Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Church of England "on brink of extinction"


The media love religious prophecies of doom and gloom, especially when they come from former archbishops of Canterbury and the story can be spun into a tacit criticism of their successors.

But George Carey has been predicting the imminent demise of the Church of England at least since 1996, when he first declared that the Church is always one generation away from extinction.

That was almost a generation ago, and we're still here. And if the Church is always one generation away from extinction, this Daily Mail headline tells us nothing new.

It's worth noting that naysayers and doom merchants have been prophesying the demise of the Church of England since its inception: that's five centuries of endurance against an imminent end.

This isn't a simply statistical numbers game: one cannot simply look at declining numbers of young people today and derive a reliable correlation with middle-aged congregations 25 years hence. There are too many variables at play, not least of which is the work of the Holy Spirit.

And there is a certain irony that Lord Carey chooses to rehash his bleak prediction at the very moment Synod is talking earnestly about evangelism and praying for a deep and powerful work of God in the land. Just as the Archbishop of York reminds us of the wise words of the late Canon David Watson, who preached: "Evangelise or fossilise", Lord Carey responds that the fossils are actually of greater scientific interest.

We do not convert people: God does. The Church of England is merely a participant in His mission: it is our task to reflect Jesus in our individual and corporate lives; to worship and to proclaim Christ in word and deed. The Church of England needs to find new ways of being church and fresh ways of communicating truth. Adaptation is the secret of survival.

Blogs have become pulpits, Twitter has replaced coffee mornings and Facebook has morphed into an expression of fellowship. There is no point grumbling about empty Victorian pews: the young people are contemplating God and the meaning of life somewhere more comfortable. If you want to reach them, Lord Carey, get blogging and open a Facebook account.

Jesus told parables; the Apostles preached sermons; we need to text and tweet.

The medium is the message

171 Comments:

Blogger Martin said...

But shouldn't we proclaim the gospel, and how do you do that if you don't know what the gospel is?

19 November 2013 08:53  
Blogger David said...

Oh no! Your Grace seems to have dropped the definite article. Doing church? Being church? Is the personal pronoun the next thing to go................?

19 November 2013 08:58  
Blogger HughOxford said...

How sad that this man thinks that Christianity can sometimes be behind the times, rather than that it is always beyond the times.

19 November 2013 09:03  
Blogger Malcolm Redfellow said...

Once upon a time we had Diderot's spleen: Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

Now it's more "Not with a bang, but a whimper".

All we need now is to stop whimpering. Or piggy-backing self-serving headlines coined for the likes of the Daily Mail.

19 November 2013 09:13  
Blogger graham wood said...

A house divided against itself cannot stand .........
Clergy v. Laity.
Professional or career "clergy" v The New Testament concept.
Entrenched institutionalism v. NT simplicity.
Restricted "priesthood". v. The true priesthood of all believers.
"Preaching" to church attendees. V. Preaching the Gospel to those who have never heard it. ......

So many reasons for this dying body

19 November 2013 09:35  
Blogger bluedog said...

Exactly right, Your Grace. Any Anglican church that is not running a website with facebook, twitter, RSS and all the other things your communicant can't use properly is missing an opportunity. It's no good waiting for parishioners to drive past the church to find the time of services, all this info needs to be available on line, together with some thoughts from the incumbent. That and a link to Your Grace's website should be enough to spark some interest. Lord Carey does not begin to understand the marketing of ideas through social media.

19 November 2013 10:36  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

Perhaps the Cof E is dying, perhaps not! But Jesus is not dead or dying. He is alive. And we must remember that we serve a God who is able to bring life to dead bones (Ezekiel 37 1-13) and bring salvation from hell's fires to repentant sinners. (After first putting into them the fear of hell and a desire to repent and turn.) If He chooses to save the Cof E from itself - He is well able to do it - regardless of our own doubts or reasonings.

19 November 2013 10:59  
Blogger John Wrake said...

YG,

Perhaps it is time to look again at those Articles of Religion which appear at the end of the BCP, with especial reference to Articles 18 and 19.

18 reminds us that being on the Church Electoral Roll or a member of Synod says nothing about our state of grace.

19 reminds us that the Church of Christ is defined by that grouping of people of faith in which the pure Word of God is preached and the Sacraments duly ministered.

the list of Churches which have erred, both in their living and in matters of Faith, serve to act as exemplars against which to measure the Church of England.

The Daily Mail has nothing by which to judge the state of affairs other than the Church of England Year Book and the deliberations of the General Synod.

Christians, however, will know where the pure Word of God is being preached and also, where it is not being preached and where there is error in manner of living. Those attributes do not necessarily accord with denominational labels.

John Wrake.

19 November 2013 11:03  
Blogger David B said...

If the Anglican Church is to survive don't you think that it must avoid headlines like another in the Mail Online today, concerning the alleged appalling goings on in and Australian Anglican orphanage?

I quote - "The inquiry was also told that children as young as five were forced to have oral sex.

CK, who left the home in 1958, said he was once made to sit at a table for ten hours because he refused to eat.
'If you threw up they made you eat the vomit and I was not going to do that', he was quoted by saying by Nine MSN.
He described one incident in which a matron beat three children so badly in a shower that there was blood running into the drain.
Many children went on to commit suicide, the hearing was told."

Of course, the Anglican church shouldn't cover such stories up, either.

David

19 November 2013 11:08  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Thank you for that Your Grace,

Lord Carey has, I fear, made himself into a certain type of journalists dream ticket, with headlines very time he speaks.

Part of the decline in church attending took place during his watch, that's just a fact. So is he I ask, in part at least, by appearing to hit out now, divesting himself of any feelings of culpability ? I honestly don't know, but my instincts tell me that this is not being supportive of those who are evengelizing.
I don't know, in the legal or scientific senses of "facts" whether Christianity in these islands, including the C of E, is dying or not. Only God knows. However I believe, I am confident that, that Christianity will survive, regardless of the fate of individual institutional frameworks. Each believer is asked to do their bit, faithfully, and that is what we must do, each and every believer. Our culture is incredibly toxic to believing as we are now worshippers of consumerism and yourselves, in seems.
But the light of the gospel will shine on in the darkness. Or as Catholic colleagues like to say, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against her". However unlike some of them, good people though they are, I see that as applying to the whole Church of God, which transcends institutional frameworks, which are the works of mankind, although often assisted by The Spirit.
Irene's Daughter, has the right approach I feel.

19 November 2013 11:17  
Blogger nwpilgrim said...

It is possible that you may be mistaken your Grace. We can be confident about the future of the Church (and maybe the Church in England) but, as things stand, we have little reason to be confident about the future of the C of E. Further, valuable as online information may be, it is no substitute for the preaching of the Word, the administration of the Sacraments, the fellowship of Christians and the discipline of the Church.

19 November 2013 11:36  
Blogger John M Ward said...

Much of the negativity we encounter comes from within the nominally Christian churches, and not just from 'former' senior bodies within them.

It was always part of Satan's methodology to infiltrate and subvert his enemy's strongholds (a somewhat obvious strategy, of course). By placing false Christians within the church and also by preying on the more elderly and frail minds already within it, he could undermine much of the good work being done there.

On a purely personal note, I found this quite helpful. I have never been much good at evangelising, despite having a reasonably good (and absolutely straight) face-to-face manner.

