, and He did save His people from their sins Martin. Firstly the Jewish believers who were (in some cases reluctantly) drawn to the conclusion that He was more than just a rabbi, and then to the Gentiles..
            Salvation is openb to all, but not all will respond.

            The Jews knew Messiah would come but there were many schools of thought on His role. For example..

            “Why Jews Don’t Believe In Jesus
            For 2,000 years Jews have rejected the Christian idea of Jesus as messiah. Why?”

            http://www.aish.com/jw/s/48892792.html

          • Martin

            Danny

            The gospel goes out to all but none will respond:

            When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God! But he said to him, A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, Come, for everything is now ready. But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
            (Luke 14:15-20 [ESV]

            So God’s answer is to go out and compel them to come.in.

            So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame. And the servant said, Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room. And the master said to the servant, Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.

            (Luke 14:21-24 [ESV]

          • dannybhoy

            We’ve done that bit Martin!

            In fact I quoted it to you oh, years ago.. ;0)

            Let’s try another approach. :0(

            and btw you didn’t address my passionately stated…

            “The argument is about whether they are so sinful that they cannot respond to the Gospel, and that God therefore chooses or ordains some to be saved, because He chooses to.
            Which means that all he didn’t choose go to Hell.
            Not because they chose to be guilty, but because they were born guilty!?

            What about the thief on the cross next to our Lord?
            A miserable sinner condemned to Hell from birth. Fortunately though, he was one of God’s Elect. Even though he never knew that and therefore presumably pursued or drifted into a life of crime culminating in a horrible death on a cross..)
            Our Lord however could see the big ‘E’ on the back of his head and could therefore assure him that he would be with our Lord in Paradise…
            Do you see how ridiculous this gets?
            Noah was one of the Elect
            Abraham was one of the Elect.
            Enoch, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah…
            All chosen by God for what? There was no need for God to send these righteous Elect into the world because ALL humankind were incapable of responding anyway.
            If all mankind is already condemned to Hell, and so depraved that they CANNOT respond to the Gospel, why not just wipe the whole lot out, instead of choosing SOME to be the Elect?
            What does that actually prove?
            Not that God overrides our free will, because according to what you’re saying we don’t have any!! We can’t HELP but be evil and sunken in depravity. (Even though we know that men and women do do things for the good of others, and you and I have probably benefitted from their medical discoveries and inventions, and that’s why we’re able to continue this discussion.)
            So He chooses some of the condemned to prove that He can be merciful to some, but not others?
            Does He choose for any particular reason?

            It just doesn’t fit in with God’s revealed nature as being Holy, Righteous, Merciful and Compassionate. God strives with man to avert him from eternal separation from His Maker.
            That not all will respond will be down to their freewill choice, not God’s capriciousness.

          • Martin

            Danny

            All are so sinful they will not repent. God has chosen to save some from the family of Man, all of whom deserve Hell, by grace. I fail to see what argument we can have with that.

            It strikes me that it entirely fits in with God’s nature that He should save some in mercy.

          • dannybhoy

            Martin dear fellow,
            “All are so sinful they will not repent. God has chosen to save some from
            the family of Man, all of whom deserve Hell, by grace. I fail to see
            what argument we can have with that.”

            To my mind that is illogical! That God condemns all men and women who have ever lived to eternal Hell as soon as they are born into this world as depraved sinners who cannot help but do evil, and yet chooses to save a few, to prove that He is merciful??

            I know what the verses say that you quote, but it doesn’ fit in with God’s dealings with men throughout human history. It may be how Paul develops his argument that all men are sinners, but if they couldn’t help but do evil then how could they repent? But St Paul obviously believes that they can and shows it in his actions and preaching.
            God loves men and is not willing that any should perish. That they do is because they refuse to seek God and come to Him in humility and repentance – not because they can’t.
            Here’s a little news item I just got from the Gospel Herald..
            A girl who was seven years in the porn industry and came to the Lord (Alleluia!)
            http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/48371/20130712/jenna-presley-retires-from-porn-industry-found-new-life-in-christ.htm

          • Martin

            Danny

            They die because they are sinners, they are condemned for their sin

          • dannybhoy

            Everything up to here I agree with..
            “God can save anyone for He is the one who can change the human heart.”
            He won’t change it unless we allow Him to! Look, logically if a person has gradually come to a place where their conscience has been awakened. Through preaching of the Word, through the testimony and love and prayers of Christians, then they have begun to see themselves as God sees them. Sinners, rebellious sinners.
            At this point their soul realises that this is ‘crunch time.’
            They have to make a decision, and God has given them free will so that they can. To choose is not an act of personal righteousness or merit on our part..

            http://lhim.org/blog/2014/02/06/three-arguments-against-total-depravity/

          • Martin

            Danny

            Really, God is so powerless that He cannot change the heart of a man?

