Mohammed WAbbey3b
Church of England

Westminster Abbey acknowledges Mohammed in succession of prophets

 

“Peace be upon all auspicious prophets of God, from Adam, Noah and Abraham to Moses, Jesus and Mohammed Mustafa..”

That wasn’t quite how the prayer was rendered in Westminster Abbey during the service of commemoration and thanksgiving marking the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign – a bloody and disease-ridden battle of attrition during the First World War, which helped to forge the national identities of both Australia and New Zealand (not to mention the rise of Mustafa Kemal [aka Atatürk] and the establishment of the modern state of Turkey). In the presence of the Queen, the great and the good gave thanks to God for the ‘Anzac spirit‘ of ‘endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, larrikinism, and mateship’, with which the British feel undoubted kinship, and for the sacrifice of which by so many we remain eternally grateful.

God was thanked in the Abbey, and so was Allah. There’s no real problem with that, for Allah is simply Arabic for ‘The God’, and the term used by many millions of Arabic Christians throughout the centuries in reference to ‘The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth‘ (Acts 17:24). We may quibble over conflicting doctrines and cavil over contradictory revelations, but if St Paul can address a meeting of the Areopagus and exhort the incipient virtue in the ignorance of Athenian religiosity, whether you call the Creator of the universe ‘God’, ‘Jehovah’, ‘YHWH’, ‘I Am’ or ‘Allah’, you are acknowledging (in mirrors darkly) the One who does not live in temples built by human hands, and the One who gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

But this is the prayer the congregation heard:

Mohammed WAbbey3c

It’s hard to be offended by something one cannot understand. And there can be no offence at all caused by any exhortation of God in Turkish, for God is not an Englishman. But in the translated succession of prophets is a comprehensible assertion of Islamic theology which errs (to put it mildly), and may cause some theological disquiet (putting it milder still). The succession of prophets “from Adam, Noah and Abraham to Moses, Jesus and Mohammed Mustafa” is chronological: the first four are common to the prophetology of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Jesus as a prophet is common to Christianity and Islam (with disparity over priest and king); and Mohammed is a prophet of Islam alone (indeed, ‘The Prophet’). ‘Mustafa’ is an epithet ascribed by Muslims to Mohammed: it means ‘The Chosen One’ (and note that the Abbey did not offer a translation of this term, which, rendered in English during a Christian service, would have caused undoubted offence).

For Christians, of course, it is Jesus who is the Anointed of God; the Christ; the Messiah; the Chosen One. ‘Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles‘ (Isa 42:1 cf Mt 12:18). When He was baptised, ‘..the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased‘ (Lk 3:22).

In Islamic theology, Mohammed was ‘The Prophet’ who came to fulfil and complete the partial revelations of all preceding prophets. Muslims believe that his coming was prophesied by Jesus: ‘But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father..‘ (Jn 15:26). The ‘Comforter’ or ‘Advocate’ (NIV) whom Christians believe to be the Holy Spirit is, for Muslims, Mohammed. So when he is declared in Westminster Abbey to be ‘The Chosen One’, it is not simply a benign multifaith expression of ecumenical respect in a commemorative service of reconciliation: it is a dogmatic affirmation of a perfected prophethood to which Jesus is subordinate, and His divinity thereby denied.

It may not be very PC or neighbourly or conducive to interfaith relations to say it, but Mohammed was a false prophet (Jer 14:14-16; 1Jn 4:1; Acts 4:12; 2Cor 11:3f). By rejecting the crucifixion and denying the resurrection of Christ (who is not the ‘Chosen One’), Islam espouses ‘another Jesus’, ‘another spirit’ and ‘another gospel’. They are and ought to remain free to proclaim their religiosity, however false and erroneous it may be. But not, please God, in The Collegiate Church of St Peter (aka Westminster Abbey), which is a Royal Peculiar of the Supreme Governor.

  • Martin

    When you have rejected the gospel you have no option but a ‘gospel’ of works that all religions, save the true one, hold in common. Why then would you not see commonality?

    • Simon

      Exactly. When the Anglican Church has sufficient leaders that compromise, to the extent it compromises the Word, and hence to be apostate, then we deserve to decline and wither in the wilderness. God is allowing this to happen, as warned the Church at Sardis. For it to be done in the context of Cranmer must put a wicked smile on Satan’s face. This apostasy must be fought by all soldiers of Christ. Gird on all his armour, wield the double-edged sword of the Spirit, the word of God.

  • Anton

    Before anybody rants that God will surely take action about this blasphemy, might I suggest that God’s action is deliberate inaction, and that he is simply abandoning us to ourselves? Given the heart of fallen man, the results will be equally catastrophic.

    • magnolia

      I think it is more accurately that you lose the protection you might have had against the forces of darkness, which may look like judgement, but is equally describable as self-elected going into battle with your breastplate made of cotton wool.

      We largely agree. Westminster abbey needs one or two- or more- healthy and robust married men with a bit of muscular Christianity- the type that faces the lions rather than the type that quails artistically and compromises. I shall say no more.

      There is no perfect leadership. If the C of E leadership is compromised in some directions and it most definitely is, others are compromised in different ones. Christ is still working in the C of E, hourly, and there are still many estimable Christians within.

      • Anton

        Yes there are, but perhaps they would do well to move to better led congregations, as I did.

        • magnolia

          There is also the the thought behind the Freedom Force International saying, “Don’t fight city hall when you can BE city hall.” It would be a shame if the national church were left solely to revisionists.

          • Anton

            Ultimately it is for individual Anglicans to pray and decide.

    • Uncle Brian

      Even Arab Christians avoid it for that reason. Thank you for that information, which is new to me. But how do they get round it in the Creed, for example, or in the Hail Mary, if they use that?
      Thanks
      Brian

      • Anton

        You’d need to ask them, but the Arabic generic word for “god”, eg when talking about pagan gods, is illah. (“Allah” is just a concatenation of al-illah, meaning “THE god” as is explained at the top.) So there is no problem with the first line – “I believe in one illah”.

        In fact illah is just the Arabic version of the Hebrew eloah of which the plural is Elohim, a word which does appear in the Old Testament and hints at the Trinity.

  • “It’s hard to be offended by something one cannot understand.”

    What matters is not whether we are offended as Christians by having Jesus Christ and His sacrifice diminished in this way in the Cathedral of the established Church. What matters is whether God was offended – for He understands all things.

    • Simon

      Comment to Church of England Newspaper
      God puts particular responsibility on those who are placed in a position to preach or teach the Good News of the Gospel.  There will be consequences for those who have been granted the care of souls, and flout it in such a way as this.  His word cannot be reasonably interpreted in this way. Christ will judge whether they have faith in Him or the World.  You cannot serve two masters.
      Christ is the head of the Church, not Her Majesty the Queen. Christ and His disciples will triumph over the World, the Antichrist and Satan in the last days. All will be judged by Him as individuals. Those who believe in Him and hence serve/d Him as their Lord will receive eternal life. Those who have rejected Him at their death are destined for the Lake of Fire. Those who did not believe in Him or reject Him will be judged by Him on their works. God is love, and loves us sufficiently to give us the freedom to reject Him, but there are consequences. Freedom is balanced by responsibility. 

      • dannybhoy

        I accept most of that Simon.My only (very minor) quibble would be with..
        “Those who did not believe in Him or reject Him will be judged by Him on their works.”

        On reflection perhaps you are saying ” Those who tried to live up to what they understood God required of them.”
        Only God knows what is in our hearts. What we long to be and what we fail to be.
        I don’t believe in universalism, but I think there may well be far more people in Heaven than we might imagine or hope for.

        • Simon

          Thanks for your comment. It is not easy to summarise the Gospel in a paragraph! But I was in this part those destined for the the Great White throne judgement (Rev 20:11-15), within its Biblical context. I take these to consist of those who did not believe in Christ, and neither have rejected Him, those who have no chance, or not a sufficient chance to hear the Gospel. I suspect this might include increasing numbers in this country, in particular if it is inaccurately made known, and Christianity is marginised. Regarding numbers, I would point to Matthew 22:14 (ESV) For many are called, but few are chosen.” and Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

  • kmajtag

    What you called “Arabic language” is actually Turkish.

    • It’s all ‘Greek’ to Happy Jack ….

      • Anton

        Don’t call Turkish Greek to a Turk!

    • Of course it is. Bless you, corrected.

  • Terry Mushroom

    I understand that Malaysia’s Federal Court has ruled that non-Muslim’s cannot use “Allah” as the word for God.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/06/23/malaysias-top-court-allah-for-muslims-only/11256503/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-27970565

    • IanCad

      Well spotted Terry.
      Islam becomes stronger as Christianity weakens.

    • dannybhoy

      “Historical evidences, impartial logic, well versed references and all available circumstantial judgments can very well prove that—(a) Allah name of deity was pre-existed much before the arrival of Islam, (b) Pre-Islamic Pagan peoples worshipped Allah as their supreme deity (moon-god). Allah’s name existed in pre-Islamic Arab. In ancient Arab the Allah was considered to be the supreme God/deity (as Moon-God) and Arab Pagans worshipped Allah before Islam arrived.”

      http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/skm30804.htm

      Allah is not just another name for God, it is the name for a completely different god.

  • preacher

    Gallopli – Right to remember all those men who gave their lives for our freedom.
    But sad to remember the days when we were a nation, with a Commonwealth that responded readily to support us.
    In these days of ‘European Union’, Who would we turn to in a time of trouble? The chances are that any future conflict will be an internal one within the E.U itself, as it implodes.
    It always was a massive gamble that Heath committed us to & with the crisis facing Greece & other members we can see it starting to unravel.

    Now we must put up with weak clerics whose main job apparently, is not to stand for the only incarnate Son of God who alone brings salvation, who died, rose from the dead & ascended to reign at the right hand of the Father, (A bit more than just a Prophet). But to entertain the masses with a P.C show which shames the Church of England, dishonours the men that sacrificed their lives & dilutes the power, passion & love of the Almighty.

    I remember an old saying from those troubled times, “Lions led by Donkeys”. How apt – how very apt in this situation.

    • Dreadnaught

      Gallopli – Right to remember all those men who gave their lives for our freedom.

      Even ‘righter’ to spell the place-name correctly.

    • preacher

      Thanks Dreadnaught, i slipped up & nearly went to L! LOL.

  • The Explorer

    I suppose this sort of thing is the inevitable outcome of a multi-faith society, and will become more frequent until such time as Islam triumphs and terminates a multi-faith society.

    I see only two alternatives.

    1. The idea of an Established Church is to privilege one version of Christianity over others. So replace an established church with an established faith: and privilege Christianity.

    2. Ban all public prayers. That way you wouldn’t get Christian prayers either, but at least Muslims couldn’t complain about being discriminated against.

    Option 2, I suspect, is the likelier outcome.

  • Orwell Ian

    You say his followers ought to remain free to proclaim their religiosity. I agree but the question is how long will similar freedom be afforded to others? Islam is set to become a protected ideology, for Milliband has voiced his determination to make Islamophobia a criminal offence and Cameron does not seem to be opposed to this. Since hate speech is already an offence this can only mean that all criticism of Islamic theology, law, politics and practices will be silenced. This should concern us as much if not more more than a bout of sacrilege the Abbey.

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/04/25/miliband-labour-would-outlaw-islamophobia/

  • Sigfridiii

    How long before the minarets appear at the Abbey?

    • dannybhoy

      Perhaps those Bishop’s pointy hats actually have a prophetic significance..?

    • Anton

      How long after 1453 did they go up at Hagia Sophia in Constantinople/Istanbul?

      • The Explorer

        And the resistance there was a bit more robust.

  • CliveM

    What this is, is the Established Church of England saying that Islam is right. They have placed him where Muslims claim him to be, the final Prophet and by doing so, even if unintentionally, it is saying that Christianity is a lie. You cannot proclaim Mohammed as a prophet and have Jesus as the Messiah.

    How long before Muslims use this proclamation to further undermine Christianity here and elsewhere?

    • dannybhoy

      That’s what comes from holding interfaith dialogues…!
      Islam is like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8).
      The CofE is confused, with bishops who don’t even believe the tenets of their own faith (but do like dressing up..) and are so conciliatory, they might as well
      convert now and save a heap of time and trouble……

  • Dreadnaught

    I reject the idea of a Supreme Deity or any other gods, but
    accept that humanity is powerless to oppose or even eliminate the concept even
    if it could. Humanity is not a club from which we can opt out and as such I
    have to rub along with its existence as best I can.

    What really saddens and sickens me at the same time, is to see the rise of
    such an evidently bogus and cruel force that is Islam, being feted rather than
    opposed by the Christian Church especially in the West.

    They have prepared the fertile ground in the West with the propagation of the ‘right’ of freedom to worship the god of your calling, and failing to recognise that even in the 21st Century and as ever, not all religions are the same benign forces that they have come to be.

    Governments and politicians I can forgive; it being the nature of the beasts to exist for miniscule appearance in time, matching the comparative lifespan of humanity as a species, to that to the existence of midges over water. Unlike the midges, they are removable. It is a truism that we get the politicians we deserve and like the midges, they irritate far more than they soothe. Who in their right mind though, would support that the creation ‘the Midge’ was a good idea?

    Religion today gets itself a special scrutiny pass under the guise of cultural relativism no matter how irrational the claims. Religions no matter however peace loving they may profess to be, have thrived and some still do thrive on violence toward dissenters. Religion will always be present in some form or other in the minds of man, as long as there is ignorance to be exploited and greed and the lust for power to be satisfied.