Perhaps God made me (and no doubt a number of others) this way in the full knowledge that we were intended to become of greater value in this particular age, not what obtained when (say) we first grew up.

Now that's what I call forward planning!

I had stopped my Sunday Slot 'blog posts in recent weeks: perhaps it's time to revive them.

19 November 2013 11:42  
Blogger John M Ward said...

I also find myself nodding in agreement with much of bluedog's comment just a couple of comments above.

Whenever a body structures itself to operate above the people, rather than alongside them, it becomes what the Roman Catholics and Muslims (among others, no doubt) have long been.

Then, one gets the word of man dominating, rather than (and often in contradiction to) the Word of God.

The use of modern technology to reach out to existing and potential congregation members is indeed vital. I took over the running of a church's website for a while, and have also learned from a friend who did much the same thing for another.

I think it could help if there were a more consistent approach to this, however, rather than ad hoc. Most such sites are lacking in one or another area that elsewhere is covered, i.e. at another church of the same denomination.

Perhaps a more corporate, template-and-guidance based approach from all the main and second-tier church denominations might make for a more complete and consistent offer to the British flock...

19 November 2013 11:50  
Blogger Corrigan said...

At the risk of sounding like a Catholic triumphalist (and for once, I'm actually serious here), the Church of England was created for nationalistic and political reasons, not for the sake of religion. Basically, if Catherine of Aragon had fired out a boy, the CofE wouldn't exist. It's function is now obsolete. Why is any genuinely religious Anglican hesitating about coming home?

19 November 2013 11:52  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Why do atheists continually drag up child abuse scandals which more or less stopped happening among the religious thirty years ago, even on threads the subject of which has nothing to do with it? According to the NSPCC, almost 20,000 sexual crimes were recorded against children in England and Wales LAST YEAR. Since Britain is an almost entirely secular, if not downright atheistic, country, why isn't our village atheist outraged about all those dangerous humanists out there?

19 November 2013 12:05  
Blogger nwpilgrim said...

@Corrigan. On that kind of logic we should all be Eastern Orthodox. Anglicans are such because they believe it possible to be catholic without being Roman. And they can be (I should say used to be) more faithful to Scripture to boot.

19 November 2013 12:08  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

This Israeli article examines the health of Christianity in Britain and Europe. The lip-licking Schadenfreude in the opening paragraph is regrettable and best ignored.

19 November 2013 12:11  
Blogger MFH said...

I think a simple return to the absolute authority of Gods word and preaching of the authentic Gospel i.e. sin and salvation would suffice to build the church.
The church need to preach as John Baptist, Jesus Christ and the apostles - repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The church worries too much about being like the people of this age - rather than being made fit for the eternal age to come.

19 November 2013 12:31  
Blogger useful in parts said...

Splendid - this fine journalistic tradition of the church end being nigh can always be relied on to liven up a slow news day http://bit.ly/1ddUWBx

19 November 2013 13:09  
Blogger Len said...

The Anglican Church need to separate itself from the State.This would ensure its survival not in its present form but it would then be possible for the church to preach an undiluted much more relative Gospel.
Successive Governments (Camerons 'rag bag Government' seems to be the worst) have forced their' progressive agenda`s 'onto the Church which has accepted these agenda`s with little protest.The Anglican Church seems in many cases to be merely an 'appendage' of the State.
The Anglican Church has lost a lot of credibility with true believers and the secular world alike as it moves away from Biblical principles and adopts 'worldly attitudes'.
There is an enormous campaign against Christianity headed up by secularists whose sole objective is to make the Church 'irrelevant' to modern living.
The' big guns' spearheading this campaign against Christianity are 'Evolution' (taught as 'fact')and the abolishing any sort of concept of 'right and wrong'.Everything is 'relative' now there is no right and no wrong .Who knows what the secular World might consider 'right' in a few years time?. Moral boundaries have been blurred and in some cases removed altogether!.
If there is no longer 'sin' who needs a Saviour?I believe these are the main objectives of secularists who want to build their own Godless 'Utopia' which will in actuality be the nearest thing to Hell on Earth.

19 November 2013 13:20  
Blogger Flossie said...

What is not 'of God' will eventually die.

It should not be forgotten that it was George Carey who enabled the ordination of women, resulting in the loss of 600 orthodox clergy and countless laity.

With momentum building up towards women bishops, and its inevitable follow-up of openly practising homosexual bishops, he cannot escape his share of the blame for this state of affairs.

It is my belief that the Church of England will eventually die (and deserves to! sad as this makes me, a lifelong Anglican) but that a new and vibrant Christianity will replace it.



19 November 2013 13:26  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Flossie,

My thinking tends in that direction as well. I do not like the idea of the C of E "dying" but what is far, far more important than propping up particular institutions, is the survival of the true Church, which cuts across denominational boundaries.

"The Spirit blows where it wills",

So mere man cannot foretell the future,

But,

'By their works ye shall know them".

19 November 2013 13:38  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Corrigan, you said;
Why is any genuinely religious Anglican hesitating about coming home? By 'Home' do you mean to the new teastament and 1st and 2nd century church? For that church has no resemblace to the RCC. Indeed I would say that the CofE was created to follow the teachings of Luther and his contempories, not Henry the VIII.

19 November 2013 14:16  
Blogger Corrigan said...

@nwpilgrim,

No, by my kind of logic, we should all be Catholic. As for Mr Integrity, I don't imagine he has any better insight into how the first century Christians lived than I do, but at least the institution of the Catholic Church, the body of Christ on Earth, charged with continuing His work, has been continuous through all that time.

19 November 2013 14:30  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I understand your views on the continuance of the CofE but as others have said, it is not one church, but many. The evangelicals are growing but the 'Oxford Movement' followers with their Anglo/catholic ministrations do nothing but put off any potential new believers except those that just want religion, not life.
As pointed out by 'The Ugly Vicar', there has not been an evangelical Bishop been appointed since the last century.
I like ecclesiastical music but only for the musical quality, it might raise my spirit but does little for my soul.
The CofE needs to reconsider its purpose and if a parish exists merely to tickle the ears of its aging parishioners with fairy tales, stories and unbelievable theology, it needs a total makeover.
I listened to the broadcast of Billy Graham this week in his 93rd year and the clips from his mainstream teaching brought back so much for me have been converted through his ministry in 66. There has not been such a man to my knowledge that has preached the cross so succinctly and with such power. I pray that god raises up another Billy Graham so that our nation might hear of Christ’s Redeeming Power.

19 November 2013 14:35  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Corrigan,
We all have plenty of insight into how the early church lived and behaved. It is written in the scriptures. It is not how the RC church was when Luther posted his famous declaration on the door.

19 November 2013 14:38  
Blogger DAD said...

Many years ago a visiting CoE minister (I forget his name) preached at our 'struggling' Pentecostal church. One thing he said so inspired me that I wrote it on the inside cover of my Bible.

"Many say that the church is dead, BUT Jesus has the ability to raise the dead".

19 November 2013 14:39  
Blogger Martin said...

Corrigan

The true home of the Christian in the CoE is with the other reformed churches outside the CoE. You can have the Anglo-Catholics tho'.

19 November 2013 15:05  
Blogger Martin said...

Graham

I think your diagnosis is substantially correct. The laity got rapped over the knuckles for taking a Scriptural path over women bishops, what role is there for them in a priest-craft dominated organisation?