            Did Saul allow God to change him or did God have to intervene, to stop him on the road to Damascus?

            Who do you think awakens to conscience, causes those dead bones to come together and be covered with flesh?

            If we were able to choose, if it was down to us, then we’d have something to boast of, we’d have been able to say that we chose to obey. We’d also be able to decide not to follow Jesus, to fall away and Jesus says that is not possible.

            All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

            (John 6:37-40 [ESV]

          • dannybhoy

            “Really, God is so powerless that He cannot change the heart of a man?”
            If God can change the heart of a man without his consent, why would He not change the hearts of all men and save them from Hell?

            “If we were able to choose, if it was down to us, then we’d have something to boast of, we’d have been able to say that we chose to obey. We’d also be able to decide not to follow Jesus, to fall away and Jesus says that is not possible.”

            So the man who confesses to murder or rape or stealing has something to boast about?!
            I don’t think so..

          • Martin

            Danny

            God chooses not to save everyone. It is His right to do as He wills with what is His, just as the vineyard owner chose to pay those who only worked for a day the same as those who worked all day.

            Certainly the murderer who confesses has something to boast over the one who does not admit his crime.

          • dannybhoy

            “God chooses not to save everyone. It is His right to do as He wills with
            what is His, just as the vineyard owner chose to pay those who only
            worked for a day the same as those who worked all day.”
            Do you see what you are saying there Martin?
            That God allows His creation man to be born generation after generation, condemned to Hell before they have even done anything. That He decides to save some of them but not all means that He is morally unjust.

          • Martin

            Danny

            So do you think those myriads of people, outside Israel, before Christ came had any option of salvation.

            Remember, the soul that doesn’t love God as He should be loved is already condemned. That doesn’t take a physical act.

          • dannybhoy

            Good point, but as I understand it God judges men according to their hearts. Everyone who has ever lived will come before God on that day. Those that never heard the Gospel will be judged absolutely fairly for
            ” “I the Lord search the heart
            and test the mind,[a]
            to give every man according to his ways,
            according to the fruit of his deeds.”
            Jeremiah 17:10
            and as Abraham said in Genesis 18:25..
            “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”

            We both agree that God is just and God is merciful. We therefore have to look at the moral nature of God, and that He will always act in accordance with His character of both holiness and compassion, so that no one will ever be able to say that God has been unjust in His judgments..

          • Martin

            Danny

            Since God examines the heart, it is clear He gives a new heart to those who are His:

            And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
            (Ezekiel 11:19-20 [ESV]

            And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26 [ESV])

            Create in me a clean heart, O God,
            and renew a right spirit within me.
            (Psalms 51:10 [ESV])

            But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33 [ESV])

            So God gives men the heart that He examines, He gives them the faith that looks to Him and He saves them.

          • dannybhoy

            “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20 [ESV]”

            Question: Who’s the ‘them’ God is addressing through the prophet? If God meant all of the people, it didn’t happen and the prophet got it wrong.

            “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26 [ESV])”

            Question: Who’s the ‘you’? Is God addressing all the people of Israel, or those who repent and turn to Him?

            Right the way through the Scriptures we see that God holds men accountable for their actions, that they carried out as an act of their will; even though that will was biased towards evil as a result of Adam’s disobedience and his coming under the power of sin and Satan’s rule.
            But God still holds men accountable because they have the ability to repent! If they didn’t have that ability God would not appeal to them to turn from their wicked ways would He?
            There would be no point in God appealing to sinful men to repent if they were not able to repent or condemning men who couldn’t help but sin.
            This is the whole tenor of Scripture. This is why Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh to preach God’s judgment, because the test of a prophet was that what he prophesied came to pass.
            “4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

            But Jonah also knew that if the people turned and repented, God would withhold his judgment…

            Chapter4>
            “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly,(that Nineveh repented) and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”

          • Martin

            Danny

            The ‘them’ are the elect, those whom God has chosen to save.

            The ‘you’ are, again, the elect, those whom God will save.

            As Paul explains:

            But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but Through Isaac shall your offspring be named. This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son. And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call— she was told, The older will serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.