    Yet here we are, and still yet to witness Christianity or Judaism, taking on their Nemesis with a clear understanding and straight talking, lest their own foundations wilt under the spotlights. That role they prefer to leave to atheists – worse still they positively round on the atheists for letting Islam take hold in their own heartlands, rather than admit that they held the doors open to them.

    There won’t be ‘peace’ until every Temple and Church is tuned in to a Mosque but don’t tell the Jews or Copts, they already know.

    • dannybhoy

      “I reject the idea of a Supreme Deity or any other gods, butaccept that humanity is powerless to oppose or even eliminate the concept even if it could. Humanity is not a club from which we can opt out and as such I have to rub along with its existence as best I can.”

      I feel your pain and admire your fortitude.
      Group hug, group hug.
      (not too close, Cedric…)

      If you were an evolutionist you would have no problem with this. It’s old style Darwinian “survival of the fittest” or new style “adaptation”.
      Our Christian (and I mean Christian, not fellow travellers) forbears realised that there comes a time when one has to be prepared to fight for what one believes.
      Unfortunately, the pink and fluffy/humanitarian/ “all roads lead to God” brigade have taken over..

      • Dreadnaught

        Steady that man as Iggy is wont to proclaim! 🙂

  • Simon

    Islam denies that Christ is the Son of God, hence it denies the Trinity and Hence the LORD God Almighty, the triune God, Creator of the Universe, whom Bible-believing Christians worship. Islam is blasphemous. To equate Allah, an antichrist, with God is heresy, Cranmer notwithstanding. I can only assume he did not understand Islam, its growth via Jihad, and at best placing Christians as second class, with a duty to pay a faith tax. This article is a disgrace, one that you will have to answer for before Christ on the Day of Judgement. Will you be able to look Him in the eye? Repent.

    • Anton

      Allah is not an antichrist but a distorted view of the divine Creator. We may ponder the origins of that distortion. To the Christian, Muhammad better fits the notion of an antichrist, bearing in mind that “anti” can mean “alternative” rather than “against”.

      • Simon

        You have a good point Anton, Thanks. In What I believe is the correct Biblical view, Allah cannot be God, the Creator of whom Christ is the Son, and of whom believers in Him are children, for he is held by Islam to deny Christ’s divinity. Distortion of God can only come from Satan, the father of all lies. Allah does not exist as a spiritual being, unless he be one of Satan’s fallen angels, but this I doubt. Rather, Allah is an conceptual idol, inspired by Satan, and Mohammed and his principal acolytes are antichrists. The Antichrist is, I hope (but do not know for certain), yet to come. But I would say that “anti-” means both an alternative and in opposition to Christ. There is no Christ but Christ and any pretender must by definition be against Him.

        • dannybhoy

          “Great is the mystery of faith” (1st Timothy 3:16)

          “12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

          The full apprehension of God is beyond us.What we do know is that He is holy, compassionate, faithful and dependable.
          All the other things we as finite biological creations don’t understand He will explain to us.
          Or perhaps, One Day when we finally fall down on our knees before Him those things will seem irrelevant..

        • Anton

          Yes, There can be only one Creator of the universe, and Bible-followers and Quran-followers differ over His personality and actions.

          I like this piece of rhetoric by David Pawson: There is no god but ABBA, and Jesus is His Son.

          • dannybhoy

            “I like this piece of rhetoric by David Pawson
            That’s why I like you!

    • Coniston

      As ABC pointed out, ‘Allah’ is simply the Arabic name for God; Arab Christians pray to Allah, and always have done, since long before the time of Mohammed. Dante, in ‘The Divine Comedy’, placed Mohammed in hell as a Christian Heretic (Canto 28, Circle 8).

      • avi barzel

        Well,not so simple any more. In some Muslim countries Christians are no longer allowed to use “Allah” to refer to God and their books have been burned.

      • Simon

        The French name for the LORD is not God but Dieu, the German Gott, etc. The fact that Arab Christians pray to God under the name of Allah does not mean the LORD God Almighty, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, (but note not the illigitimate Ishmael) and the “Allah” who Moslems worship are one and the same. “A rose by any other name smells as sweet” (Shakespeare). A briar is not a rose just because it also has thorns.
        We need to examine the theology of those who pray to “Allah”. The Arab Christians pray to the triune God, of whom Christ is the Son, and from whom proceeds the Holy Spirit. Moslems therefore do not pray to Him. That does not mean God does not hear them, or Hindu, Sikh and Buddist prayers, or those who prayed to the Greek and Roman gods, but He tempers their prayers, knowing that they have not (yet) accepted His Son into their hearts, and hence do not have the Holy Spirit in them.

        • Coniston

          I totally agree. But it is still true that Arab Christians call the Christian God Allah, though they are forbidden to in some Muslim countries such as Malaysia.

  • The Explorer

    Aesop’s Fable No 176: The Farmer and the Viper.

    A farmer finds a viper half-frozen with cold. He takes it home and put it in front of the fire. When it recovers, it attacks the farmer’s family.

    The viper is not to blame: it’s just being what vipers are and doing what vipers do.
    The farmer is guilty of two things:
    1. Ignorance. If he did not know what vipers do, he should have done some research before taking one home.
    2. If he did know what vipers do, then he is guilty of false compassion: putting the welfare of the viper before the safety of his family.

    If we were to bring the story up to date we could add the element of fear. The farmer is afraid of the viper, and hopes it will be nice to him if he takes it home and gives it preferential treatment.

  • Bob Frost

    Surprised they have not gone the whole hog and given honourable mentions to Joseph Smith and L Ron Hubbard!

    • Pubcrawler

      And Karl Marx

      • Royinsouthwest

        And Gaia, to keep the Green pagans happy. Perhaps, just to be on the safe side, Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea, could be included too. I’m sure that if Kim Jong-un had been at Gallipoli then the side he was on would have had an easy victory.

        • dannybhoy

          Didn’t his dad have a hit with
          “I’m so ronery,so vewy ronery…”?

      • dannybhoy

        He was really misunderstood….

    • The Explorer

      They weren’t at Gallipoli. But give historical revisionism sufficient time…

    • RobinHMasters

      Over here in the US, Katherine Jefforts Schori has come pretty close to so honoring Joseph Smith.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Joshua 24:15

    “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

  • Albert

    Doesn’t this just show the contradictions of a state Church?

    • The Explorer

      In a multi-faith society. Absolutely. You can have one or the other; not both.

    • Simon

      The Church of England is only “a” church within “The Church”, with Christ as its Head. English Law places the Queen as head of the Church of England, but English Law is not God’s law. In many ways, as someone who is a member of an Anglican Church, I feel that establishment is increasingly inappropriate. But it is part of our National history for c. 400 years, and some advantages. Everyone has a right (in general) to be baptised, married, or given a funeral in their Parish church; Bishops serve in the Lords to represent the Church and, hopefully, a Christian view, one deeply held by many but now few politicians. The Queen regards her duties with great reverence. We shall see if her successors do the same.

      • Albert

        I quite see the benefits to the state of having a state Church. The disadvantages to the Church however, may outweigh them.

  • I don’t know if it is the general Jewish viewpoint, but a Jewish friend of mine is happy to accept the existence of Jesus, but regards him as just another prophet in a long line of prophets. To me this seems an acceptable point of view, even though I can’t agree with it. But when it comes to Mohammed, I would find it difficult to extend this thinking to him. As far as I’m aware, none of the previous accepted prophets advocated killing people who didn’t agree with their viewpoint, they merely suggested that such people wouldn’t go to heaven. Mohammed has nothing in common with any of the previous prophets, and I find it impossible to accept that he could be one.

    • Royinsouthwest

      As far as I’m aware, none of the previous accepted prophets advocated killing people who didn’t agree with their viewpoint, they merely suggested that such people wouldn’t go to heaven.

      Moses, Joshua and Samuel did order the deaths of some people but I suppose that was during wars.

      • The Old Testament mentioned “an eye for an eye”, a concept that I can accept in terms of punishment, although elsewhere it preaches forgiveness. But I simply cannot accept that one should kill all those who don’t agree with one’s religious views, or indeed those who decide that they no longer believe in their religion.

        • avi barzel

          “Eye for an eye” always meant payment in compensation on an equal basis. That is, a rich man’s eye was worth no more or less than a pauper’s, in contrast to Pagan laws which went by a sliding scale determined by the station of the victim.

          • Perhaps that shows the religious beliefs of our parliamentarians with the current belief that fines should be based on the ability to pay!

    • dannybhoy

      Good one. Most devout Jews view the Meshiach as a Deliver. The one who will deliver Israel from her enemies and establish her as God’s Chosen amongst the nations.
      Jesus didn’t do that.
      Under the Covenant God said that if His people who are called by His name will walk according to His commandments He would bless them and protect them.
      As regards to the Holocaust we Christians should feel the pain of those Jews who tried to make sense of all the pogroms and persecutions and “final solutions” inflicted upon them by people that most Jews would view as Christians.
      These horrors were visited upon them by people who claimed to worship and obey the Jew Jesus, or Yeshua.
      If your Jewish friend regards Jesus as a prophet he perhaps values your friendship more than you know.
      If you ever go to the Jewish Museum in Jerusalem or Yad Vashem and see the pictures of pikes of shorn human hair, of spectacles, of dentures, of heaps of little children’ shoes, as a true Christian you would have to weep: and better understand why the Jews still view us Christians with great suspicion, followers of a renegade rather than a Saviour..

      • I can generally understand the Jewish viewpoint and have considerable sympathy towards the attitude of many Jews towards Christians. The increasing anti-Semitism in this country and on the Continent, which I simply cannot understand, does nothing to help the distrust between our religions which have so much in common unless you happen to be a theologian.

        • Anton

          The increasing anti-semitism in this country and on the continent is due to Islam, not secularism.

          • Not entirely sure that it is true. Many left-wingers blame the Jews for all our financial problems and seem to feel that if there were no Jews we’d all be rich.

          • Anton

            That’s true but not new. Ask European Jews why they are considering migrating to Israel and you get one answer: Islam.

          • avi barzel

            Well, yes, that’s a bit of a bother, having to look over one’s shoulder and getting used to tactical squads with Hechler & Koch rifles at the ready in front of synagogues. There is of course the antisemitism of the Left Pensioner mentioned, and also the academia, the cultural elites and the far Right. Even the most optimistic and some of the liberals have realized that the incongruous “palestinianism” used to explain the hostility is merely a cover for something much older, deeper and scarier. But there is also a genuine revival of authentic religious and nationalist Zionism…family and friends have been picking up and leaving for Israel from Canada and the US without ever experiencing antisemitism.

          • Anton

            I believe that that is one of the two things God currently wants of Jews, so good for them that they went there freely rather than under persecution. Meanwhile, however, Jews will always be welcome in my country so far as I am concerned.

          • I know it has always tended to be that way and I largely accept what I have read about the increasing migration to Israel (and to the States if they are wealthy!).

        • dannybhoy

          There are theological differences, but let’s just say how on earth could we want to destroy a people who gave us the concept of a holy and compassionate God and from whom our own Saviour emerged?
          Then disregarding theological differences, how can we escape the fact that European Christian nations mostly conspired in trying to rid the world of mothers, fathers , sons, daughters, doting grandparents, aunts and uncles
          doctors, scientists, factory owners, and decent citizens ……simply because they were Jewish?
          God may use the unrighteous for His own purposes, but woe unto us who stand on the sidelines and chew popcorn…

          • Johnny Rottenborough

            @ dannybhoy—simply because they were Jewish

            There’s a great deal more to it. Jews played a leading role in the founding of communism, in the Russian Revolution, and in the murder of the Tsar and his family. Jews dominated the government formed after the Revolution, which began the destruction of Russia’s churches and monasteries. In the 25 years before the Jews fell from power, some 20 million people lost their lives.

            Churchill’s 1920 Illustrated Sunday Herald article (there is a paragraph here and the complete piece is here) gives some idea of the shockwaves the Revolution sent through Europe. If Churchill in England was that fearful of the Jews, how much more alarm would have been felt on the Continent?

            The Jewish version of history—saintly Jews persecuted for no reason by evil white Christians—makes a good soundbite but doesn’t begin to reflect the truth.

          • We can’t deny what happened and indeed what could still happen if some fanatics had their way. I’m not sure how many still feel that way, although it is far more than any reasonable person would like. However, as far as I’m aware Christianity, as a religion, does not call for the death of Jews, unlike Islam which calls for the death of all non-believers.

    • Pubcrawler

      “Mohammed has nothing in common with any of the previous prophets”

      Especially in not being Jewish.

    • Anton

      He was a prophet alright. But of whom?

  • Dominic Stockford

    It is also contrary to the 39 Articles to use language contrary to the local language in public prayer, precisely because people cannot understand it. On this occasion Turkish should not have been used.

    • The Explorer

      You think the C of E is worried about the 39 Articles?

      • dannybhoy

        The CofE knows about the 39 Articles?!

        • The Explorer

          It knows about them in order to avoid them.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Given that Church Canon Law is law of the land, there is an interesting debate to be had by a rich barrister, in front of a sympathetic judge, about whether the 39 Articles (as the official teaching of the CofE) are also the law of the land!

  • Malcolm Smith

    First of all, neither Adam, Noah, nor Abraham were prophets (though they were better men than Muhammad).
    Secondly, who was responsible for the Turkish prayer? Did someone in authority simply ask a Turk to say a prayer, without checking the translation independently? Or was it deliberate?