19 November 2013 15:08  
Blogger Len said...

'Home' for any Christian is certainly not the Church of Rome.

'Rome' was never charged with carrying out the work of Christ, in fact Rome has corrupted the work of Christ and turned the Gospel for
their own gain.

The Holy Spirit carries out the 'work of Christ' and also reveals Truth.
(unlike the 'Church of Rome' which conceals Biblical truth in favour of its 'traditions'.)

So why do false Churches survive?.There are plenty of them around today Jesus reveals this in 'the Letters to the Churches' in the Book of Revelation.

I believe the answer to this question can be found in' the Book of Job'.
There is a war going on on planet Earth in basic terms good(or God) against evil...This is evident in the material World also the Spiritual World.

The secular World doesn`t even know its in a war but they are on the losing... side unless the Light of God`s Truth breaks through their inner darkness.

Jesus warns that he(we) who overcomes will get the crown of life.So Christians are beset with temptations, with despair,much as Bunyons' pilgrim' until they reach the end of their course.
Paul said "I have run the race"and indeed he had run the race with everything the enemy could throw at him but he endured right to the end.
God doesn``t always deliver Christians FROM things but often THROUGH things much as Daniel in 'the lions den.'
These are certainly turbulent times for Christians but certainly not time to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

19 November 2013 15:18  
Blogger buckthetrend said...

Is it not a truism that any religion that depends on converts is always one generation from extinction

19 November 2013 16:32  
Blogger Corrigan said...

I see Len is in self-justification mode again: "whatever I do is right because I'm sure the Holy Spirit would approve".

As for Martin, well thanks for the Anglo-Catholics; real big of you. However, my point was that whether they come home or stray further afield to the Church of Len and its clones is not relevant to the CofE; THAT church no longer retains the political purpose for which it was created and is now redundant, much like the Lutheranism which inspired it.

19 November 2013 16:51  
Blogger graham wood said...

Martin @ 1508. Indeed so, but I only listed a few of the more obvious symptoms.
I think what the C of E urgently needs is in depth structural reform of ministry and practice, and a full hearted return to the authority of Scripture rather than immersion in the doctrines of men.

That is not to say that there are not sound Evangelicals within it, but sadly they are imprisoned within the system.

19 November 2013 17:39  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 November 2013 18:02  
Blogger Hannah said...

Poor old George Carey. Soooo outspoken now, but he had an opportunity as he was the Archbis' for over 10 years. Why does the mouse roar now ?

As for the commentators here -OK , so if we assume that the Evangelicals and the Roman Catholics could divvy up the 'loot' of the remains of the C of E (churches, land, money, legacies) and it's 'committed' members at about 1.5 million, what about the other 57 million who aren't a member of other religions, but have a vague sense of cultural Christianity? As Johnny R has hinted, there isn't any guarantee that other parts of Christianity -in whatever form- will be the main benefactors of the snuffing out of the C of E and it does beg the question as to what will replace it (nationalism? secularism?, Islamic Jihadism, Christian fundamentalists?). As a non-Christian and a non-Anglican, that does fill me with slightly more than an ounce of worry.

PS- decided to buy the mail today thanks to this article, so I can get my 'nat king cole' CD- Oy Vey- it's FREE!

19 November 2013 18:03  
Blogger Len said...

Corrigan ,(sigh)
How can you miss the point so spectacularly every time?.
Catholic indoctrination I suppose?.

I don`t think the Catholic Church is doing that great at the moment either, thats probably why Frances is doing the rounds trying to drum up a bit of trade.Perhaps as Hannah suggest the Carholic Church has its eyes on some of the Anglican Church sites (must be worth a bit)with the 'purgatory' scam on the decline (what a 'nice little earner' that was (as Arthur Daly might have said?)perhaps the old Catholic coffers need topping up?.

19 November 2013 18:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Wiki uses a comprehensive “Conservation status” grading. Personally, one finds that the CoE is moving from Near Threatened to Vulnerable. The ‘wild’ of course is a convenient term for the undistinguished parish church. The great cathedrals and abbeys will continue to thrive, and consequently so will a traditional Anglicanism of sorts, as they exist in a state of artificiality in that these magnificent edifices will continue to attract worshippers from far and wide. An important part of our cultural heritage, of course. However, to reach these buildings, the faithful will be driving past their local church without much thought to it. A most lamentable state of affairs, what !

Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining.
Extinct in the Wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.
Critically Endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild.
Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild.
Near Threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future.
Least Concern (LC) – Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a higher risk category.

But all is definitely not lost. We are heading for a society with a large number of single retired people, living alone, with plenty of time on their hands. Their local church still offers, and will continue to offer, a social side with a self help ethos. The CoE will quietly go on in a somewhat geriatric manner, while the ‘young’ play outside…

19 November 2013 18:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

It’s a bit rich of Len to comment on this issue. He doesn’t do church, and spends a great deal of his time on here as a nuisance criticising those who do.

19 November 2013 18:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Haven't people been predicting the end of the world within one generation since Christ's worldly death?

19 November 2013 18:55  
Blogger Len said...

The only reason I can think that the Church of Rome has survived so long is because it assimilates other religions, much like a snowball rolling downhill. What might have started off with 'an element' of Christianity(a la Constantine)has been lost perhaps forever?. Catholicism started on an downward slope gathering momentum it assimilated pagan Rome as it rolled a bit further downhill(ever downhill)it assimilated the role of Caesar but called him 'the Pope' instead, same role, different name.The Pope tells everyone that he is infallible 'God like' just like Caesar.Then as each Pope had a 'good idea' this was embedded into the giant snowball and so it rolled through the Centuries until that little bit of Christianity at the onset was so buried that no one could see it anymore.
Then we have those who point to this monstrosity and tell us" this is the real thing" hoping no one notices that it bears no resemblance to the blueprint in the manual giver to us by the Creator.

19 November 2013 18:55  
Blogger Corrigan said...

The old 'infallibility' and 'indulgences' white noise from Len. For those who might be listening (which includes Len out):

a) The Pope is only infallible when he speaks ex-cathedra on matters of dogma; he is held to be guided by the Holy Spirit at these times. A bit like Len, really, except that whereas everything Len says, does or thinks is guided by the Holy Spirit (and thus, infallible), the Pope last made an infallible statement in 1950. Read the books of Joseph Ratzinger; the preface invariably states that they are written outside of the Magisterium, and thus all Catholics are free to agree or disagree with them (including those written while he was still reigning)

b) Indulgences. One of the (many) catastropies which came out of the Protestant Reformation was the complete sundering of Christianity from its Jewish roots. Hardly surprising in a religion founded by a notorious anti-Semite, viscious even by the standards of the 16th century. Purgatory as a docrine is similar to the Jewish notion of 'Abraham's Bosom', the idea that nothing imperfect can stand in the presence of God (so, presumably, Len's in like Flynn) and that, since we're all imperfect, we need to be purged before we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Indulgences are rituals we perform in lieu of the temporal punishment due for our sins. More accurately, they are a plea to God to forgive us this punishment; we don't ever know in this life if God has granted our plea, so it always hands me a serious laugh when Len is luxuriating in the assumption of his own salvation ('brothers and sisters, I have been SAVED). And just as it was in Luther's time, there is NO charge for an indulgence. The Church gets NOTHING financially. Nada. Zip. Zero. The Big O.