            (Romans 9:6-13 [ESV]

            Men are accountable because they have the ability to repent but not the will. They choose to reject God. God caused the people of Nineveh to repent, that was the reason for Jonah mission as Jonah knew.

          • dannybhoy

            God caused the people of Nineveh to repent, that was the reason for Jonah mission as Jonah knew.

            ??!
            And it says this where in Jonah?
            They repented because they knew God’s judgment was upon them..
            Martin, why do you think I included that vid clip twelve days ago about the girl who had been heavily involved in the pornographic industry and then became a Christian?

          • Martin

            Danny

            Did not Jesus put these words in the mouth of Abraham?

            He said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.
            (Luke 16:31 [ESV]

            If men will not believe one who has risen from the dead they certainly would not have believed Jonah.

            I haven’t seen the clip, but then I’d rather rely on what the Bible says.

          • dannybhoy

            If men will not believe one who has risen from the dead they certainly would not have believed Jonah.

            I haven’t seen the clip, but then I’d rather rely on what the Bible says.

            They did believe Jonah, that’s why they repented!

            I haven’t seen the clip, but then I’d rather rely on what the Bible says.

            Sorry but as far as I can see you cherry pick verses to back up your theology and I think it’s better to build theology on the whole sweep of Scripture.

            Whether you see it or not you promote a view of God not dissimilar to that of Islam’s Allah. A God who does what he wants and is accountable to nobody. A God who says one thing and then does another, simply because he is God.
            The reason I wanted you to look at that vidclip is because that young woman spent her young years doing the most awful things making pornographic material. In fact seven years before she became a Christian.
            What your theology is saying is that if she truly is one of God’s Elect, then God decreed that she should spend seven years of her live involved in sexual depravity of the kind that God explicitly condemns..

          • Martin

            Danny

            The difference is that I take the whole of Scripture, not just part.

            When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
            (Jonah 3:10 [ESV])

            Now the question is, can the wicked please God, for clearly God is pleased by their actions.

            And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 [ESV]

            It seems that they cannot, so how did the people of Nineveh? By their faith, but we are told that faith is the gift of God.

            For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8 [ESV])

            So clearly the people of Nineveh were granted faith that they might believe God. Hence they became righteous and were saved.

            Of course God does what He wants and is accountable to no one.

            Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? (Romans 9:21 [ESV])

            He does as He chooses because He is God. If God wishes to save someone after years of depravity is that not His business? After all, He saved Paul who was a persecutor of His Church.

        • chiefofsinners

          It does mean all, because that’s what it says.
          Deal with it by adjusting your theology rather than by adjusting scripture.
          Creation is fallen because of mankind’s fall, so If Christ did not atone for the sins of the whole world, then creation cannot be redeemed, can it?

          • Martin

            CoS

            So does all in this passage mean all without exception?

            for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 [ESV]

            If it does, then Jesus Himself sinned.

            Perhaps you need to adjust your theology.

          • chiefofsinners

            It means what it says – the sins of the whole world. Whoever has sinned, whatever those sins are.
            Or if you prefer the old testament: “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

          • Martin

            CoS

            So tell me, does this mean that every single descendant of Israel will be saved:

            Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
            The Deliverer will come from Zion,
            he will banish ungodliness from Jacob;
            and this will be my covenant with them
            when I take away their sins.

            (Romans 11:25-27 [ESV]

            Including the son of perdition, Judas?

            Are you saying that every single person will be saved, for, if Christ atoned for their sin, they cannot be judged guilty.

            What then of:

            When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

            Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. Then they also will answer, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? Then he will answer them, saying, Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

            (Matthew 25:31-46 [ESV])

            Is Jesus telling the truth or is he fabricating?

          • chiefofsinners

            I wondered how long it would take you to get around to that. ‘All Israel will be saved’ means all the living Israelites at a certain point in time, of course.
            Clearly not everyone will be saved.
            But Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world. That is also clear. So the offer of salvation is to all, and God is just, for not only have all sinned but all have been offered salvation. And fallen creation will be redeemed and renewed, even though all humanity will not.
            That’s what I believe. If you think something else then I’m glad you’ve thought about it and I’ll see you in heaven, where we’ll probably find out we were both wrong and both right.

          • Martin

            CoS

            It doesn’t say anything about limiting it to a certain period so, on what basis are you limiting it?

            And if Christ suffered for all the sins of the whole world on what basis is anyone condemned, since Christ has already suffered for their sin.