    • The Explorer

      Adam, Noah and Abraham are prophets in Islam. Adam was also a giant: tall enough to stick his head into Heaven and converse with Allah. After all, when Christ returns, according to Islam, it will be to abolish the cross and establish Islam. And the Trinity is God the Father, Christ and Mary. Muhammad certainly had access to some strange versions of Christianity.

    • Anna055

      “….who was responsible for the Turkish prayer? Did someone in authority simply ask a Turk to say a prayer, without checking the translation independently? Or was it deliberate?”…..These are the questions I’d really like to know the answers to. It makes all the difference. Were the Dean and his representatives simply being naive, or do they really think it didn’t matter about having that prayer read?

  • The Explorer

    If this is the start of an ecumenical trend, then the podium of the future is going to look rather crowded once we have represented Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Baha’i, Zoroastrians, Mormons, Latter Day Saints, Christadelphians, Scientologists, Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, Theosophists, Satanists, Gaians, Wiccans, Naturists and Jedi Knights.

    Hope I haven’t missed anybody out.

    • CliveM

      Buddhist and Sikhs.

      • The Explorer

        Thank you. In trying to think of the obscure ones, I missed the obvious. Mind if I add them in?

        • CliveM

          Of course, I’ll delete my post if you want!!

          • The Explorer

            Not at all. Keep it there. It shows the difficulty of thinking inclusively.

      • The Church of Latter Day Gender Theory and Sexual Choice.

        • The Explorer

          Would they need fifty-two representatives on a podium?

          • Just the one – French in all probability.

          • The Explorer

            Got anyone specific in mind?

          • Someone will emerge …

        • Nicodemus

          Jehovah witness

          • The Explorer

            Latter Day Saints. I remembered those.

          • Nicodemus

            and obviously representatives of all 43 000 christian denominations, not to mention Muslim ones.

          • The Explorer

            Now you’re just being picky!

          • Nicodemus

            No, it’s just equality and fairness and all all belief systems being equal etc

          • The Explorer

            You’ve also raised the very important point of proportional representation for each religion. I believe that the European Court of Human rights has two representatives per country. So Germany has two reps with a population of 81,471,834, and Luxembourg has two reps with a population of 549, 680.

          • Anton

            There aren’t 43,000 denominations. That figure derives from the eccentric definition of denomination in the World Christian Encyclopedia compiled by David Barrett in 1982. Its second edition (Oxford Univ Press, 2001) refers to 33000+ total Christian denominations, but it defines the word ‘denomination’ as an organised Christian group within a specific country. That is an anomalous use of the word, for denominations run across national borders. (You’d hardly call the Roman Catholic church in England and France two denominations.) As there are several hundred countries (and as smaller denominations are not represented in all of them) we should divide the figure of 25,000 by about 100. This gives a few hundred genuine denominations, consistent with the list recorded in Wikipedia:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations_by_number_of_members

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

          • Every protestant is potentially his or her own ‘pope’ – so really there are as many ‘denominations’ as there are adherents. Of course they have a few things in common but are at liberty to pick and choose – “conscientiam sola” …. and all that.

          • Anton

            You have the better of me in that there is only one Roman Catholic Pope but many fallible protestant leaders who have the Holy Spirit. But, er, what if the Pope doesn’t have the Holy Spirit?

          • Which is entirely possible as history demonstrates. However, the “deposit of faith”, of whom he is the guardian, and the doctrinal indefectibility of the Church, wouldn’t be effected.

          • CliveM

            ?????

        • CliveM

          Do you want me to pass it to Explorer?!

          • The Explorer

            Got it. See question to HJ below

          • Just pass it ….

          • CliveM

            He’s seen it already……..!

    • Anton

      Shinto.

      • Isn’t that an Irish game played with sticks and a ball?

        • Anton

          Surely the Scottish version?

          • CliveM

            Shinty.

    • magnolia

      The Unification church, aka the Moonies.

      • The Explorer

        Thank you. And I missed out Transcendental Meditation as well.

  • CliveM

    As this is very clearly an Islamic prayer, can I ask who read it? The article says the congregation heard it, but who read it out? Was it an Imam? A lay Muslim (is there such a thing?) or a member of the Clergy?

    It should be said, that as soon as Islamic prayers are said in a building, the building, some Muslims believe, irrevocably becomes a Mosque.

    • Good question.

      • CliveM

        Very little on line about this.

        • It is a significant question. Jack wonders if the good Archbishop Cranmer might know.

      • CliveM

        See my reply to Explorer above.

    • The Explorer

      Excellent point. Let’s see if we can get an Imam to say a prayer in the HQ of the British Humanist Association, and the editorial offices of ‘Pink News’.

      • CliveM

        Now there’s a good idea.

      • magnolia

        Would that mean the editorial offices of “Pink News” would come under sharia law? That is quite a concept!

        • The Explorer

          Clive is our mufti in this instance. You’d have to apply to him for the legal ruling.

          • CliveM

            No I’m not!!

          • magnolia

            Well I reckon dealing with any infringements of sharia law which might have taken place in Pink News, the British humanist association, and Westminster Abbey might take them such a long time that we could use these as decoys whilst working on plans b to z. Sounds good to me!!

          • The Explorer

            I’ve tracked down that, “A place becomes a mosque when general permission is given to pray in it.” I can’t see ‘Pink News’ giving general permission. Westminster Abbey is far more at risk.

          • By that definition Westminster Abbey is okay as this was specific permission and not a go-ahead to Muslims enter and say their prayers.

            On his recent trip ‘down south’ Jack witnessed groups of Muslim men praying in the Luton Motorway Service Station – just outside the men’s toilet. Is this area now a designated Mosque?

          • The Explorer

            The Abbey is okay for the moment; I was thinking more of the future if there are enough repetitions/expansions of this opening precedent.
            For somewhere to be valid, I think it’s a bit like entry for a vampire: you have to be invited in.
            When the Olympic stadium was being built, there were plans for a mosque larger than St Paul’s beside it. The Council, however, refused planning consent. Some Muslims began praying there anyway, but stadium construction workers beat them up and threw them out. Something similar happened with a proposed mosque in Windsor, where Muslims jumped the gun and began praying there, and permission was then refused.
            In Luton, I imagine, there are so many Muslims they can just do it without asking permission. A mosque by right of conquest, so to speak.

          • CliveM

            I wonder how many national services of this type, which include Muslim prayers, does it take before Muslims decide they have general permission!!

          • James M

            What a very appropriate venue. No doubt they
            availed themselves of:

            cdn.liveleak.com/80281E/ll_a_s/2013/Sep/1/LiveLeak-dot-com-985_1378020268-MUHAMMADTOILETPAPER.jpg.resized.jpg?d5e8cc8eccfb6039332f41f6249e92b06c91b4db65f5e99818bdd4964840d8d2f10d&ec_rate=230

      • CliveM

        Hi Explorer (you’re quiet today) it was read by:

        Mahmut Özdemir, Persidency of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Turkey.

    • avi barzel

      Wot? Westminster Abbey is now a mosque? Bugger. So much for my clever plan to introduce herring, lox and single malts.

  • carl jacobs

    What this demonstrates is the collapse of religious particularism among Western churches. The West has morphed religion into tradition, where each tradition is equally valid. The underlying idea is that all religions express a common divine truth through use of differing particular symbols and stories. The symbols and stories thus become incidental. Jesus and Mohammed are important only because Christians and Muslims declare them important. They become vehicles to express the common divine truth. The content associated with each no longer matters. The particular claims of each no longer matter. What matters is that men use them to represent a common divine concept. You see this in the common Liberal refrain of “Jesus is a truth” or “Jesus is my truth.” What is denied is that Jesus represents exclusive truth.

    This is why the Gospel is utterly absent from these churches. The Gospel represents a particular exclusivist truth claim that cannot be reconciled with the proposed convergence of all religion into a common expression. That convergence is found at the intersection of all religions, which amounts to “Worship (the unknown) God by doing temporal good works.” It is a means by which religious conflict can be removed though the expedient of declaring everyone right. Each tradition is supposed to keep its own traditions to itself. They can meet in public only by affirming that each is correct within its own context. And this is not contradictory because the particular truths that each express are merely symbolic. They have no objective reality. This is the “plural truth” of liberal religion.

    Why is liberal religion about nothing beyond ritual and fellowship? Because it denies the existence of particular truth. You can believe what you like – just so long as you do not assert possession of exclusive truth. You must above all else affirm me in my truth. Anything else is heresy most foul.

    • One day you’ll make a fine Roman Catholic, Carl. One day ….

      • The Explorer

        Calvin was only Augustine at one remove.

        • Augustine needed time to get his theology straight … he came around in the end; so will Carl.

          • dannybhoy

            No man has all the truth Jack.
            A finite being can never fully comprehend the Infinite.

          • ‘Tis true, Danny. That’s why God in His wisdom has given us the Catholic Church wherein all other churches subsist.

          • Anton

            Tell the Eastern Orthodox!

          • Cressida de Nova

            Oh please …No !

        • Cressida de Nova

          Calvin ordered the beheading of a nine year old boy. He was a psycho !

          • The Explorer

            He also had Michael Servetus burned at the stake. Mind you, the Catholics would have burned him too, if they’d got hold of him first. And Thomas More was much hotter on punishing heretics than Calvin ever was. Re the nine year old. Agreed. Horrible. (I’m not a Calvinist, by the way.) But than it was Augustine who said unbaptised infants would go to hell. (Inevitable, if there is no salvation outside the Church,)

            I was thinking of four things in particular when I made the comparison:

            1. Augustine’s view of election.
            2. Irresistible grace.
            3. Perseverance in the Christian life.
            4. State church.

          • James M

            And more recently, the followers of the ever-so-marvellous Pervert (as per article above) did the following:

            http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/08/nigeria-islamic-jihadists-behead-six-year-old-boy-because-he-was-christian

            ## This people are either insane, or possessed. Such cruelty – which is only one example out of thousands – is demonic.

      • carl jacobs

        I would be happy to be a Catholic, Jack.

        1. Repudiate Trent.
        2. Repudiate the Marian dogmas.
        3. Repudiate Papal and magisterial infallibility.
        4. Repudiate Sacred Tradition.

        Is that such a hard list?

        • Jack will relay your offer to the Vatican. There may have to be an Ecumenical Council – Vatican III – to sort out the detail.

        • Dominic Stockford

          5. Repudiate hocus pocus – sorry I meant repudiate transubstantiation.
          6. Repudiate the other 4 sacraments Rome invented.
          7. Repudiate Maccabees as divinely inspired.
          8. Repudiate celibacy.
          9. Repudiate man-made sainthood.

          Come on peeps, join in, add to the list, plenty to go yet.

          • dannybhoy

            Transubstantiation and Purgatory?
            Confession to a priest?

          • Simon

            I particularly like number 8. Tell that to my wife…

          • Anton

            Repudiate hierarchy. Repudiate ordination. Repudiate Establishment (sorry, Your Grace). Repudiate the apostolic succession of bishops. Repudiate bishops who covered up for lawbreaking paedophile priests. Repudiate monasticism. Repudiate the ban on barrier methods of contraception within marriage.

          • “Repudiate bishops who covered up for lawbreaking paedophile priests.”
            Cheap shot. Please point out where the support of such bishops is a doctrine of the Church.

          • Anton

            Suppport of cover-up seems to have been a doctrine of the last two Popes. Fr Stephen Kiesle’s defrocking was urgently requested to the CDF by his bishop in the 1980s after he had been convicted of tying up and molesting boys. After 4 years the head of the CDF, the future Pope Benedict, wrote a letter stating that the “good of the universal church” should be taken into account in questions of defrocking, and no defrocking order was made at that time. (It took another two years.)

            Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, the head of the Congregation for Clergy, based in Rome, wrote a letter on September 8th, 2001 to Bishop Pican of Bayeux commending him for refusing to inform French police of a paedophile priest and even giving parish work to him. (“I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration. You have acted well and I am pleased to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history… preferred prison to denouncing his son and priest.”) These facts emerged after the priest in question had been sentenced to 18 years in jail; the bishop received 3 months suspended for failing to report him. Hoyos has since stated (in a talk on April 16th, 2010 at the Catholic university in Murcia, Spain) that when Pope John Paul II read Hoyos’ letter congratulating the bishop of Bayeux, he authorised Hoyos to copy it to all bishops: encouragement to defy national criminal law and deny justice to victims.

          • No – covering abuse is not, never has been and never will be, a doctrine.

            Has this claim by Cardinal Hoyos ever been verified by the Vatican? When this story on the letter surfaced in 2010, a Vatican spokesman said the contents showed the wisdom of a 2001 decision to centralise the handling of abuse cases. Father Lombardi distanced the Holy See from the Cardinal’s remarks, saying this is why it was necessary that that year, 2001, such cases were removed from the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Clergy, of which the Cardinal was head, to the CDF under Cardinal Ratzinger.

            Here’s what Father Ray Blake posted on his blog:

            “For many bishops and priests prior to 2001 the Cardinal’s words would have been seen as quite normal, a decade on things have changed dramatically. The change has brought about a drastic alteration in the relationship between bishops and priests, and consequently between priest and his people.

            In the past the relationship was indeed that of “father and son”, in the last 10 years it has moved in many instances to employer and employee. Consequently there is a distancing between priests and their bishop, to some extent a breakdown in trust.. In the past bishops saw themselves as having a profound spiritual relationship with their priests, conversations were in the best situations the same as those with one’s spititual director, which had at its root the confidentiality of the confessional.