19 November 2013 20:11  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack hopes there will still be churches where people can meet, sing and pray together. He thinks it will be a shame if the Church of England closes down. What will happen at Remembrance Day and to the Queen's Christmas speech and who will open Parliament?

19 November 2013 20:34  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Stats

Anglicans in the US and UK roughly 2 million each attend regularly.

Nigeria

16 million

Uganda

8 million

Kenya

6 million

All in the last 50 years.

What sticks in my mind is a video I saw of a Nigerian Anglican Bishop in a confrontation with (in order to spare your Grace grief)a well known homosexual activist on a UK chat show. The Bishop stated that if God had no power and it was all rubbish then let him just lay his hands on him and say one short prayer for him. He then leaned across expecting him to agree to what had been called earlier a "meaningless act". To the interviewers surprise he nearly fell over off the chair backwards as he scrambled to get away from the Bishop.


Compare Anglican growth rates and decline.

Nigeria 0 to 16 million in 50 years

UK 18 million to 2 in 50 years.

Why?

Does the above scenario give us a clue or is it irrelevant?

Phil

Before Danjo and Hannah moan, it just happened to be a homosexual OK? I am not making a point about homosexuals rather the Bishop's approach, which involves personal risk (fear of failure --loss of face) and contrasts starkly with most Anglicans in the West when we are goaded to stand up for what we believe.










19 November 2013 20:41  
Blogger Frater minor said...

Len and Corrigan,

Please, please, brothers, can you both take to heart Jesus' command that we love one another, in the same way that he loved us?

Can you both take to heart Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper, that all his followers would be One, just as He and the Father are one, so that the world may believe?



Frater minor

19 November 2013 20:47  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Such defeatism, I do declare! The Church of England is thriving here in Barchester under my Lord's watchful eye (Ahem, I am that watchful eye, it goes without saying). I am re-organising the Mother's Union as a bombazine-clad vigilante group charged with preaching 'Hell-fire with a human face.' I have given all parish priests specific targets to increase bustles on pews and to police this I have trained a hard-core elite unit of inspectors - OFGOD (Office for Generating Observant Disciples)known affectionately as 'The Sisters of No-mercy,' Mr. Slope is in charge of the Diocesan League Table for Church Attendance, gathering data and administering a metaphorical 'spank' to those who fail to cut the mustard (at least I hope it is metaphorical). Mr. Harding has composed some new rallying anthems to bring in local youth, with inspiring titles like, 'Come into the Garden of Gethsemane, Maud.' Archdeacon Grantly has even volunteered to run a weekly raffle for the gay and lesbian community, with a first prize of transportation to the colonies. We expect a religious revival like nothing that has gone before.

19 November 2013 20:58  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 November 2013 20:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Corrigan’s sterling, and it may be said, thoroughly deserved glassing of Len has inspired the Inspector to kick what life there is left out of his bloodied corpse...

You all realise Len is a fake. Not a proper Christian at all. He rejected all that as a young man. Instead, he read it all in a book ! Christianity for dummies. A correspondence course, no less, as he takes his lead from the foulness that can be found on the inter whatever. His is a purely academic faith, for without a church, he is on his own. He doesn’t interact with Christians, for lo, he is well beyond them and closer to the right hand of the Father, so he arrogantly thinks...

And doesn’t it show, what !



19 November 2013 21:01  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Hannah,

"Poor old George Carey. Soooo outspoken now, but he had an opportunity as he was the Archbis' for over 10 years. Why does the mouse roar now ?"

What a very good question. It's an awful lot easier to identify problems than to fix them, and if memory serves me the CoE demographic time bomb was not exactly defused on Gorgeous George's watch either.

"The medium is the message".

Aaaarrggghhh! How many times during my work in PR have I had to correct that erroneous impression?

NO, repeat NO, use of new media can make up for the fact that the product itself is in some way fundamentally flawed. If your product is crap, no amount of advertising, tweeting or facebooking will affect that basic reality.

Politicians, businessmen or religious leaders convinced that using new media will miraculously revive their already well known but widely ignored messages is a sign of depseration; however useful those new media are as tools, if you have nothing to work with in the first place they won't help.

The invention of Twitter has not suddenly made it possible to polish a turd.

19 November 2013 21:01  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Phil Roberts,

Your stats.

Yup, the west, especially the EU countries, are losing their faith, at the same time as much of the world grows more religious. These different directions of travel make it more difficult for us, our left/ liberals especially, to comprehend what is happening elsewhere in the world. They assume that everyone, will inevitably, become secular, believing as they do that history moves only in one direction, upwards, towards a faith free, ever improving, technological future for humanity.

Little do they know that the Chinese are, after exhaustive sets of studies, convinced that it is the Christian faith that led to the west becoming the "leading" culture. It is all so deeply ironical, but also deeply, gravely serious.

As a slight aside there's a brilliant piece from The Scotsman on Anglican Mainstream, explaining extremely succinctly how Cultural Marxism is destroying western culture. It's about third from the top I think.

19 November 2013 21:04  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0 @ 18:55

That was certainly what Schweitzer thought Christ had said; and so did Berrtand Russell in 'Why I am not a Christian'.

More probably, Christ was predicting the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans, and using that as paradigm (original sense, not Kuhn's) for the end of the world.

19 November 2013 22:25  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Mrs Proudie, good to hear of all your hard work in Barchester. You do make Happy Jack chuckle with all your hustle and bustle and keeping that Slope chap on his toes.

Jack suggests you reconsider the hymns and says he would be pleased to assist if you ever hold a revival meeting. Do keep the Sister's of No Mercy away from Jack as it his experience such ladies always want to give Jack a good scrub in a tin bath and he gets very nervous around enthusiastic scrubbers.

19 November 2013 23:33  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

David

Thanks for the Scotsman piece

I do think that the push for independence for in my case Wales and Scotland is in part due to the wish to separate, not from England as such but from London and Westminster.

I think the Chinese are accepting what they cannot control. It is not just Africa, S Korea went from 0 to 60% Christian in 100 years. If and I think when China does the same this is a world changer. They are already reacting against the silly 1 child policy, taking the fine and having two or more children. My daughter is teaching in China and I looked up the stats for her city, labeling religious affiliation in a rather dry document it states that 20 years ago there were 600 Christians in the city. Today the estimate is 255,000 out of a population of 4 million.

If only the Anglican Church could obtain these stats? Company CEOs would not be selected from failing departments, so why do we still have the leader of the Anglican Communion selected from the CofE. Which direction would our Anglican Church growth travel with say a Nigerian or Ugandan Archbishop?

I don't think that we need to worry too much about the young they have a habit of rejecting the values of their parents. Germaine Greer finds herself ridiculed by younger women who find her rather a sad person rather than a role model.

Immigration is always contentious, but it is a fact (why is it?) that some of our strongest leaders in the Anglican Church are not British born.

Phil





20 November 2013 01:13  
Blogger Len said...

Nothing 'rattles ' a Catholic so much as putting the spotlight on his religion.Catholics are not permitted to question any of the doctrines that are spoonfed to them by those who 'interpret the scriptures' for them.(The catholic admin does not trust Catholics to 'correctly interpret' the scriptures for themselves because they might accidently stumble across the truth)In fact if Catholics question any Catholic doctrine they are placed under a curse by the admin. (Neat way to keep the inmates under control)

Shake the tree and the real fruit of Catholicism starts to reveal itself!.