          • chiefofsinners

            It is limited on the basis of:
            i) context – that the verses are clearly talking about a future day when ‘all the fullness of the Gentiles has come in’.
            and ii) that the word translated ‘shall be saved’ is in the Hebrew future tense.

            If Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world then the basis on which anyone is condemned is exactly as John 3 v 18 says: “anyone that does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of he only begotten Son of God.”. Unbelief and rejection of salvation is the basis on which unbelievers are condemned.

          • Martin

            CoS

            That it is in the future does not restrict its application to thos in the future, on the basis of your argument. Christ’s death was in the future for the saints of the Old Testament after all.

            If they are condemned for not believing then it is a sin that is not forgiven. Therefore Christ did not suffer for all the sins of the whole world.

          • chiefofsinners

            “all Israel will be saved” is clearly referring to a future date when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

            There is an unforgiveable sin, of course, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit as Jesus described it. What that means is open to interpretation, but one view would be that it is to reject salvation once convicted by the Holy Spirit. Even that sin must have been atoned for by Christ in order for creation to be redeemed. Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Romans 5 v 20.

            I know where you’re coming from. I believe in election and predestination, but that doesn’t have to entail limited atonement.

          • Martin

            CoS

            Of course salvation is in the future, we will not receive our new bodies until that day our Lord returns again, when the new Earth will be created for us to live on.

          • chiefofsinners

            “by grace you have been saved”
            “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”
            “He who stands firm to the end will be saved”
            The God of eternity describes salvation in every tense.

          • Martin

            CoS

            So you’ve just destroyed your argument.

          • chiefofsinners

            No, not at all. Salvation in 3 tenses is referring to Christian salvation. You are confusing this with ‘all Israel will be saved’. Unless you’re into replacement theology, they aren’t the same.
            I wasn’t sure how to understand your comment. Saying salvation is in the future doesn’t really establish any point that supports your argument. In relation to Church truth it is only part right so I thought I’d expand it.
            I’m really just trying to widen your horizons a bit and demonstrate that it is possible to believe, like Justin Welby, that Jesus bore all that was wrong in this world on His shoulders. Not only to believe it but to justify that belief with a reasonably coherent synthesis of scriptures.
            What scriptures would you use to support limited atonement?

          • Martin

            CoS

            There is only one way of salvation and that is through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Old Testament saints were saved in exactly the same way as saints today.

          • chiefofsinners

            The same sacrifice, but not the same process. They weren’t sealed or sanctified by the Holy Spirit . That is what ‘saved’ in the past and present tense mean.

            What scriptures would you use to support limited atonement?

          • Martin

            CoS

            They were saved in precisely the same way that souls are today & the Holy Spirit was just as much involved.

          • chiefofsinners

            I’ve not come across that doctrine before.
            Generally the church is viewed as a new thing formed by what Jesus called a ‘new testament’ in His blood. A key difference is the indwelling of the Holy Sprit, which began on the day of Pentecost. If you don’t believe these things then limited atonement is the least of your worries.
            I’m off on holiday for a few weeks so will have to leave our conversation for now. Thanks, though – it has been an eye opener.

          • Martin

            CoS

            Is it not the doctrine taught by the book of Hebrews? Indeed, how else would those saints of the Old Testament be saved and how would they have been able to prophesy except with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

          • chiefofsinners

            No, it’s not the doctrine taught by the book of Hebrews.

            I guess you’re referring to chapter 11 which begins by saying that faith is what the ancients were commended for and ends with the words “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

            This teaches the opposite: that although they were commended for their faith, they did not live lives filled with the Holy Spirit as the church does, although they will ultimately be saved through Christ’s sacrifice. The whole thrust of the book of Hebrews is the superiority of Christ and the new covenant over the old. Hebrews 8 verse 10: “This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.”

            How would they have been able to prophesy? The Holy Spirit came upon a very few of them fleetingly, but could not make His dwelling in sinful man. The presence of God dwelt only within the veil of the temple, on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. Hence the symbolism of the veil being torn in two when Jesus died. Hebrews 9 verse 8: “The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.”

            It turns out I now have internet access on holiday; The march of technology has some benefits. It’s something that could also be used as an illustration of the difference between the old testament faithful and the new testament church. Permanent, full time unlimited access to the mind of the Father through the indwelling Spirit.

          • Martin

            CoS

            You really need to read Hebrews again, along side such as this:

            I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

            But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but Through Isaac shall your offspring be named. This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
            (Romans 9:1-8 [ESV])

            Why do you think those apostles became Christians if they could be saved as Jews?