            The bishop, and priests too, were the keepers of secrets. The bishop would see his role to advise, even to command in the name of obedience but what he would not do was to break confidences or act any way that might detract from someone’s character.

            Nowadays a priest who is told by about child abuse, at least outside of confession, would be expected to report the offence himself, which means few people would consider admitting the offence. In the past both in the confessional, and outside of it, he, ideally, would have advised the victim to report the offence and the perpetrator to seek help, even to turn himself in but rarely would he have seen himself as taking any positive action that might betray confidentiality.”

            Clearly, such a culture was wholly inadequate in the face of devious and manipulative priests who preyed on innocent children. And there has been a great deal of progress in recent years.

            The Vatican now insists bishops suspend accused clergy, share information and follow the countries law in reporting accusations of sexual abuse to civil authorities. There is a Vatican Commission looking at all of this and particularly at those situations where civil law does not require mandatory reporting. The issues here centre on the role of a bishop in these situations to implement church law, and not just to act as a reporting agent for the state. While it is accepted bishops must advise and encourage victims to go to the police, should they exercise that right for them and in what circumstances must this be demanded from them? How should they respond? Some victims, for a variety of reasons, may not want to report an allegation to the police. Do the bishops advise parents? What about allegations of abuse that do not concern clergy? Additionally, in some countries, such reports pose real problems for the safety of both victims and alleged perpetrators.

            All this still has the potential to create problematic situations because non-reporting and failing to act, is difficult to justify and can be criticised as being equivalent to cover-up. It also requires judgement and discretion – and get the decision wrong and a bishop can expect to be publically vilified and the Church condemned …

          • not a machine

            brave stuff happy jack on a difficult subject

          • It’s a subject that troubles Jack greatly for many reasons.

          • Anton

            I’m aware that this isn’t a matter of doctrine. Nobody above demanded a list of Catholic failings in the eyes of protestants that must be restricted to doctrine only; I chose to widen a little.

            “Has this claim by Cardinal Hoyos ever been verified by the Vatican?” If it is true, the Vatican never would verify would it? It would just deflect the question. Has it ever been denied by the Vatican?

            I am pleased that Rome is cleaning itself up over this matter. For a long time it put omerta above justice though.

            My delay in replying is due to an evening’s uninterrupted reading of A Wind in the House of Islam by David Garrison, about the many small but growing mass movements of Muslims toward Christ all over the Islamic world – a phenomenon unprecedented in 1400 years. Great book!

          • Hmmm … “omerta above justice”. That’s not entirely accurate, as Jack has tried to explain.

          • James M

            Bishops did cover up for paedo predators – that is beyond doubt. So, no “cheap shot”.

          • “Repudiate celibacy.”
            A Church discipline and not a doctrine – remember?

        • Simon

          How about an Anglican Conservative Evangelical, Carl?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Even outside the CofE set-up – which many would now argue is no longer Anglican.

          • carl jacobs

            I was telling Jack that I will become Catholic when the Catholic church becomes Protestant.

            😉

          • Some in America think it already has ….

          • carl jacobs

            Not to mention Germany. And all those Jesuits. Isn’t the current Pope a Jesuit? Boy, it’s a good thing the RCC has the Magisterium to settle all these disputes. Otherwise, we might end up with 30000 RC denominations.

            I am interested to see what the Magisterium will authoritatively settle in this upcoming synod. I’m sure, Jack, that you will submit to the result no matter the outcome. Seeing as you are a good RC and all.

          • The Synod will decide nothing – this will be for Pope Francis later. Jack is confident the Holy Spirit will not permit doctrinal error. Never has and never will.

          • carl jacobs

            What a nice tune you are whistling, Jack. And look! There’s the graveyard you happened to be passing by.

          • You foresee the fall of the Catholic Church, Carl? Or is this wishful thinking? Trust Jack, doctrine will not change. It cannot. There may be a confused message about “mercy” in “pastoral practice” which will allow the effective divide in belief to continue until sanity returns.

          • carl jacobs

            The issue as always is your ability to determine the truth of the outcome. If as you say the Holy Spirit guarantees the absence of error, then from your perspective any outcome is by definition without error. You are therefore bound to submit yourself to that outcome.

            No matter what.

          • To changes in doctrine or dogma, most certainly. As for pastoral practice, if this changes, Jack is unlikely to divorce and remarry or to seek a homosexual partner.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Please do not tempt the Devil, Jack. There are too many of his dark angels on this blog already!

          • CliveM

            Never mind Happy Jack, stand firm in the faith. As the good book says “blessed are they who are persecuted for my name”

            You are getting plenty of “blessings” on here today!!

          • Shadrach Fire

            Catholic but not Roman.

        • James M

          Not a single one of those things is negotiable. If only the CC were vocal in affirming the “Marian” dogmas. (They are Marian, certainly, but they are primarily about Christ.) What the Church needs is far more emphasis on the Mother of God – de Maria nunquam satis.

          • carl jacobs

            I suggested they be cast down. I have no interest in negotiation.

    • Simon

      “Ain’t this the Truth”, Carl. Thank you for your analysis. There is but one truth. No one’s opinion can alter it. 2 + 2 = 4, was, is now, and forever shall be. As indeed is the Gospel, with nothing added and nothing taken away.
      I see what you say that the Gospel, in all its complete, stark and glorious truth, is absent from these Churches, and within the liberal minds. The the Gospel is not entirely absent, but rather seen through “a glass darkly” distorted and misshapen in a mirror of The Enemy’s making, a filter of lies.

    • Dominic Stockford

      And, of course, daring to mention that ‘Churches Together’ denies essential differences between Biblical churches and others on the rather essential matter of salvation is simply not allowed. Not belonging to that heretical and compromising body is regarded by those you outline above as being akin to having murdered someone.

      • dannybhoy

        To accept that Christ is God made flesh, that salvation has been made possible through Christ Jesus, to believe in a relationship to God through Christ Jesus and a desire to engage in the process of sanctification is enough for me to recognise a brother or sister jn Christ.

        • Dominic Stockford

          …through Jesus Christ ALONE…

          Among other things that Churches Together spends their money on they include ‘interfaith dialogue’ and an ‘interfaith officer’…

          • dannybhoy

            Dominic,
            I don’t buy that. I accept that within all denominations we find true Christians.
            They are the ones who will humbly pray to our Lord Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
            I don’t think we can weed out all the tares..

          • Dominic Stockford

            I may compromise my faith, I do not do so knowingly or willingly. “In Christ alone” must be.

          • Anton

            I can see both sides of this. Affirming the Nicene Creed together is quite a lot of commonality. But surely the key point is that Churches Together is a voluntary affiliation in each town, so that for the leaders of a congregation to sign up to it is not to put themselves and their flock under any authority that denies “in Christ alone” (which would be unacceptable).

            We are told to separate ourselves, but from whom and how far and in what circumstances?

          • Fear not, the Roman Catholic Church is a member of ‘Churches Together’ (unlike its predecessor) and will point everyone in the right direction.

            Jack is reminded of Pope Benedict’s visit in 2010 to Westminster Abbey. (Ignoring the ‘No Popery’ signs outside). He met leaders of the Orthodox and Oriental Churches, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, United Reformed, Free Churches of England and Wales, Church of Scotland and the Irish Catholic and Anglican Archbishops of Armagh The Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury presented a service of Evening Prayer, side by side, and embraced in the Sign of Peace.

            This is what Pope Benedict said:

            “Here we cannot help but be reminded of how greatly the Christian faith shaped the unity and culture of Europe and the heart and spirit of the English people. Here too, we are forcibly reminded that what we share, in Christ, is greater than what continues to divide us.”

          • Anton

            If e go in the right direction it is the Holy Spirit who guides us. I am never sorry when Nicene-affirming people pray together, but I wish that denominational leaders would meet for systematic Bible study together…

          • They are most welcome to do so … Pope Francis is very accommodating and his suite at the Vatican is available for such study with plenty of experts on hand to ensure correct understandings are arrived at. Mind you, the current Pope tends to downplay theology, preferring to keep things simple, so one may have to have a Cardinal Burke or two nearby.

          • Anton

            No experts from either side. Leaders of denominations only. The Vatican is fine as a venue.

          • “Leaders of denominations only.”

            Define “denomination” and define “leader”; then establish the decision making process.

          • Anton

            No decision making process. It’s simply a Bible study. Let it be decided who comes by mutual consent, if a dictionary is deemed inadequate to answer your questions. Why are you resorting to legalism?

          • Is it “legalism”? It’s called organisation to avert chaos. And we know Satan loves anarchy. Think … one Roman Catholic leader and up to 45,000 protestant leaders.

          • Anton

            Why quote that figure of 45,000 when you have seen me explain how it is an overestimate by a factor of 100 and have not dissented? Poor show.

            To repeat: it is based on numbers in the World Christian Encyclopedia compiled by David Barrett in 1982. Its second edition (Oxford Univ Press, 2001) refers to 33000+ total Christian denominations, but it defines the word ‘denomination’ as an organised Christian group within a specific country. So it counts the Roman Catholic church as 300 or so denominations as there are about 300 countries, in which Catholicism has a presence. Happy about that? Divide Barrett’s number by about 100 and you get a few hundred genuine denominations, consistent with the list recorded in Wikipedia.

            But Yes, I take your point that poor Francis would be outnumbered by protestants (not that being outnumbered by opposing theologians deterred Luther). So let’s have a series of 1:1 meetings for Bible study, and if you are worried that Pope Francis is not the sharpest thorn on the bush then by all means bring in his predecessor, who was a theologian.

            One might almost think you are concerned that discrepancies between Catholic practice and the scriptures would be revealed…

          • “Why quote that figure of 45,000 when you have seen me explain how it is an overestimate by a factor of 100 and have not dissented?”

            Bad Jack; he only did it to annoy you.

          • Anton

            Matt 12:36.

          • You don’t think God allows for occasional mischievous behaviour?

          • Anton

            You can ask him about specific instances.

          • James M

            The SDAs are also members of Churches(sic) Together, and YouTube is crammed with SDA videos about the Papal Antichrist/Babylon the Great.

            The Catholic Church is the only Church – that is not negotiable. People who reject that on principled grounds, as the Free Church of Scotland does, one can respect, for they do so from very different convictions. What is impossible to respect is the flabby-minded ecumania of those who have no convictions. With all possible respect to the then Holy Father, St Athanasius did not view Arians in the same expansive way – so why should Catholics today swallow that pagan rubbish to the effect “that what we share, in Christ, is greater than what continues to divide us” ? Arius was a pillar of the most intransigent orthodoxy compared to people like those who let that ridiculous Chrislamist nonsense go ahead. Heresy is very wicked, and AIDS is infinitely preferable to heresy. Such indifferentism reveals a horrifying disregard for the truth.

          • dannybhoy

            Domnic,
            I need to make my comment clear-er-ish..
            Yes you’re right to say “In Christ Alone.” I believe that too, but we meet people where they are not where we think they should be theologically.
            There are genuine Christians who try to live out their faith and for whom theology is another world.
            If a person tells me they are a Christian I accept that at face value, until either their behaviour or their conversation shows me otherwise.
            I think when the Lord commanded us to love one another He didn’t insert a caveat saying “but make sure to check their theology first!”
            🙂

          • James M

            St Peter thought so:

            “8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among menc by which we must be saved.””

            http://biblehub.com/esv/acts/4.htm

            ## Salvation is, and can be, through Christ & through Christ Alone. That was true then, and it’s true now, and it will always be true, everywhere. This is not negotiable, but essential to understanding Who Christ is. So Mohammed can take a hike.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Verse 12 is what I have at the footer of my emails.

        • Martin

          Danny

          Salvation isn’t made possible through the Lord Jesus Christ, that is the only way it happens.

          • dannybhoy

            Martin,
            You’re being pedantic again. I hope you don’t correct people’s prayers too! 🙂

          • Martin

            Danny

            Since it is a matter of heresy it is important to pedantic about it.

          • dannybhoy

            Martin,

            Where does one start?

            1) It’s a blog not a theological seminar

            2) It’s a sharing of views and opinions

            3) Are you seriously worried that I might be deceived or speaking heresy because I said,

            “To accept that Christ is God made flesh, that salvation has been made possible through Christ Jesus, to believe in a relationship to God through Christ Jesus and a desire to engage in the process of sanctification is enough for me to recognise a brother or sister in Christ.”

            Or is it possible that I am correct in saying salvation is made possible through Christ,
            (which of course it is)
            and that elsewhere, on other occasions, I have also said
            “There is no other name under heaven whereby men might be saved”
            (which I have)

            You are being pedantic.

          • CliveM

            Agreed.

          • dannybhoy

            Well I knew you would dear Sir!

          • Martin

            Danny

            1. it is a matter of huge significance as to how the gospel is preached.

            2. you haven’t given me an argument against what I said.

            I’m seriously worried that your statement undermines God’s sovereignty.

            Not sure what translation you are using:

            And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

            (Acts 4:12 [ESV])

            Subtle difference there.

            If it is pedantic to insist that a man has nothing to do with his salvation, but that it is an act of the sovereign God, so be it I will be pedantic. The honour of God is more important to me than agreeing with men.