20 November 2013 08:27  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

I'm afraid to say Your Grace has got it wrong on this one, and wrong on 2 counts.
The first is that what Lord Carey was saying was very much in line with what ++Sentamu was saying, as the Daily Mail article points out, in that we need to evangelise in order to see the CofE keep on going. At the end of the day, the only reason a denomination exists is because of membership. That is not to say that bums on seats is the only sign of evangelism, but it is a necessary element needed for the CofE to continue to be.
Also, Lord Carey is right in his previous comments that the CofE is always a generation from ceasing to be. Let's face it, it is true for every church. Lose the next generation and you may well be seeing the end of your denomination.

The second area where you are in error is your mention of blogs and Facebook. I am a youth worker and young people are not that interested in these media. BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), texts and meeting face to face by far outweigh social media. BBM is even outdoing any and every Apple invention to try and replace it, to the point where you now have the BBM app!
Young people seek community, even if they have a tendency to text each other whilst in the same room! They seek people, both of their own age and others, to reach out to them and build relationships. That is what evangelism is!
As Your Grace rightly points out, we do not convert, that is God's job (as Rico Tice nicely puts it "We preach Christ, God opens blind eyes"). But we do need to go out there and build relationships, so that we can show that a relationship with God is something that they missing in their lives.
And yes, the leadership of the CofE, indeed ALL churches, have let young people down and the Church down by not doing this.
Let's just be thankful that we have a forgiving God who let's us pick up the pieces from the messes that we make and have another go!

20 November 2013 08:53  
Blogger Len said...

The' Inspector 'crashes about like a 'wounded buffalo'bellowing and throwing out threats and accusations but cannot or will not understand the truth.

The Inspector makes wild guesses about me but is totally wrong on every count(but as we have seen truth matters little to him.)

I think the whole concept of' the church' as an Institution is totally wrong and un -Biblical. The 'Church' Jesus ordained is actually 'the Ekklsia' which is a 'called out group of people '(not necessarily religious in the original meaning ).
Those who translated the Bible for us actually used 'Church' instead of' Ekklesia' because that gave them ownership and control.
It is evident form their remarks that Catholics place their church above God the Holy Spirit and would rather receive their dogma from their Church than the Truth from God.
There is only one 'building' God lives in now and it is not any Temple made with hands, it is not any man-made ministry, group, or religion; it is within those of us who are born again of his spirit. The 'Church' of God is not a denomination a ministry or a church building, because God dwelleth not in temples made with hands, and they are all the work of men’s hands. We, those born of the Spirit are the 'Temple' of the living God.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

20 November 2013 08:57  
Blogger Len said...

Frater Minor,
9 November 2013 20:47

What you suggest is impossible.

Truth is the Rock we stand on.
Jesus said " I am the Truth".

IF we move away from the Truth (as will be suggested by many in the years to come) as way of compromise to show 'love' to our brothers and sisters we will move off the Rock' onto 'shifting sand'.
Pope Frances has already taken steps for an 'all inclusive Church 'and welcomes those of other faiths as 'brothers and sisters'.

The pressure to conform to be' all inclusive' will increase as the years go by and those who stick by the Truth of God`s Word will be seen as divisive and troublemakers (as I am seen by some on this Blog)

The Truth is far more important to me than forming some sort of alliance( in the name of showing love)
If we do not have 'a love' of the Truth God will allow us to enter into the last days great deception which will be the multi faith apostate Church.

20 November 2013 09:14  
Blogger David B said...

@ Youth Pasta, who said -

"As Your Grace rightly points out, we do not convert, that is God's job (as Rico Tice nicely puts it "We preach Christ, God opens blind eyes"). But we do need to go out there and build relationships, so that we can show that a relationship with God is something that they missing in their lives."

Why not just leave it to God? Or just pray?

Can it be that you really know that if you try that then God will be conspicuous by his absence?

David

David

20 November 2013 09:15  
Blogger Preacher said...

Most if not all the great revivals followed a time of great falling away.
If all the denominations became extinct, the Christian faith with all true believers would still remain.
Men tremble when their opinion of what 'Church' should be is in the process of being shaken. Even in the Old Testament, Elijah begged God to take him, as he felt that he alone was the last follower of the Almighty left, & this was AFTER his victory over the priests of Baal. But the Lord graciously revealed to him that several thousand still existed that had not forsaken their faith in Him.

Could this be a time of separating the Wheat from the chaff, shaking out the dead to leave a healthier stronger Christian Church?.
God is still & always will be alive & in control of His people.
The answer lies with us. Are we ready to follow where He leads? Will we shine the light in the dark places? are we prepared to break the chains of dead religion & step out into the fresh air of Christ's freedom & preach the Full gospel, (Not the edited edition)?.

Currently the people of this World are like scattered sheep, with a handful of Wolves thrown in for good measure. Have we the courage to fight & destroy the wolves & save the sheep, or are we happy to sit back & do nothing?.
The World awaits our decision.

20 November 2013 09:36  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJ0 said...

"Haven't people been predicting the end of the world within one generation since Christ's worldly death?"

This is due to a lack of bibical exegesis that if you lay out Matthew, Mark and Luke you will see one Luke: 21 refers to a tribulation that occurred with the ransacking of Jerusalem and the saving of Christians who left as they heeded Christ's words and this discourse was outside the temple itself and not Mount of Olives.
5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

The others Matthew: 24 and Mark: 13 relate to a future event that leads to Christ's return.."As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives" and "As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives" in Matt and Mark.

Do examine the wording of all three to see this definition of events..please don't take Ernst's word for it. Luke was for Believers prior to the Destruction of temple and Jerusalem to leave, the other relates to Israel itself in the last days and Antichrist breaking a peace accord three and half years into it and the Jews told to flee as this is their great enemy revealed!

Glad Ernst could assist rather than for you to believe in ignorance a common fallacy.

20 November 2013 09:42  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Youthpasta

I agree completely

The youth interested in Blogs and Facebook? Blogs no. Facebook, still slight interest, but it is definitely on the wane. Twitter? LOL. I have yet to meet anyone who admits to using twitter under the age of 45.

Young Christians want to meet and hang out. When they have left home free food works 10 times better than anything else to bring them in.

NB If you want to keep them in church you need good ,role models in the late twenties and early thirties. Not necessarily leaders, but Christians who are relaxed and confident in their faith and they can aspire to. 80% of people state that they made the decision for Christ before their 20th Birthday. If a Church loses most of the 16 to 35 year olds it has no future.

The Anglican Church is not dead. Don't get me wrong, my wife and I hated most of New Wine that we attended as a family this year. But we still regularly talk about it as a family and the youngest still sings the songs she learned in "Pebbles". Our Uni students still talk about Momentum.


Phil



20 November 2013 10:14  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello Darter,

I'd agree that a message is crucial, but communication of a speaker is also important.

In respect of the C of E, if it really wants to soul search, I'd ask the following questions:

1)Is the C of E there to be a reflection of society or a reflection of Christianity as it is generally accepted?

2)Is the purpose of the C of E to be a giant pension fund or a voice for religion in English society, in a period in which there a growing trend of militant atheism and secularisation?