          • chiefofsinners

            At the risk of stating the obvious, Hebrews is written to the Hebrews, Romans is written to the Romans. The two books explain the new covenant from opposite perspectives.
            They should indeed be read together but their different audiences should be borne in mind.
            The apostles could not have been saved as Jews because they were living under a new covenant which requires faith in Christ rather than obedience to the law and observance of its rituals. How does this relate to the work of the Holy Spirit under the two covenants?

          • Martin

            CoS

            If obedience to the law can save why does Paul say:

            yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

            (Galatians 2:16 [ESV])

            The law has never saved anyone, for it is a school teacher to teach us that we cannot by our own acts be right with God. Abraham was saved because he looked to the Christ to come for salvation, not because of what he did.

          • chiefofsinners

            We agree. The law never saved anyone and is only a schoolmaster. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. The faithful in the old testament showed their faith by keeping God’s commandments – the law, and when they failed in this – the sacrifices. If they did neither then judgment was never far away.
            But their experience of God was not what ours is. They only knew God’s presence occasionally, rather than having the Holy Spirit indwelling them.
            The hearts of the Israelites were veiled, ours are not. (2 Cor 3 v 14-18).

          • Martin

            CoS

            On the contrary, I cannot see that God would be so unkind as to leave His people with no guidance. Indeed, the veil that Paul speaks of is lifted from all who come to know Christ as Saviour.

          • chiefofsinners

            The old testament faithful were justified in the same way as the church – by faith.
            The difference is in sanctification – making holy – which the new testament calls ‘being saved’ in the present tense.
            The church is sanctified by the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This was not the experience of those before the day of Pentecost. John 14 v 16-25.

          • Martin

            CoS

            One wonders how those saints of the Old Testament could possibly have continued without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. After all, they did not have the benefit of the Bible that we have, they had a need for the Holy Spirit far beyond what we have.

          • chiefofsinners

            Most of them had more than half the scriptures we have. And they had other sources of information and support. For instance, Abraham’s life overlapped with Shem, who overlapped with Lamech, who overlapped with Adam. These key figures would surely have known each other and the truths they passed on would have been very real.

            Ultimately, though, it is not what you or I think is plausible, it is the scripture that defines the truth. It is clear that Adam
            was cast out of the presence of God and then nothing is said concerning the Holy Spirit indwelling man from that time until the day of Pentecost.

          • Martin

            CoS

            That nothing is said does not mean nothing happened.

  • Inspector General

    Do you know, the Times used to be a damn good read. Before Murdoch’s henchmen yuppified the thing. One recalls the dismay when that erstwhile impressive organ stopped being printed as a broadsheet. One is similarly reminded of when the readership was deemed to be the London commuter, and 50% of the content was dedicated to girly lifestyle whatever. Oh, the pain of it at the time…

    • Dominic Stockford

      It is indeed ironic that the best articles in the Times (IMHO) are written by a Jewess.

      • dannybhoy

        Ironic?
        The Jews are our spiritual first cousins from whence our Lord and Saviour sprang forth. The ‘anointing’ of God is manifest amongst them in their many talents and contributions to the world.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Ironic in the sense that in a (nominally) Christian country it takes someone who is not Christian to shout out the truth in one of our leading newspapers.

  • John Waller

    Trying to get my head around the notion that Jesus died “unjustly young,” There is an age where it is OK to murder the sinless Son of God?

    • The Explorer

      At least Welby doesn’t take the line of the apostate bishop in ‘The Great Divorce’: that Christ would have toned down his views if he had lived to his full maturity; as he might have done with a bit more tact and patience.

    • Inspector General

      Just typical CoE watery Christianity…

  • Linus

    Welby just doesn’t have a credible media presence. No Anglican prelate does. They all come across as bumbling vicar types. Pale to a man and woman (either of skin, or personality, or generally both…), and either overweight and soft looking, or (like Welby) stringy and whippet-like.

    There’s no genial and commanding presence à la Pape François. Or even a sinister, cold and detached charisma like the Pape démissionnaire Benoît XVI. All you have are comedy vicars, a line-up from All Gas and Gaiters, and Welby is one of the worst. A squeaky voiced bundle of sinew with few wisps of hair on top and the spectacles of a class swot. How do you expect an image-obsessed media to take him seriously?