          • dannybhoy

            Martin,
            truly I thank you for your concern for my salvation. I mostly use the ESV, then the NIV, and the KJV for the beauty and majesty of the words.
            I think God initiates salvation, man responds; but sometimes it seems to me that God chooses people for a purpose.
            That doesn’t negate His desire that all might be saved; so I don’t believe in predestination.
            I don’t think we are born evil, but we are born separated from God and we all sin and need salvation.
            So there.

          • Martin

            Danny

            “I think God initiates salvation, man responds; but sometimes it seems to me that God chooses people for a purpose.”

            So what do you make of this passage:

            And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

            (Ephesians 2:1-7 [ESV])

            “That doesn’t negate His desire that all might be saved; so I don’t believe in predestination.”

            So what of this:

            Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

            (Ephesians 1:3-6 [ESV])

            If sin is not evil, what is it?

          • dannybhoy

            I agree with that.

          • Martin

            Danny

            So do you not see that God didn’t simply make salvation possible, He carried it through to the end, saved us when we could not do anything for ourselves?

          • dannybhoy

            Salvation comes from God, but man can resist and refuse to accept that salvation. I don’t accept the total depravity of man.
            Else, why would God consistently exhort the children of Israel all through the Tenach to ‘walk in His ways’?
            Here’s an article on irresistible grace…
            http://www.gotquestions.org/irresistible-grace.html
            but I am more drawn towards free will..

            “19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.
            20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews.
            To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.
            21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.
            22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
            23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”

            I Corinthians 9>

            One could argue that from God’s perspective outside of time and space these things are foreknown, but men cannot be held accountable if they cannot help but do evil.
            Abraham was considered a friend of God even though he sinned. Moses loved God, but was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of his sin..

            Numbers 20:12 English Standard Version Anglicised

            12 “And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”
            So God holds us to account for our choices, but His desire is that all should turn from their sins and be saved..

          • Martin

            Danny

            If a man could refuse salvation, do you not think that Saul/Paul would have done so? But he didn’t get a choice:

            But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do. (Acts 9:6 [ESV])

            No choice there, just get up & you’ll be told what to do.

            Original sin means that we have a natural bent toward sin, nothing more. It is for Man to resist his sinful nature.

            Irresistible grace is irresistible because every man born would resist salvation, not one of us would desire it if God did not first change our minds.

            I’m not sure what relevance 1 Cor 9 has.

            Man can be hels accountable, for they know to do right but choose to do evil. Abraham was saved and hence was righteous. Moses did not lose his salvation, just the right to lead Israel into the promised land. Christians are held accountable for their sin in the same way.

          • dannybhoy

            “If a man could refuse salvation, do you not think that Saul/Paul would have done so?”

            No, because Rabbi Saul thought he was serving and defending the God of Israel from heretics..
            “Meanwhile, Sha’ul, still breathing murderous threats against the Lord’s talmidim, went to the cohen hagadol
            2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Dammesek, authorizing him to arrest any people he might find, whether men or women, who belonged to “the Way,” and bring them back to Yerushalayim.
            3 He was on the road and nearing Dammesek, when suddenly a light from heaven flashed all around him.
            4 Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Sha’ul! Sha’ul! Why do you keep persecuting me?”
            5 “Sir, who are you?” he asked. “I am Yeshua, and you are persecuting me. 6 But get up, and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.”
            (15) But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name to the Goyim, even to their kings, and to the sons of Isra’el as well. 16 For I myself will show him how much he will have to suffer on account of my name.”

            Acts chapter 9>
            Complete Jewish Bible

            So God had chosen Saul, and although no-one including me and you – knows what went on in Saul’s heart, it may be that Saul realised who Yeshua was and that His speaking to Saul in a vision showed how much Yeshua loved him?

          • Martin

            Danny

            So where was Saul given an option? You are speculating, based on your beliefs, not looking at what Scripture says.

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t think he needed an option Martin. If his heart’s intent was to protect and preserve his Covenant faith as handed down from Moses, he was righteous as far as he understood things.
            When he was confronted by the risen Lord his eyes were opened.
            I think we have to look at the whole Scriptural picture Martin, and if man has no say in salvation then what would be the point of it all?

          • Martin

            Danny

            So where does the text give a hint of that? Do you imagine that Saul did not know of the miracles, the raising of Lazarus, the crucifixion & resurrection. Where is the evidence for your position?

          • dannybhoy

            Acts 7 Saul heard the testimony of Stephen, which he and other devout Jews would have regarded as blasphemy.
            Acts 8 persecution breaks out and Saul is dragging believers off to prison..
            Acts 9 the Lord asks him in a vision “Saul Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
            Saul is convicted by the Holy Spirit and becomes a believer. Perhaps more importantly he is chosen by the Lord “..as a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.”

            I can’t of course prove it from the text, but it seems to me in line with God’s desire that all should repent and come to salvation that the Holy Spirit was working in Saul’s conscience, and that the Lord saw in Saul qualities which if surrendered to Him, He could use to proclaim the Gospel to the gentiles.
            Martin, one if the thieves crucified with Christ repented, the other as far as we know didn’t. Was God choosing one and not the other?
            I don’t think so.

          • Martin

            Danny

            “Saul is convicted by the Holy Spirit and becomes a believer.”

            And you were dead in the trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1 [ESV])

            Saul was dead, dead as a nail to spiritual things, he could not do anything to change his state.

            But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
            (Ephesians 2:4-5 [ESV]

            But God did something, He made Saul alive, He makes Saul a believer.

            “I can’t of course prove it from the text, but it seems to me in line with God’s desire that all should repent and come to salvation that the Holy Spirit was working in Saul’s conscience, and that the Lord saw in Saul qualities which if surrendered to Him, He could use to proclaim the Gospel to the gentiles.”

            What you are saying is that salvation is dependant upon Man, the sinner must do something because God is powerless without him. My God isn’t like that, my God can save that thief on the cross who hates God, mocks Jesus. Just as God can change a bunch of slaves into a nation.

            And do not presume to say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our father, for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. (Matthew 3:9 [ESV]

            Equally God is able to take a man and turn him into a Christian, though he hat God and murders God’s people.

          • dannybhoy

            No, I agree that salvation is of God, but we cannot say that man does not seek God, else why all the religions?
            If God can take a man and turn him into a Christian then why not start with them without regards to the Church?
            God initiates and offers salvation to man.
            But God does not force man against his will to accept it.
            Else again, why are not more ‘heathens’ converted?
            If man has no part in salvation because he is so sinful, in all humility what is God doing by choosing some to be saved?
            If man is so evil he cannot respond to God, then the whole human race is cursed anyway. What then is the point of allowing generation upon generation to live their evil and pointless lives, inflicting all kinds of misery upon themselves and others?
            Also, if God can insist on man accepting salvation, could He not also do that to the fallen angels?
            God has provided salvation and made it available to all men. Whether it be that the Gospel is presented wrongly, or the individual fails to understand the Gospel, or the individual does not want to give up his/her independence,
            God respects the free will He has given them.

          • Martin

            Danny

            The religions are down to Man wishing to model his god after his image. They are an example of idolatry.

            Does God not start with men, rather than with the Church? Christians have a role, granted by God, in arousing the sinner to see their lost state, but unless God gives life there will be no ground for the seed to be sown in. As to why there are not more conversions, could it be that God has not prepared the ground for His own reason.

            Since Man, we are told, is dead in his sin, how can God not force them against their will, compel them to come to the feast?

            The point of allowing men to live out their lives is that those who will glorify God’s mercy may be born and saved, while those who are not saved glorify God’s justice.

            There is a difference between Man and Angel. Man is a creature that procreates, the angels are not. The angels who fell know what they fell from, mankind does not.

            All through the ages God has chosen some, Noah, Abraham, the nation of Israel, His disciples. Why should God change his practice and give man a choice when man has given away his free will to sin?

          • dannybhoy

            Reading your whole post my immediate reaction is that you describe a kind of Christian fatalism, similar to Islam.
            I don’t think for a minute you mean that. it’s just how it comes across.

            Man dead in his sins as I understand it means dead to God, not wanting a relationship with God because the sinner values his independence, and prefers to respond to the desires of his flesh. Man is in rebellion.
            It doesn’t mean man can’t appreciate goodness or self sacrifice, but he still wants to be master and commander of his own life.
            We agree that God initiates salvation. That it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict the heart of sin, and we could agree that once the Holy Spirit reveals our sinfulness to us, very few -if any- resist repentance; but some do eventually wander away.

            So it seems to me that if man is so bad, how come we all -including Christians- benefit from man’s discoveries in the fields of medicine, technology, education etc|?
            Do we refuse what unregenerate man has done because he is unregenerate?
            Are Christians so immediately, obviously Christlike that all are drawn to the faith?
            NO!

            I stick by my belief that it is God’s will that all should be saved, but that not all will be. That we as Christians need to seek to be fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit.

            As Hebrews says,

            12 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
            despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

            Hebrews 12:1-2 New King James Version

          • Martin

            Danny

            The Holy Spirit doesn’t just reveal our sinfulness, He also causes us to hate our sin. It is impossible for a Christian to abandon Christ. Those described as anything other than producing grain in the parable of the sower are not true Christians. As John says:

            “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” (I John 2:19 [ESV]

            Those who leave never were Christians. Those who grow in faith and remain to the end are truly saved.

            True godliness will always result in opposition from the men of this world.

            That God grants that men discover what does us good is merely an application of God’s mercy toward His creation.

            God wills that none should sin, but we still see men sin. There is a difference between what God’s will is and what He allows for His greater glory. Remember, the giver of that great feast compelled those who were to come in:

            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. (Luke 14:23 [ESV]

          • dannybhoy

            “He also causes us to hate our sin.”

            Martin, if that were true we would all be perfect, and manifestly we are not. The Holy Spirit can be grieved by our giving in to sin. Christians can turn away or lose their way

            (I did.)

            As I see it there is an ongoing struggle for all Christians between the desires of the flesh and the life in the Spirit.

            The more we apprehend that we are new creatures in Christ, the more we overcome sin in our lives.. However in that sense it is always God’s grace that sustains us through Christ’s redemptive work.

            Lastly,

            “Remember, the giver of that great feast compelled those who were to come in:
            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.” (Luke 14:23 [ESV]

            This is an analogy of the Jews failure to understand that God loves all men, not just the good and righteous Jews, but the poor, the blind, the lame and the lost -and the Gentiles..
            God sends His servants (the prophets and latterly the apostles) to draw His errant and lost back to Himself. His banquet is open to all, to the Jew first and then the Gentile.

          • Martin

            Danny

            “if that were true we would all be perfect, and manifestly we are not. The Holy Spirit can be grieved by our giving in to sin. Christians can turn away or lose their way”

            Why would we be perfect? What does Paul say:

            So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
            (Romans 8:21-25 [ESV])

            So the two parts of our nature war against each other.

            And remember, Christians cannot be lost.

            “As I see it there is an ongoing struggle for all Christians between the desires of the flesh and the life in the Spirit.

            The more we apprehend that we are new creatures in Christ, the more we overcome sin in our lives.. However in that sense it is always God’s grace that sustains us through Christ’s redemptive work.”

            Absolutely.

            “This is an analogy of the Jews failure to understand that God loves all men, not just the good and righteous Jews, but the poor, the blind, the lame and the lost -and the Gentiles..God sends His servants (the prophets and latterly the apostles) to draw His errant and lost back to Himself. His banquet is open to all, to the Jew first and then the Gentile.”

            The parable is to all men, but can God be said to love all if He allows some to end up in Hell?

          • dannybhoy

            I agree with that.

    • bockerglory

      Well said. I think that now has come the time to de-establsh the church from the state in this country. Otherwise the establishment will de-establih Christ from the CofE .

      I feel that some CofE churches are just a form of the National Trust hence why we have so many revisionist left wing Vicars.

      • I’ve disestablished myself from the C of E and catching up on sound Bible sermons after a decade or so of well meaning waffle. Should have done it earlier.

        After Betty, the deluge.

        • The Explorer

          Forgive me, but who/what is Betty?

          • Pubcrawler

            Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. I was trying to work out how Betty could be Welby

        • bockerglory

          Thanks for correcting my spelling! Was on train using this stupid Android phone and of course I was standing as there were no seats etc.

  • Jack wonders would Islam ever agree to the “Te Deum Laudamus” being proclaimed in a Mosque? It pre-dates Islam by a couple of centuries.

    • The Explorer

      Anything before Islam belongs to the time of darkness. So, no.

      • The “Anima Christi” then? This dates to A.D. 1334.

        • The Explorer

          If it agrees with the Qur’an it’s superfluous. If it disagrees with the Qur’an it’s heretical.

  • Simon

    It is a pity that the writer first equates Allah with God, and only at the end declares Mohammed a false prophet and Islam a false religion. And also he said God was not an Englishman: can this be true?

    And by the way, who are those men all dressed in black with swords and AK47s running up my drive?

    Our freedom today was hard won, and will require much suffering and the blood of martyrs to maintain. Put on the full armour of God and pray in the Spirit for all the Saints.

  • DannyEastVillage

    Of course, a text from Isaiah, written several centuries before the birth of Jesus, is cited here as referring to Jesus simply because Christian apologists, beginning with gospel-writers, used the text that way retrospectively. Not quite legitimate to use that as an argument against calling Mohamed “mustafa.” I see many, many chosen ones in the history of the many religions. Does that make me un-Christian? no doubt many will think so. Well–be my guest. GAFCON says I can’t be Christian because I’m a gay guy, so–have at it. It still shocks me how small-minded we want our god to be.