3)What does the C of E actually believe in, other than women, gay Vicars and wanting to set up rival lending institutions?

4)How will the C of E undertake its beliefs in the wider world? Embrace a disfigured man or embrace banking committee reform?

20 November 2013 10:27  
Blogger Frater minor said...

Len 9:14
What you suggest is impossible.


Since I was suggesting that we all follow the commands of Christ, I sincerely hope it is not impossible.

Disagree if you must, but remember his command to love one another, even if you disagree with his theology. This is a much higher call than for mere tolerance.

Remember also his teaching that whoever is not against us is for us, but whoever is not with him is against him.



Frater minor

20 November 2013 10:57  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear dear Happy Jack, I am sending your the Holy Loofah of Antioch to use in your tin bath. Whether you choose to use it on your own or not is up to you.

20 November 2013 10:57  
Blogger Frater minor said...

David:

Why not just leave it to God? Or just pray?

We have the command of Jesus to go into all the world, to make disciples.
If God thought that just praying would be enough, I am sure that that is what he would have said.



Frater minor

20 November 2013 10:59  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Hannah

Interesting to see that there's still a market for Nat King Cole records, even if only as a giveaway to sell newspapers. Is it a comeback or has he never been away?I always liked him too, and as a pianist as well as a singer.

Regards
Brian

20 November 2013 11:01  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello Uncle Brian,

Well it's one to add to my Christmas 'feel good' CD pile.

20 November 2013 12:32  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello Phil Roberts,

'Before Danjo and Hannah moan'

A general point is that the English don't do public emotion very well, especially when mixed up with a religion which is 'charismatic'. I'd say most of us don't really buy into falling on the floor, speaking in tongues & are not very comfortable with people praying over them in a televangelist type way.

It's a cultural clash you see, but the Bishop could have said that he was going to pray for this person in his private prayers, rather than doing something dramatic like that; prayer is prayer, so why would it have made any difference as to where it was done?

A specific point is from personal experience if certain types of Christians know you are gay, then that is the first item they wish to pray about and cure you from it. You could have a multitude of other problems or issues that you wish to pray on or discuss, but there is of course one obsession, that takes precedent above anything else... or at least for them, not sure about the divine.

20 November 2013 13:04  
Blogger Jon said...

Hi Phil Roberts,

I had people lay on hands and pray for me for years to have the demon removed, and it did nothing. I'm still as fabulous as the Inspector.

Hannah's right - does this Bishop's God not work over long distances?

Jon.

20 November 2013 13:28  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

"Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

Go on York & Canterbury - set an example. Blog post with twitter link preaching the gospel in 300 words please. Otherwise it could almost look to the uncharitable like you want others to do what you won't do yourself. Even Cranmer did a post on Salvation some time back where he came wonderfully close to preaching.

The Holy Spirit's work in this world gets hijacked into all sorts of causes, but Jesus described exactly the authentic effect we should be looking for:

"And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgement, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Where's the conviction of sin? Where is the sense of needing to be right with God? Where's the faithful warning of future judgment and the return of Christ?

What possible relevance can an advanced Christological picnic have without taking along the hamartiological can-opener? I know it's a can of worms, but better to open it now before the earthly and cold hand of death lies on our tongue and we become food for those worms.

The idea of fleeing coming wrath for the hope set before us needs to be heard right now - the CofE has a fantastic public platform from which to deliver it. If it's a platform that's chopped away by faithful preaching, it shouldn't be standing on it.

20 November 2013 14:00  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Len keeps referring to the Pope as "Frances". Is he illiterate or just a nasty piece of goods?

20 November 2013 14:19  
Blogger non mouse said...


YG: thank you for today's interesting post.

Must say I agree we have to meet and find the young somewhere, and some parents would do well to approve their contacting Christian sources - rather than the filth they find everywhere else on their media.

Still, though, it's a pity the Church has always to degrade the level of its communication. I'm sure that's one reason why attendance dropped in one pretty church I know. They played all kinds of horrible modern noises - instead of hymns. The rest of us don't want to hear it, so we stay away.


--------------------------
Frances Mr. Len? :))))

I call those bozos "Papaseetos" (var.) myself, but I suspect the origin and logic of that to be rather beyond purblind RCs who hang around here - pestering and bullying.

They're as bad as the atheists.



20 November 2013 15:13  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Hannah

"A specific point is from personal experience if certain types of Christians know you are gay, then that is the first item they wish to pray about and cure you from it. "

If it was "meaningless" then it would not have mattered what the Bishop prayed for. He could have told the Bishop at the end of the prayer some silly quip like "there as I thought nothing happened etc" but the fact is that you would have thought the Bishop was going to touch him with a hot poker.

The impression the viewers were left with was that he was in the space of a few seconds, gone from contempt of the Bishop and the power of prayer to being scared to death.

I was left with the impression of wow, this is what it must have been like to meet the Apostles, or Paul.

The Bishop radiated confidence and I felt the guy knew if the Bishop prayed for him he would be changed for ever. So he ran.

The Bishops I've met have been a bit different!

Phil

20 November 2013 15:58  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Jon

Perhaps you need to be interviewed with the Bishop next time!

My point was not about the prayer, rather the Nigerian Bishop seemed willing to take the risk of personal ridicule for God and perhaps this is one of the reasons, his Church is growing so fast

The homosexuality is not the point or this comment.

I seriously considered changing the story so that the guy had some other "issue" -- struggling for the right word here!, so as not to distract from the point.

But I decided to tell it how it was.

BTW There used to be a you tube clip of this and I was going to give you all the link but it seems to have been taken off.

Phil

20 November 2013 16:17  
Blogger Et Expecto said...

In contrast to the CofE, the Catholic Church continues to grow. Maybe oneday, the Church of Rome will be fully restored in England.

20 November 2013 16:41  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Women Bishops, gay Bishops, SSM, the C of E has gone to hell.


20 November 2013 16:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "The Bishop stated that if God had no power and it was all rubbish then let him just lay his hands on him and say one short prayer for him."

Shall we conduct a prayer experiment here? I'm up for it.

20 November 2013 17:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Len. One notes you published your creed this morning. And why not ? Real Christians have one, so it follows that those who masquerade as Christians should have one too. Each fraud will of course have his own personal outlook. So their creeds will vary slightly. Now lets see yours more closely: Your reading of the bible has convinced you that Christ’s central message was love and toleration of your neighbour coupled with the worship of God. But no, that would be wrong . You seem to be hung on the wire of what is or isn’t a church, as if that has anything to do with it. That is bizarre. When Christ preached, the Jews were attending their own church, or temple. Where is it written he went into these temples and cried “Everybody out”.

So, you have it in for churches. Well, no, that would be wrong too. You have it in for the Catholics, because you are a nasty sectarian. You have NEVER EVER poured scorn on Anglicanism or Calvinism or any of the protestant churches come to that. (...One admits though that he rarely reads your drivel in full. Just the first couple of sentences normally…). So why is this – no criticism of these churches ? Is it because you are nothing but a nasty sectarian ?

And under your scheme of things, do we take it that Christianity is passed down through the ages by your types wearing sandwich boards in the high street ?

You are an utter fool, a far bigger fool than most people here realise…







20 November 2013 17:34  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Inspector

"do we take it that Christianity is passed down through the ages by your types wearing sandwich boards in the high street "

When I was a teenager, one bored November Saturday in Wales a guy wearing a sandwich board was shouting his message at the seafront. A group of us saw this as the opportunity for some fun and we pushed him around a bit, I think he got punched a few times, his glasses fell off and he ended up on the floor with us laughing at him.