    If there is a god, did he seriously compel Welby to leave his highly-paid job as an oil executive and become a vicar? Or was there something else going on? When grown men start hearing the voices in their head telling them they have to do something, you don’t have to look very far to see what’s really happening. Humility plays no role in a decision to dedicate one’s life to god. It’s more about “I’m so special that only I can be the instrument through which God saves the lost and everyone else to whom I am clearly so superior, if only they could see it!”. In Welby’s case there’s also a good dash of “and see how selfless I am giving up all that money to do good works – praise me and fall on your knees in wonder at the beauty of spirit (if not shell, but who needs to be attractive when you’re holy?) that is incarnate in Moi!”

    The smugness and complacency implicit in such an attitude render Welby’s mission a lost cause from the outset. Not only does he lack the wherewithal to convert souls to Christ, I seriously doubt that’s his ultimate aim anyway. He probably believes it to be so – religious types almost always do believe their own propaganda. The psyche will justify its bid for power, influence and self-aggrandizement in any way it can. But the grandstanding attitude of “look at me and how humble I am” reveals what’s really going on in this man’s head. He wants to be famous, and looked up to, and influential. Christ is the vehicle he’s chosen to ride to the top. Given that his lack of what generally makes people famous would have prevented him getting to the top by any other means (oil companies are full of grey and anonymous also-ran executives like him), it was a wise choice on his part. But, even if he’s not consciously aware that hubris motivates his every move (which looking at him, seems to be the case – men who look like rabbits stunned by headlights seem genuinely to believe their own propaganda), it’s clear enough for those with eyes to see.

    With leaders like Welby, the forwards-moving trajectory of the Church’s long decline is assured. There’ll be no mass conversion to Christ under his leadership.

    • dannybhoy

      Ho hum…
      Same old, same old, Linus.
      For a man who demands sensitivity, compassion and tolerance from others, you show precious little yourself old chap.

      • The Explorer

        I recall Linus saying on a previous thread that Christians are required to exercise charity, but he is not because he is not a Christian.

        That, of course, is true; but the lack of charity evident in the above post must call into question the desirability of the world view that inspired it.

        • preacher

          There’s a lot of it about, some people just get on with their lives without a lot of fuss. But others want to be centre stage most of the time,they feel they have to be outrageous & in your face rebels just to be noticed, those are the ones that organise parades to flaunt their ‘ freedom to be different ‘. What they don’t realise is that the majority of the folks that share their preferences know that their attitude does no one any favours & so despise them.
          Sad !!!.

          • CliveM

            More to be pitied then despised.

            “oil companies are full of grey and anonymous also-ran executives like him”

            Another area of knowledge our Linus appears to be an expert in.

        • Pubcrawler

          Succinctly put.

    • David

      Unintentionally, you’ve made a parody of yourself, old man !

  • len

    Rather ironical that when the Antichrist appears will appeal much to the likes of Linus because he will be worldly wise, supremely intelligent, and probably handsome and charismatic..This Anti Christ will speak against the True God and even offer himself as a ‘replacement for God’ and will appeal to all those who are in rebellion(or unbelief) against the Creator…
    The time is ripe for the appearance of the Antichrist one might say……

    Why does the True God of the bible allow this to happen one might ask?. The simple answer is to test the hearts and minds of the people to see if they will follow false gods or the true God…..

  • Mike

    Sadly I’m always dissapointed with Archbishop Welby. I wish it were otherwise. I often hear him described as the ‘Evangelical’ Archbishop but I have yet to hear him be evangelistic. The fact is he is a Chrsitian minister. What is a Chrsitian minister supposed to do? Surely they are called to preach the Gospel of the Grace of God. The uniqueness of Jesus Christ. The holiness and wrath of God against sin. The death and resurrection of Christ, the atonement and the propitiation of the wrath of God for those that will believe, The call to repentance and faith in Christ. The fact is ALL those that reject the Son of God will be lost and go to hell. Now that’s unpleasant and not politically correct, it’s divisive. I have yet to read of him doing any of these things. Yes he speaks of the resurrection and Gospel truths but he says it in such a way that his hearers can either take it or leave it. And that’s exactly what they do – mostly leave it. Yes he says Gospel truths but never ever applies them to his hearers. Did he call upon the gathered jouranlists to repent and believe the Gospel. I rather think not. My, what a thing that would be. Now that would be news worthy. But we never hear it. Are far as I know most, maybe all, of those jouranlists are going to hell unless they repent and palce their trust in Christ. It’s actually the loving thing to say to them. Maybe he does privately. But he is called to publicly proclaim the Cross and Salvation through Jesus Christ ALONE and no other. There is salvation in NONE OTHER but Christ. Isn’t that what Cranmer would have done?