    • The question a Christian answers in the affirmative is:

      Do you accept Jesus as the Christ, true God Incarnate and true man, who lived, died and was resurrected, that we might be reconciled to His Father, freed from the consequence of sin, and share eternity with Him?

      Answer this and the revelations of Scripture and how we conform our lives to God’s purposes, then follow. As a homosexual, of course you can be a Christian. Why not if you believe in the Gospel of Christ and strive with all your heart, mind and soul to know and love God and your neighbour?

      • DannyEastVillage

        how about if I just identify as a servant of Jesus Christ without going into all those Pauline, post-Pauline and conciliar formularies?

        • Anton

          Fine. But servants do their master’s bidding, which means refraining from sin or at least, if not sanctified to the necessary extent, admitting it is sin and asking divine forgiveness.

          • He’s just separated Paul from Jesus …. Paul explicitly taught about homosexual sin …. Jesus said nothing … coincidence?

          • Anton

            Oops, I missed the word “Pauline” and read only “post-Pauline”. You’re all right, Jack!

          • You’re RCIA application is in the post. You know it makes sense ….

          • Anton

            You want me to join the same denomination as Tony Blair?

          • Jack will arrange to have him stood down until he gets his act together.

          • Anton

            Months before he resigned as British Prime Minister, Tony Blair broke a Cabinet deadlock by insisting on a law forcing
            Catholic adoption agencies to place children with gay couples, knowing thatthese agencies would close as a matter of conscience. Yet by the end of that year (and after resigning) he had been received into the Roman Catholic church, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi stating that “The choice of joining the Catholic church made by such an authoritative personality can only arouse joy and respect.” Is that how you felt, Jack? Blair’s criticism of the Vatican’s attitudes in a 2009 interview in the gay magazine Attitude shows that his views did not change. Was he required to make the usual confirmation/conversion declaration, that he believed everything taught by the Roman Catholic church was from God?

          • Anton, are you a member of SNAP or the SPLC? You seem to spend a good deal of time gathering dirt on the Catholic Church.

          • dannybhoy

            You didn’t answer the question Jacko..

          • How is Jack expected to comment on Tony Blair’s entrance to the Church. Cardinal Vincent Nicholls is the man to ask about the particulars. In Jack’s day, before Confirmation, one had to study Church teachings and could expect the Bishop to question you on these. Nowadays?

          • dannybhoy

            Alright, alright!
            Keep your titfer on.
            Perhaps there was a large donation or some string pulling going on?
            (I am a fan of the late lamented Father Ted and his sidekick Dougal..)

          • Feck off then …

          • dannybhoy

            🙂

          • James M

            Is this an ecumenical matter ?

          • dannybhoy

            YHESS!

          • Anton

            Never heard of them Jack. I went through a phase of educating myself on Roman Catholicism a few years ago and keep up to date but I don’t spend “a good deal of time gathering dirt” on it as that’s not a good use of time. Do you consider it possible that the bar was lowered for Blair given how much worldly influence he has?

          • Anton, it’s not really for Jack to comment …. but ….

            Blair’s voting record on homosexual adoption and stem cell research was certainly not Catholic and many did wonder at the time how a politician with his past could be admitted to the church.

            An Anglican, Mr Blair attended Mass with his Catholic wife. He described himself as an “ecumenical Christian”. In 1996, Cardinal Hume wrote asking him to stop taking the Eucharist at a Catholic church in Islington. He agreed, but wrote back saying: “I wonder what Jesus would have made of it.” Arrogant, or what?

            Is he Catholic? Converts cannot cherry-pick which parts of the faith they agree with. Cradle Catholics can and do dissent, but converts have to sign up to the whole package. Perhaps he changed his mind on certain issues at the time; perhaps he wasn’t truthful; perhaps he’s changed his mind again; perhaps he wasn’t asked.

            Jack just don’t know. Jack “wonders what Jesus would have made of it.”

            .

          • “I went through a phase of educating myself on Roman Catholicism a few years ago … “

            Lol … is that what you call it? Looking for signs of the coming of the son of perdition, were you?

          • Anton

            I wrote up what I learned, because I became convinced that Roman Catholicism was a perverted form of Christianity and because too many protestant attacks on it that involve church history fail to go back to original sources, or fail to take into account Catholic responses already made.

            I don’t believe that a future Pope will be the evil whole-world dictator spoken of in the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse, ‘the Antichrist’. But I can understand why many of the Reformers took that view at a time when Europe was conquering much of the rest of the world and the Roman Catholic church had far more worldly power. And I don’t rule out that a future Pope will be the False Prophet spoken of therein, the spiritual henchman of the Antichrist, in a global-scale repeat of the uneasy partnership of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Papacy.

          • dannybhoy

            Wow!
            Just read that. Prertty darn good Anton..
            There are people who believe the AntiChrist will come from Islam,
            That’s a really good sentence though…
            “But I can understand why many of the Reformers took that view at a time
            when Europe was conquering much of the rest of the world and the Roman
            Catholic church had far more worldly power.”
            That’s what I think too. In fact any church which is so structured with a strong emphasis on obedience to authority is more open to being led astray from the top…

          • Anton

            Satan has had more success attacking the church from within than by persecution from without.

          • James M

            The sacraments – in this case, confirmation – can’t be doctored to accommodate them to the mighty of the world. Human respect is forbidden in the NT, and that has not changed.

          • Anton

            So you are confirming that the bar was not lowered for Blair?

        • As Jesus asked His followers: “”But who do you say that I am?”

          • The Explorer

            Danny seems to have gone quiet, unless he’s wheeling out the heavy artillery to let us have it.

          • dannybhoy

            He’s busy ringing Linus…

          • hadda

            Careful, you might summon him

        • The Explorer

          Not just Paul. You’ve got to get past John as well. Actually, Paul says in ‘Galatians’ and ‘1 Corinthians’ that he visited Jerusalem to make sure he was saying the same thing as the leaders there. No not just John: James and Peter as well. .

          • not a machine

            yes I am oft to quote St Paul but forget St John the Bapist in this subject , and you are quite right about serious an error that is in understanding Jesus and his presence both in his time and our own

    • The Explorer

      ‘Many chosen ones’. Could you list a few: so that we can see which chosen ones, which religions, and what they were chosen to do?

      • James M
        • The Explorer

          Thank you. Good suggestion. Pity Danny couldn’t have made it himself, given that he raised the topic in the first place. I think he’s a bit of a religious syncretist. He’s picking up on Muhammad’s idea of every nation having been given a messenger. (Until Muhammad, of course, who supersedes them all.)

    • God, Sir, is what He knows Himself to be. When we create gods after our own image, little gods who approve the things we approve of, it is called idolatry. The practice cannot be commended.

      Kind regards.

      • Pubcrawler

        Well said. It’s a bit like ‘the theology of where I’m coming from’.

    • Shadrach Fire

      We have a very righteous God.

      • dannybhoy

        A very righteous and holy and compassionate God. God does not want to make people unhappy, gay guy, and just because He says all sex sin (homosexuality, adultery, fornication, pornography) is wrong, it doesn’t mean that He just can’t wait to squash ya!
        God knows that all those things never bring us real happiness, because real happiness is only found in a trrue relationship with the Father through the Son.

  • Ms Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, was officially invited to Westminster to lay a wreath with other party leaders. She declined in favour of attending a local commemorative event and then a “Women’s Pledge” political meeting in Glasgow. Nigel Farage was not invited to do so. Needless to say, he was there.

  • ibnt
  • bmudmai

    Oh dear oh dear. That’s all I have to say about this.

  • XH558

    We are fortunate that they did not throw in the late King Abdullah for good ecumenical, geopolitical measure.

  • Inspector General

    From God’s point of view, it is quite straight forward. We either shun Mohamedism and make a good job of it, or we allow ourselves to be slowly immersed by the beast, quicksand like. In other words, we cease to be Christian, which is rather ungrateful after all the pain and effort and suffering Jesus went through, not to mention rejecting God’s providence in sending Christ to us.

    One suspects God will have no trouble whatsoever binning the lot of us if that be the case, and we would, in truth, richly deserve abandonment. So let’s not act as if we deserve abandonment then, what!

    Not much we can do about it, if we invite the Saracen into our holy buildings and the blighters recite their whatever in there. Damn rude, if you ask the Inspector. We could take a stick to them, one supposes, but then, it is an act of hospitality allowing them in, and we must be understanding hosts. Probably.

  • Inspector General

    On a different topic chaps there’s some splendid news. PN reports “UKIP has pledged to create a ‘conscience clause’ that would give Christians exemptions from anti-discrimination laws (sic).”

    “The document was released via churches and anti-gay group Christian Concern – and not circulated via the official UKIP website or to the press.”

    “Nigel Farage claims in the manifesto: “Sadly, I think UKIP is the only major political party left in Britain that still cherishes our Judaeo-Christian heritage. I believe other parties have deliberately marginalised our nation’s faith, whereas we take Christian values and traditions into consideration when making policy.”

    There is no proposal to repeal SSM, but if it means that Christian sensibilities are protected, then would that be such a bad thing? The inmates on PN are aghast. How can Christian conscience be accommodated if it goes against the wishes of militant homosexuals, they ask. There are also the usual warnings about the imminent return of slavery and skin colour discrimination resulting, though God knows where they got that from. Oh yes, it also means the end of mixed race marriages too, so they say. It’s a queer world over there, I can tell you…Makes you wonder if their anti viral medicines affect brain function and cognitive ability, what!

    Perhaps our esteemed host, who carries not inconsiderable weight of influence, can dispatch a congratulatory telegram to Farage at the earliest. Convey our

    heartfelt appreciation that the man is with us in deed, when others, who have ungratefully received our sterling support in times past, are not…

    • Inspector General

      Where have all the Christians gone?
      Long time passing
      Where have all the Christians gone?
      Long time ago

      Where have all the Christians gone?
      Gone to UKIP, every one
      When will the Torys learn?
      When will they ever learn?

    • dannybhoy

      I think a conscience clause for the individual, businesses and churches would be great, but there is an elephant in the room is there not?

      • Inspector General

        Off you go, Danny….

      • The biggest issue not being discussed at all in this wretched apology for an election campaign is the issue of freedom of thought, conscience and speech. I’m disappointed that even UKIP, of which I am a member, hasn’t made more of it.

        5 more years of LibLabCon and we will be increasingly looking over our shoulders and posting under aliases for fear of being denounced to the Thought Police. The most effective censorship is the one that you are hardly aware of…you just know what not to say..

    • not a machine

      how about some socialist discrimination laws …… how would they like it on them…… ?

    • Simon

      Politics and Religion! A strong mix, but one I have to agree with. Equality Legislation is now interpreted that one’s preference for the sex of the person one has sexual relations with is superior to the right to profess one’s faith in the way one speaks or conducts one’s business. On what grounds, other than that of evolving political correctness, or rather decadence, I cannot attest. Only UKIP in Britain, and the DUP in N Ireland, now stand for freedom of faith: living, working and speaking in accordance with one’s faith, and in particular the Christian faith that has been the principal precept of Sovereign sand Parliament alike these 1700 years since Constantine became Emperor in York.
      Let this be shouted from the pulpits, Father, not just whispered in private grief. So be it.

    • Simon

      The #UKIP commitment to legal protection of Christians in this regard is reported in the @Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11566605/Ukip-offers-Christians-who-object-to-gay-marriage-special-legal-protection.html

  • “God is not an Englishman”, no, but this was the Englishmen in England in the Christian Church giving thanks to God. Why are we thanking Allah?
    Allah is the devil in disguise as a God.

    • Simon
  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,

    An amazing testament to the lack of faith of those who chose to include this prayer in a service in our foremost cathedral, built in 1245 on a site used from at least 1066 as a Christian place of worship and probably before then.

    Those Kings that went on Crusades would be appalled at the concept that Mohamed was a real prophet of God. Even today, particularly today, what would the Christian martyrs of IS say at this prayer. Did they die in vain?

    What would Cannon White from Baghdad say, all the persecution that he and his church have gone through, the denomination, CofE, that he belongs to, should venerate the man whose teachings have caused so much violence and persecution throughout the centuries.

    Yes, he would pray for his enemies and those who despitefully use you, but that is very different from venerating him.

    Was this just a precursor to having Muslims involved in the next coronation?

    • The Explorer

      Very pertinent question. Just Muslims? If others, what will the criteria be for inclusion? Global numbers? British numbers?

      • avi barzel

        Yeah, thanks a lot. With 0.2 percentage of the world’s population, I’d be lucky to be let into the courtyard. With my own tuna sandwich in my pocket for the feast.

        • Pubcrawler

          Just make sure you’re Prime Minister in time

          • avi barzel

            Seems like to much work. If you would hold your nose and vote for Ed…

          • Pubcrawler

            Not in a million years. (I meant of Canada in your case.)

          • avi barzel

            What? And go up against Pretty Boy Justin of the Liberals who knocked out a senator in a charity boxing match?

          • Pubcrawler

            Weaponise the pickled herring.

          • avi barzel

            LOL

          • CliveM

            Hmm Hannah once suggested we should make a pitch for your Prime Minister? How’s his job security looking?

          • avi barzel

            Not too shabby, although it will be a battle. Justin Trudeau, the fluff-head Wunderkind who’s been a hot item with middle aged school teachers and the wuasi-cognizant yoots, has been losing his sheen with every nitwittery that drops out of his mouth. Fun and games with Wunderkind are all fine when not much is happening, but after the Parliament gunman and other scares, Canadians are worried about terrorism and the Liberals’ wimpiness on that topic. Plus, PM Harper has kept the economy and employment stats on a grodecent growth track, especially in relation to the US and its dangerous madman in the White House.