He still tried to give us his bits of paper and to everyone's disgust I took one. I wasn't going to I just felt I wanted to take it. He then prayed for us lying on the pavement, which caused more hilarity. I never read that piece of paper, but if you want to know the time I started on the road to knowing Christ it was there, when he prayed for me on the floor and gave me one of his papers.

So there it was for me, no Holy Spirit, no coming to the front, no Church input.

Phil

20 November 2013 18:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Phil Roberts. Consider this. You meet your sandwich board man, but you’ve hardly heard of Christianity. It has no churches, is not part of society, has no legal standing. It’s a bit of a cult followed by a few sanctimonious types and handed down the years by word of mouth, which they hope, leads to conviction. A bit like free masonry then.

At best, you’d remember the moment, at least for a few years. At worst you join the cult. Perhaps live in a commune, where young people are under strict orders to practice celibacy, except for a favoured few young ladies who get to sleep with the charismatic leader in rotation...

This is what Len’s ‘reform’ would lead to...



20 November 2013 18:31  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Inspector

At college my girlfriend who was pretty militant feminist and atheist told me (regularly) that I was the worst christian she knew.

I asked her why and she said that I did not follow any of the rules! I didn't read the Bible, I went to church when I felt like it, I wasn't always honest and the worst part apparently was that I had sex, (not that she was objecting) Of course I said that "I believed in a God of love" so sex was fine with God. To be honest I did not want to read too much of the Bible in case she was right and sex without marriage really was out, which might have caused me some problems.

She always finished her rants with a serious note with something like "but you really believe and it does not make any sense that you believe"

Which is exactly the way we appear to people. It does not make any sense, we just know God exists. No amount of blogging /arguing or denominational changes can at the end of the day, make him more palatable or easier to access.

Yes he could have been offering me a life in the commune on the seafront, but the fact is that he offered me God and my heart took it when the others didn't.

Why? I have no idea, but it worked for me.

Phil



20 November 2013 19:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Phil Roberts. Not sure if a fellow is following your line of reasoning. You seem to be saying “I’ve seen the light, and that’s the end of it”

Although he wouldn’t call himself an evangelist as such, this man says that surely spreading the word is a must in Christianity. Unless it’s an established entity, including bricks and mortar, the faith would be on a similar standing to what David Icke has to offer. Whatever that is...



20 November 2013 19:48  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Inspector

The guy was certainly evangelising at the seafront that time.

However

“I’ve seen the light” pretty much sums it up.

I tried living as a missionary for a year or so in Africa. Yes I know it is funny after you compare church attendance but we still do send missionaries to Africa.

I was rubbish at being a missionary also as the Africans spent a lot of time sorting out my faith rather than vice versa.


Phil

20 November 2013 20:08  
Blogger Frater minor said...

Phil @ 19:17

At college my girlfriend who was pretty militant feminist and atheist told me (regularly) that I was the worst christian she knew.

Interesting point.
I might correct your girlfriend, in that I know who is the worst Christian in the world. I am he.


Frater minor


20 November 2013 20:13  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mrs Proudie @ 10.57, tin bath or douche ecossaise?

20 November 2013 22:41  
Blogger OldJim said...

Frater Minor,

your call for Christian Fraternity (one that, from your name, it seems appropriate that you should make) is well taken by me, for one.

There is a place for doctrinal dispute, of course, for what is love without truth?

But there is no place for outright venom, for where is truth without love?

We are called to speak "the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) and that ought to be the end of it.

And in the end, I think Len more or less incorrigibly wrong-headed on the subject of the Roman Catholic Church, but I can see that he is well meaning as surely as I can see the end of my nose.

21 November 2013 00:29  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Hannah

Sorry, I missed your point

"A specific point is from personal experience if certain types of Christians know you are gay, then that is the first item they wish to pray about and cure you from it. "

I think Tim Keller once said that you won't go to hell just because you are gay!

And then he went on to say

You won't get to heaven just because you are straight, either!

Praying in this way is a form of pride. They are happy to pray for gay people because they are proud that they are not gay and so they have no personal guilt praying for gays, as it is a "no risk" prayer for them.

Ask them to pray about giving money away and you will get a different response!

Christians who want to pray for gays often feel that they are saved by what they do and how they behave. So the reasoning goes they are saved because e.g. they are not sexually immoral, they are nice people, they give money away etc so God loves them because of what they do for God. The problem is with this reasoning is that they are never sure that they are e.g. sexually pure enough, nice enough or give away enough. They are never sure that their conduct truly makes them acceptable to God.

So next time someone asks to pray for you because you are gay tell them that you really need to pray for them first.

To cure them of their pride.

Phil





21 November 2013 00:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil Roberts, and Happy Jack says to you that you should pray for all the children rejected or abused by their parents and being raised in foster care and children's homes. And also children who's parents are odd and who are shunned because of this.

21 November 2013 00:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Frater Minor

Greetings, Brother, from a Protestant.

21 November 2013 07:22  
Blogger Preacher said...

Bravo Rasher Bacon & Phil Roberts!. Phil, I think the Holy Spirit was very much involved in your experience at the sea front.

R.B Keep preaching it brother it's good to hear the truth.
When the lighthouse light is extinguished by fear or dead religion. Those in peril perish.

21 November 2013 10:04  
Blogger Len said...

The Inspector calls me a 'fool'.
Well I take that as a compliment. "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. "(1 Corinthians 3:18-19 KJV)

Regarding my 'hatred' of the Church I was christened as an infant,later 'confirmed 'by a Bishop and regularly attened what could only be describes as a 'high Anglican Church'.I have attended many Churches as I have moved around the Country some very good, some very bad. Attending one very bad Church led to the break up of my family.

Now according to Catholic theology being baptised confirmed etc made me a Christian...No!... I now know that I certainly was NOT a Christian in the true Biblical sense.

So after all my Church attendance and going through all the various rituals I became totally disillusioned with the whole Church scene and became a 'confirmed' Atheist.

It was only much later in life after much spiritual searching and after an encounter with the Risen Lord that I became 'born again'.One cannot get born again by 'ritual' only through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

It really worries me that there are many within 'the Church' be that Anglican Catholic/or the 'Church of whatever' who believe they are 'saved'by going through some sort of ritual but in reality they are not saved at all !.We should all question the fact as to whether we are actually saved or not as the Apostle Paul recommends.
If your faith does not stand up to the test if your religion cannot stand the scrutiny of the Word of God then perhaps it`s not worth having because your eternal destiny depends on the Truth.












21 November 2013 10:21  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Cheers Len.

Your story sounds a bit like Richard Dawkins' but with a happier ending, despite the heartache in the middle. Might be worth reading his autobigraphy.

21 November 2013 10:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

People are converted in all sorts of ways.

Spurgeon heard a street preacher. E V Rieu of Penguin Classics read the Gospels to edit them, and decided they were true. Teenage hood Nicky Cruz was entrusted to take a collection at a religious rally...

"The Spirit bloweth where it listeth."