          • CliveM

            Pity!

            It’s always good to have a neighbour showing you what not to do.

            We have France……..,

          • avi barzel

            Yeah, except compared to the might of the US and the size of Canada it’s…to borrow one of France’s famous lines…a shitty little country.

          • CliveM

            I hope you are referring to France :0(

          • dannybhoy

            Lol!

    • James M

      Trust the liberal Christophobes to spit on the memory of His Martyrs. They love their enemies so well that they have no love left for their brethren. They are no different from the Commie-loving clergy who refused to accept that Christians were persecuted & tortured for Christ by these very Communists. I think I will call this Paul VI disease, for he was a leading practitioner of this nonsense.

      For the C of E to venerate the proto-Hitler whose disciples have slaughtered tens of thousands in recent years, have crucified them, burned or buried them alive, drowned them, enslaved or raped or buggered them, is beyond obscene. Islam is Satanic – it even “denies that Christ is come in the flesh”, which St John says is a characteristic of A/antichrist . If the C of E wants to honour an antiChrist, then God help it, for no-one else can.

  • avi barzel

    Goodness, Your Grace; I’ve been caught napping and no one thought to inform me promptly that the ecumenical door’s been verily torn off its squeaky old hinges by the looks of things. Verily, a free-for-all. Should’ve been at Westminster, bright an’ early, slipping in a request for blessings in Hebrew over plates of prettily laid-out shmaltz herring filets glistening in their full glory on a soft bed of thinly sliced onions, perhaps even smoked lox (arranged like rose petals) to go with the cream cheese and bagels (standard inclusion for the weak of stomach and character) and if it’s not too much to ask, a couple of bottles of scotch… no specific request, anything with a “Glen” in the name will do, but not too peaty, thank you very much and bless you ever so kindly. One’s assuming you’ll be buying, no doubt, seeing how it’s your own church and all….

    • CliveM

      Better not include the Scotch, someone might mistake it for communion wine.

      • avi barzel

        Fine, then. I’ll take the scotch for safe-keeping.

        • CliveM

          That would be best.

        • Pubcrawler

          We might need to have a little ‘interfaith dialogue’ about that . . .

          • avi barzel

            It was merely a suggestion. No, you didn’t actually think… Come to think of it, scotch might be offensive to the Mohammedans, so we might want to move the dialogue…and the bottles…to a vacant vestibule.

          • Pubcrawler

            I can see we’ll be getting along just fine.

          • CliveM

            Is there anything civilised that your Mohammedans don’t find offensive?

            I’ll snatch the communion wine. Should be decent stuff from the Abby.

          • avi barzel

            Not my Mohammedans. You guys decided to pass on the Hong Kong Chinese and now we, here in Canada, got saddled with their trainloads of investment capital, pesky business acumen and annoyingly eager work ethics. The Middle East is closer, anyway, and shawarma beats chop suey hands down. Don’t worry, just a few crinkles to work out. Things will get better. Probably.

          • CliveM

            Have you not heard of the devilish, fighting Wongs? Cause pandemonium and havoc, death and destruction.

            Your average peace loving Mohammedan, a joy to welcome. But wait, I’ve an idea. In the spirit of neighbourliness I’ll see about doing a swap?

            Can’t say fairer then that, can I?

          • avi barzel

            Goodness, no, couldn’t do this to our mother country. We’ll hang on to the Chinese with their infernal Ferraris and Lamborghinis, their maddening politeness, their hooligan kids mobbing the university libraries until closing time, conspiring in whispers how to nab that second doctorate in physics….gives one nightmares, it does.

            Couldn’t do hoist them on you, old boy, we’re just stuck with ’em.

          • CliveM

            Well I tried.

          • carl jacobs

            Be careful what you ask for. Avi has a propensity to associate some unpalatable inedible gunk with Scotch. You might get more then you expected.

        • James M

          It might “go off” with the salmon & sturgeon.

    • sarky

      Prefer a couple of bottles of ‘jack’ 🙂

    • Simon

      Romans 11:17-18 (ESV)
      But if some of the branches [Jews] were broken off, and you [gentiles], although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root [Jews] of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.

  • Pubcrawler

    Out of interest, were there any representatives from the Armenian community? Did they get to say any prayers?

  • 3Dunedain90

    This is another ugly example of the Church of England trying to manage its confusion and timidity, decadence and decline. To actually allow, in the name of good manners and tolerance, a prayer in Westminster Abbey that subjugates the name of the King of kings to a false prophet of a false faith is a prime example of the growing apostasy in the English church. No wonder Islam has built its largest Mosque outside London. Perhaps it is time for another crusade to win back lost territory before it’s too late!

    • Simon

      A Crusade against the Islamic State, and their evil theology, is urgently required now, if Christianity is to remain: – not just in the Holy Land or the Middle East, but in Africa. This must also be fought in the minds of Moslems globally. Fuelled by oil money, inspired by the Koran and deluded by blood lust, they will not stop until crushed both on the battlefield and in the mind. The Koran can reasonably be interpreted in a manner that underpins their theology. A whole chapter is entitled “The Spoils of War”. We cannot placate IS anymore than we could Nazism. Until tanks smash their way to their “Berlin Bunker” and we act to re-educate as we did in Germany, this crusade must continue. We have barely started.

  • Inspector General

    Anyone know if Jesus shared the stage with any Roman gods…

    • The Explorer

      The seven cities of ‘Revelation’ mostly had temples to particular divinities: Ephesus -Artemis, Smyrna – Roman Emperor, Pergamum – Asclepius, Sardis – Cybele, Philadelphia – Dionysus. Christ claims lordship over the lot of them.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector wishes well to all true Anglicans who seek to return their church from the weak and watery doctrine of humanism that has engulfed it. That it now supercedes God’s truth is lamentable. There can be no other reason a hostile and malevolent force was invited into the abbey. Do rest assured that a place is ready for you in Rome should you become exhausted. But until then, fight the good fight until you can no longer. Take your church back!!!

    God save Britain, God save the Queen!!

    • not a machine

      The inspector General offers a spirited contemplation 🙂

      • He started on the whiskey early …

        • carl jacobs

          No, no, no. He’s only allowed three units. And that only every other day.

    • Catrina Bennett

      I researched church history and nearly became Roman 17 years ago, but there is too much which has changed from the Spirit and life of Christ and the Apostolic Church of the first 500 years of the Faith.
      Rome needs to repent of pride and innovated dogmas (Jesus needs no vicar on earth, unless He is absent?!), and return to the humility of the Orthodox Catholic Faith.

      • dannybhoy

        “and innovated dogmas”
        Innovated, or invented?
        I have enough problems with the CofE and its Ministry of Funny Rituals and Ceremonies. I’d never cope with full on 100% proof Catholicism….

      • Inspector General

        That’s easy enough to deal with. Just use the Roman church as the excellent vehicle it is to worship God. Don’t worry about dogmas or anything man made which goes against the sensibilities. Just be grateful for a no nonsense church that won’t put you on a guilt trip because of the poor that are always with us. Remember, they too will hit the jackpot on death, if they’ve been good poor that is, not nasty poor…

      • Inspector General

        Almost forgot. Until this man can shake Christ by the hand on this earth, he needs a vicar…

        • dannybhoy

          No you don’t!
          A vicar is a man just like you. Saved by grace.
          You think when Jesus and the disciples were camped out by Lake Tiberias they sat and quoted Scripture at each other and earnestly discussed deep theological mattters ’til the small hours?
          Nah!!!
          There would have been banter and laughter and grumbling..
          You would have fitted right in…..

          • Inspector General

            We need holy men around. Don’t kid yourself we don’t…

          • dannybhoy

            We are holy if we abide in Christ Jesus. He is the tree we are the branches..
            Sorry old pal, but search the New Testament and you won’t find anything that says you or I need a vicar to intercede for us..
            My vicar knows I respect him in his calling, but he also knows I regard him as a brother in Christ. He accepts me praying for him, he listens to me and pokes fun at me.
            That’s how it should be.

          • Inspector General

            Always liked the idea of a holy man praying for one’s wretched carcass, and soul therein…

          • dannybhoy

            That there are believers further along in the process of sanctification, I have no doubt.
            Men and women who have yielded more of themselves to Christ than you or I have.
            Sometimes though, we put others on pedestals so that we can go on doing what we really want to do or be, then focus on their holiness rather than our own self indulgence….
            🙂

          • Inspector General

            Your second sentence has it. We are after all, mere flesh and blood. It’s God’s creation that we be like that, and unlike many, this man has absolutely no guilt about one’s state resulting…

          • dannybhoy

            You belong to God Inspector. Jesus redeemed you by His death on the Cross.
            He’ll sort you out…

    • dannybhoy

      I’m a Cathar.
      Me too??

      • Inspector General

        Can’t hang a label on the Inspector. He’s a one off. There will never be another…

        • dannybhoy

          You are indeed special, loved as a son by our compassionate and understanding God, who knows we need all kinds in the Kingdom…
          I love the fact that God loves each one of us despite our failings..

          Thy Loving Kindness (Is Better Than Life)
          Verse 1
          Thy loving kindness is better than life,
          Thy loving kindness is better than life
          My lips shall praise Thee
          Thus will I bless Thee,
          Thy loving kindness is better than life

          Verse 2
          I will lift my hands up unto Thy name
          I will lift my hands up unto Thy name
          My lips shall praise Thee
          Thus will I bless Thee
          Thy loving kindness is better than life

          AMEN!!

  • not a machine

    I don’t whether my intellectual side is considering your graces article or not but I shall have a go.
    “when a child I thought as a child” if you had a reasonable childhood you perhaps may look back on yourself and see your curiosities having to be answered rather simply mums can be quite harsh if they sense children are getting ideas that disrupt the education they might want for there children , to be , well, just happy ,they perhaps understand when learning tires children and when it may cause harm .
    So learning about things comes with encountering difficult thought process which do not seem to ease with age, begin talking about a religious organisation and things will get rather difficult as some will have a view different to others .
    I was at a church some 10 yrs ago and it was the joyous worship of modern music and people speaking out in prayer , including a prayer that Islam would come to see the truth and love of Christ , a lady noticing I was a new face came over and discussed with me how much similarity there was between Islam and Christianity as so much of old testament is common . I think I only went to that church once more even though very busy with students.
    Allah is the name for god in Arabic so your graces corrects a common error that Arab Christians have prayed to Allah longer than Muslims have which perhaps puts into mind why a prophet as in some ways the son (and preached as the son throughout those lands) had been in existence for good few hundred years before Mohammed took down the notes that he received from Allah to compose the Quran. One wonders being as the language was hardly unfamiliar within the area what the first ecumenical dialogues were like , but then fairly early on sunni and shia got going and thankfully our early church had already had some great thinkers of theology and even conversion of the roman empire, but we perhaps shouldn’t forget the bloody martyrdom that occurred before Constantine.
    Recent news reports of Islam organising itself into places and positions to bring in yet more Islam tells me something that Islam does not understand or indeed facilitates any ability to consider it may be wrong , unlike perhaps Christianity which has split into groups that now consider God a bit of problem .
    You perhaps might want to consider that pretty much every Islamic country in the modern era has been run a dictator or at least highly corrupt political constructs compared to Europe , but even then when western powers have tried to liberate and give some choice and freedom ,Islam does not seem to grasp why it may be better to organise your affairs around good and honest democracy, nor accept that good and honest democracy may have boosted (via discussion) the evaluation of some ideologies and thinking. Islam has missed out on a great many things that it declares its adherents mustn’t touch or believe and hermetically seals itself into continual Jihad like the socialists do .
    If like me you think about things and consider the Christian faith as not only something true but relevant despite the heavy onslaughts of the philosophers and very taxing discussions around multifaith , you still have to consider what you are saying because the questions do not appear to me , to get any more bite size the older you get. It isn’t perhaps much help but I often consider the oppressed jews and that moment when educated Pilot askes the crowd/educated priests if he should free Jesus or Barabas and the crowd rather than opt for a contemplative moment opt for the violent freedom fighter, simultaneously condemning gods son to not only die but to full fill the scripture.
    It saddens me we perhaps now need a freedom of conscience clause from UKIP as a way to allow the Christian faith to flourish in the UK where other parties have deliberately injured it and held it back or given it some new thinking or debilitating thinking.
    I don’t know where that lady is from 10yrs ago who joyfully told me we had so much in common is or if she is sat in front of the telly watching gay men being thrown to their deaths from buildings or Christians lined up and shot or even a man burning alive for a Isis you tube promotion video.
    but then in a church a few weeks ago I offered the peace to a young man who (was perhaps gay) and had left Islam due to its out casting of him and had converted to Christianity and I had a great deal to think about how God loves .

  • Mike Stallard

    Just wait for the coronation of King Charles III…

  • IrishNeanderthal

    In a comment to Telegraph Letters yesterday (28th), someone suggested that in 5 years’ time we will have the Mosque of England.

  • CliveM

    http://www.westminster-abbey.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/38930/Web-friendly-Anzac-service.pdf

    Curiouser and curiouser. See link to PDF copy Anzac Day Order of Service. I can find no reference to the prayer on it. The Turkish Ambassador did do a reading, but nothing religious.

    So why is it not included in the OoS? Was Westminster ashamed or was it a late addition, or were they concerned about a pre-Service out cry?

    Or am I blind and it is there!

  • Linus

    All very satisfactory! Christianity is proceeding quite nicely along the trajectory of dissolution and decay laid out for it by the liberal Church.

    Today Muslim prayers in Westminster Abbey, tomorrow a Baha’i 19 day feast and prayer gathering in Canterbury Cathedral, next week a Scientology symposium at Lambeth Palace. One day it will all blend into a syncretist “spiritual” super-creed with a smorgasbord of options and no obligations, and from there Atheism is only a matter of time.

    • The Explorer

      A spiritual smorgasbord is certainly one possible trajectory. Another is that Islam will emerge triumphant out of the mishmash, and put an end to the multi-faith society. I won’t mention the third option because it would annoy you, and I’d hate to do that.

      • Linus

        Ah, so we’re back to your standard “Islam as bogeyman” argument, are we? Mad mullahs and the tiny minority they represent will somehow take us over and enslave us all, eh?

        Is it a real paranoid delusion or just a cynical attempt to manipulate others for you own political gain? It seems to me there are elements of both in your arguments.

        • The Explorer

          1. Where did I say that mullahs are mad? And Islam, if it is true to itself, cannot say other religions are true relative to itself, any more than Christianity can of itself. Multi faith, for Islam is tolerated until something can be done about it.

          2. Where did I mention a timescale? But when one group breeds and another group doesn’t, what was a minority can become a majority over time. As an actual for instance, in 1960, those of European origin were 90% of the US population. By 2010, following the 1965 Immigration Act, they were 65%. By 2050, they are predicted to be the largest minority group. BY 2090, they are predicted to be a minority group outright.

        • dannybhoy

          Islam may well be the means by which God purifies His Church in the West Linus.

    • Martin

      Linus

      Don’t worry, God’s religion will never decay.

    • dannybhoy

      I thought you were getting ready for the big event?
      “One day it will all blend into a syncretist “spiritual” super-creed with
      a smorgasbord of options and no obligations, and from there Atheism is
      only a matter of time.”

      (But they still won’t accept same sex marriage… 🙂 )

      • Linus

        They won’t accept same-sex marriage? Like the North American Episcopalians and Presbyterians, you mean? Or the Swedish Lutherans?

        The more liberal the Church, the more readily they accept same-sex marriage. And Churches are becoming ever more liberal. Look at the Anglicans. First divorce and remarriage, then contraception, then women priests, and now women bishops. Same-sex marriage is only a matter of time.

        Yes, perhaps one day your little prince will march down the aisle with his new husband on his arm. The queen will officially be the oldest woman in the world by that stage and as deaf and blind as she’ll be (but still hanging on for dear life to make sure her son never gets his hands on the wheel), it will be easy to convince the old Struldbrug that nothing untoward is happening. Another shot of gin and Dubonnet in her drip and she’ll be as happy as any other spoiled and pampered geriatric. And if by some offchance she has a rare moment of lucidity and starts to object, all they’ll need to do to calm her down is say “it could be worse, Madge. At least he isn’t a Catholic…”

        • The Explorer

          Linus old yahoo,
          Do keep up. It won’t be his husband on his arm. Things will have moved on by then. It’ll be his horse.

          • Linus

            His horse or his mare?

            In any case, I doubt the Church will accept such an unusual wedding. Neither will the law. There’s a small matter of lack of informed consent that prevents marriage between adults and children, or animals, or inanimate objects.

            We had a case here a couple of years ago of a deranged American woman who came to Paris in order to marry the Eiffel Tower.

            She showed up at the Mairie of the 7th arrondissement in a wedding dress demanding the appropriate forms for a civil marriage and listed her prospective spouse as “le Tour Eiffel” (sic).

            When queried by the registrar on duty, she claimed that “he” (the Tower) was a sentient being who had expressed a wish to marry her. The bemused registrar pointed out that unless she could get the Tower’s signature on the form indicating informed consent to such a union, he wouldn’t be able to conduct the wedding.

            Unfazed, the deluded (but sharper usual) woman then produced a pen with a small Eiffel Tower stuck on the end and signed the form in triumph!

            Realising that he was dealing with someone who was mentally unstable and might make a scene (or worse) if turned away too brusquely, the clever registrar thought for a moment and then came up with the perfect solution.

            The bride had listed her prospective groom as “le” Tour Eiffel, which would make “him” masculine. Towers are however feminine in French, so all the registrar had to do was point out that although the government was working on a same-sex marriage law, it hadn’t yet been passed, so he would be forced to decline her request to marry another woman. She should come back next year and try then…

            Crestfallen and angry, the disappointed woman stormed out of the Mairie, went to the Tower with her “priest”, several photographers and a camera crew in tow and “married” it anyway. Which of course she had a perfect right to do. The Republic does not recognise the union, but what does that matter if the couple love each other and are happy?

            Of course we don’t know what the Tower thinks about “his” wedding or “his” bride. The camera crew did attempt an interview, however the reponses were inaudible…

          • The Explorer

            Linus old horse fly,
            Foal or mare? Either of course, according to orientation. As to consent, if a horse will consent to be ridden…
            The Tower is more problematic. Quite some consummation! I can see a whole new breed of lawyers is needed. As well as human rights lawyers, we’re going to need vegetable rights lawyers, and mineral rights lawyers (in this new, specific sense.)
            As to official disapproval…. The Church, as you say, is becoming more liberal. The Law? Well, doesn’t anything go these days? It will by then, anyway. Informed consent? The way education’s going, information will be a thing of the past.

          • Linus

            A horse does not consent to be ridden. It submits.

            Animals are incapable of giving informed consent as they lack the requisite level of sentience. One would have thought that three year old children were also below the required threshold, although who knows exactly where the boundary falls?

            In any case, I wouldn’t base your arguments on articles you read in the sensationalist press. Three year olds being required to sign anything sounds like the invention of a fevered journalistic imagination to me. Or perhaps not so much “imagination”, as a cynical attempt to get people like you squawking and flapping about like offended conservative Chicken Littles. Shock and outrage sell redtop newspapers.

            And speaking of all things fowl, as my late lamented grand-mère used to say of a particularly nervous and hysterical English cousin who latched on to my family one summer like a limpet and just wouldn’t let go, “That girl will be a talented pastry chef one day. I’ve never seen anyone whip up quite such a huge meringue out of a single small eggwhite.”

            The crisis that provoked such a withering comment was a sudden “heatwave” when temperatures soared from the early to the late twenties. The (relative) heat clearly didn’t suit my poor cousin, who parked herself under a parasol in the hottest part of the pool courtyard (almost as if she wanted to suffer) and moaned in broken French “eu oïlle, je souis treille treille chaude, ceille l’onnefaire, lâ fanne dou monde!!!” for a week.

            Perhaps you’re related to her, dear fantasist of an Explorer. Whenever anything you don’t like happens, you extrapolate it and blow it up to hysterical proportions. A couple of days of 28 degrees was the start of a Saharan drought that would kill all life on the planet for my cousin. Gay marriage is the precursor of the apocalypse for you.

            Have fun rehearsing your drama queen act. Associate it with drag and you might even land yourself a TV talkshow. Madame Explorer and Her Tales of Christian Woe! A comedy hit on Pink TV…

          • The Explorer

            Why Chicken Little is running. Peter Singer chasing him with a consent form.

          • James M

            That must mean horses are Muslim, for Islam = submission.

          • The Explorer

            Don’t make fun of Linus’ serious points! He’ll be adding you to his hate list!

          • Linus

            Christianity = submission, to God’s will.

            Of course in a roundabout fashion it also means the triumph of the self, because God is just the name humans give to their own ego-projection, so the worship of God is really the worship of the self.

            Christians are like anorexics, submitting their real selves to an idealized vision of what they should be, and the Devil take anyone or anything that stands in their way. Even them. Through submission they hope to gain the ultimate triumph of will in deification.

            That’s the Christian paradox. It’s all about gaining power by submitting the inadequate real self to the perfect imagined self. There’s submission and the exercise of power all rolled up into one stressed and toxic package. No wonder they’re so upset and angry all the time.

          • James M

            Christianity is a web of paradoxes. I think the post overlooks the Reality of God, Who is no passive spectator of human psychology & volition. the Christian life is about union with God in Christ through the Holy Spirit – not a purely human exercise in self-improvement.

          • Linus

            There is no “Reality” of God. If there were, you’d be able to present convincing evidence of his existence.

            The Christian life is about how to close the gap between the real self and an idealized vision of what you think you should to be. There’s just enough realism in the philosophy to admit that the chances of achieving perfection are slim to none, therefore you create a scenario whereby submission to the concept of perfection will gain it for you after you die, i.e. at a time when, rather conveniently, nobody can verify whether you’ve gained it or not.

            Christians don’t worship God, they worship a perfected ideal of themselves and call it God. We weren’t created in God’s image. God was created in our image. Or rather in the perfect image we’d like to possess rather than the flawed and imperfect reality that we actually see.

          • The Explorer

            I’ve been thinking some more about this consent thing.

            Back in the days of the Manchus, a farmer caught his wife with the lodger, and beheaded them both. At his trial, the judge threw the heads into a bucket, and stirred the water. The heads ended up facing one another; which proved affection; which proved the adultery. The husband was acquitted.

            That sort of thing has to be the way ahead. (Ouch!) Just a bit of creativity needed. I’m sure the lizards would approve.

    • James M

      Don Cupitt & Co. have got there already, with their Sea of Faith(lessness).

  • preacher

    This is also the 100th anniversary of the start of the genocide which resulted in the slaughter of 3.75 million Christians, mostly Armenians, but including Syrians,Greeks & others, plus the deportation of thousands more by the Ottoman empire.
    The Turkish administration has never recognised or admitted to this atrocity, & we must “forgive those that trespass against us”, but how can one forgive sins that are not admitted & repented of?.
    Now to find this happening in Westminster Abbey & the reference to Mohammed as ‘The Chosen One’ is of great concern & reveals the error of man’s acceptance of multi faith religion when divorced from the truth.

    • Ian G

      Romans 5:6 -11.

  • len

    If any one wanted any more evidence that the Cof E is run by PC indoctrinated morons this quite plainly is it.
    The C of E is doing more harm than good to the purposes of God as many Churches are doing today.
    As for the Church of Rome which sits atop a pagan boneyard what more can one say?.
    The Church as such has failed but the Spirit of God searches the Earth for those who seek the Truth and the Way to salvation which is Christ alone.

  • Catrina Bennett

    For Christians Isa, Yeshua, Jesus, is NOT a prophet! He is Emmanuel. God with us. He is God, the Son, who came as Messiah, Christ, to save His people from their sins.
    That’s why this being read in a Christian church is blasphemous.

  • Steve Mitton

    Gee, Why was Joseph Smith not included in the list of prophets? Oh yeah. Mormons have never decapitated anyone for disrespecting the Prophet. Cowards.

    • Lepanto

      I think you’ll find that this is debatable. There was an incident known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre during which an innocent group of non-Mormons travelling through Utah were slaughtered. Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, set up a group called the Danites who were charged with keeping the Saints in line with violence and sometimes murder and terrorizing outsiders who were not sufficiently respectful.

  • Robbins Mitchell

    Do these Anglican fools really believe that “allah” is the God of Abraham?..the God of Israel?….send this bunch back to Sunday School for some remedial Bible study

    • James M

      That assumes they ever went.

    • Nick Xylas

      As the article pointed out, if you’re an Arabic-speaking Christian, then “Allah” is indeed what you would call the God of Abraham. But then everyone knows that Arabic-speaking Christians are practically Muslims anyway. If they were *proper* Christians, they’d speak American English, just like Jesus did.

  • allah is dead

    maybe the priest likes the idea that muhammad had sex with 9 year old girls and is turned on by that

    • mike

      and Muhammad, Sallallaho alyhe wa sallama, also used vulgar, cusses in the Koran??

  • disqus_1VhMJcA5Yv

    islam = antichrist.

  • James M

    The degeneracy of the C of E is beyond belief 🙁 – why not be more up-to-date, and acknowledge the Prophet Joseph Smith & the Prophet Hitler, Founder of that estimable creed known as Nazism ? They are both very like the raghead Paedo (may corruption take hold on him).

    Why do clerics have these insane & anti-Christian ideas ? Catholic, Anglican, other Protestant (with some honourable exceptions), they’re as bad as each other. Whether it’s Smurfy-O’Connor defiling Westminster Cathedral with the recitation of the 99 names of allah, or these dimmies & their deceitful rubbish, there is no end of this cretinous lunacy. Thank God for C. S. Lewis & “The Last Battle” – these worshippers of “the great god Tash[lan]” are in for a surprise.

  • Perplexed

    The Turkish is a dead giveaway. This is the work of the US-based Turkish Hanefi sect (now banned in Turkey) called the Gülen Movement by independent observers and the Hizmet (‘Service’) by its own adherents. This group pushes a seemingly modernistic liberal version of Islam but is in fact traditional Sunni Hanefism underneath. During their ascendancy the Gülenists put hundreds of Turkish army officers and journalists and others on trial on trumped up charges–which to their shame much of the Western media and politicians swallowed. The fraud was exposed by a courageous British journalist in Istanbul. Latterly the Gülenists broke wıth the Turkish government, tried to bring it down on corruption charges — but lost out badly in the resulting power struggle. They still have a network of organisations across the world. Look up the Dialogue Society in London. It has a lot of influential UK friends.
    Westminster Abbey must have been utterly clueless to let this lot through their venerable portals.