21 November 2013 10:48  
Blogger Jon said...

Inspector said "You meet your sandwich board man, but you’ve hardly heard of Christianity. It has no churches, is not part of society, has no legal standing. It’s a bit of a cult followed by a few sanctimonious types and handed down the years by word of mouth, which they hope, leads to conviction. "

Aren't you basically describing the experience people had when they met Jesus? If you genuinely believe that Jesus is the son of god, died, rose again and did so to stop us all going to hell, what is legal recognition or some buildings. If that's genuinely true, all your legal standing and recognition is absolutely meaningless!

21 November 2013 12:45  
Blogger Jon said...

Sorry Phil Roberts - I take your point now. As with DanJ0, I'm happy to participate in your experiment, although I suspect unlike DanJ0, I subjected myself to it for a long time already!

21 November 2013 12:47  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

..And to give him the great credit he is due, the current ABC apparently supports The Explorer's 'all sorts of ways' - as reported in The Telegraph:

Is it necessary, I ask, for a true Christian to have had a personal conversion experience? “Absolutely not. There is an incredible range of ways in which the Spirit works. It doesn’t matter how you get there. It really does quite matter where you are.”

Where are we? If Christ was to return this afternoon, would he recognise us as having already passed from death to life - as having been born again or responded to him, or would he find us still in rebellion? Or less dramatic, thinking he is a nice, moral guy but regarding his sacrifice as a little over the top?

John 3 talks about belief on Him, with only two classes mentioned - those who believe and are saved from perishing, and those who don't, and perish - currently the default setting.

Sentamu clearly knows the gospel as well - he mentioned the basics of the Gospel from 1 Peter & 1 Corinthians 15 and has preached it in the past.

The two highest primates in the CofE are just millimetres away from doing themselves as they would that others would do unto them.

If George Carey's right, it's a nail biting finish...

21 November 2013 13:35  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

I agree with what my friend Mr Corrigan said at 12.05 on the subject of secular and humanist child abuse. Logical - yes and fair.
But I have to take issue with him for bringing up the old accusation that the Church of England was established because of Henry VIII's divorce. You are talking about the Henrician Schism. But under Henry England remained essentially Catholic and Mass was sung in all churches even the royal chapel. He did destroy the monasteries, but he did not found a permanent Protestant church. The present Church of England was founded under Edward VI, after the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary. It was not founded because of the lack of a male heir to the throne, but because there was a new - and I think well-supported - group in power who wanted a Protestant England. They were motivated by their theological beliefs. There was absolutely no dynastic reason for doing this. Edward was the son of Jane Seymour and his birth was legitimate beyond any doubt.
The Anglican liturgy originates in this period, just before the reign of Good Queen Bess.

21 November 2013 14:09  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"Adaptation is the secret of survival" - as long as this does not mean a re-hash of the late-'60s/early '70s church-must-get-trendy movement, you know, everything mod and hopefully with- it: language, music, hairstyles, everything - all of which brought no one to faith. Accounts of Carey's words suggest that he is suggsting this. Yes, use the latest communication technology, but DONT TRY TO BE TRENDY (ie. replace Christian truths with this-worldly values). Serve/proclaim truth; that's all Christians are called to do.

21 November 2013 14:16  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

Phil seems to be another autobiographer along the lines of ...[name suppressed].

21 November 2013 14:17  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Once again, Len has not been reading what I wrote, and what I wrote was that Catholic indulgences are where we perform a ritual to ASK God to remit our time in purgatory, but we can never know in this life if our plea has been granted. Now, which of us is the presumtuous one? Me, for making the plea and then hoping, or Len for assuming he is saved based on...well what?

And I should point out to my friend Julia that, while almost all of what she says regarding the history of the C of E is correct, being "essentially Catholic" is a bit like being essentially pregnant; you either are or you aren't. It's that old Catholic martyr thing, you know.

21 November 2013 15:08  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Hey Corrigan - on a lighter note, I went through Purgatorio on holiday, and thought of you and Albert. I've kicked myself ever since that I didn't take a picture of the wonderful sign that said 'you are leaving Purgatory' sign on the way out.

I have therefore been through Purgatorio and out the other side. Twice.

21 November 2013 16:29  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Julia Gasper, @ 14. 09,

Well said ! I get bored with the endless and cyclical accusation that appears on this blog that the C of E came into being just because of a randy, wicked old king. OK that has some truth in it, in a childish compression of history into a sort of cartoon depiction, but they ignore the deep longing that had existed in England, amongst other places, for a long time for the creation of a Protestant Church, that exhumed the basics of Christianity, the truth of the Gospels, from underneath more than a millenia of small, accumulated errors and distortions that cumulatively, delivered not truth anymore, but confusion.
Many different european movements appealed to the original Church to reform itself but those calls were always received, not as a call to repentance and reform, but as rebellion, and savage reprisals followed, many suffering as a result. Jan Huss is a classic case. Subsequently some time after they had recovered from the shock of what had happened, Popes, to their credit, reformed the remains of their own shrunken jurisdiction.

All great institutions fall into error from time to time, and if we accept the flawed nature of mankind, we should not be too surprised by this, but instead exercise constant vigilance. In this century it seems to me that it is the C of E that is in very serious danger of error, following the world, and failing to adhere to Christian truths, and I say that as a member.

21 November 2013 17:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Len. Do you take ALL your wisdom from the bible ?

As for “Attending one very bad Church led to the break up of my family.”, you have actually left this man almost speechless. Is there NOTHING you don’t blame organized Christianity for !

You are no Christian, because you are not of the flock. You stand aloof and away. Your rejection of the spirit of Christ is all too manifest. Whether you keep what faith you have until the end is questionable – you are on your own, with only your pride and arrogance for company…

In the meantime, your consistent attacks on organized Christian religion is nothing short of the Devils work, and you will be called to account for your attitude in the hereafter…





21 November 2013 17:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon. Yes, the sandwich board man deputises for Jesus, in a pale sort of way. But from what we do know of Christ, it was his intention that his preaching live on long after he departed this place. And he sent his apostles out far and wide. So we know he wanted his church to expand. From that, we can construe that he wanted his church to develop beyond the faithful being addressed at a hill side in all weathers. To be frank, the idea that Christianity is contaminated because buildings are involved is lunacy, though we have seen a loon on this site saying just that.

Oh yes, that’s another thing. Len doesn’t believe in a priesthood either. So there is no addressing, hillside or church. We are our own priests apparently. How that man can claim any connection with Christianity at all is somewhat astonishing. He has more in common with those who would dismantle Christianity: Marxists, militant atheists, secularists and of course, Johnny Islam…





21 November 2013 17:52  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H @ 17:41

I totally agree. I'd say the C of E is in the same sort of situation as the Catholic Church was at the time of the Reformation.

21 November 2013 17:54  
Blogger Len said...

Luthers Ninety-Five Theses were aimed at the very destruction of the Roman Catholic priesthood which stood between believers and their God. Of this priesthood Calvin wrote, "It is a most wicked infamy and unbearable blasphemy, both against Christ and against the sacrifice which he made for us through his death on the cross, for anyone to suppose that by repeating the oblation he obtains pardon for sins, appeases God, and acquires righteousness.”

21 November 2013 18:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

You ain’t no Luther, and you’d be too off the wall even for Calvin...

21 November 2013 18:04  
Blogger Len said...

All true believers have one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, Christians can come immediately and directly to God. They have no further need for any fallible human priest, whether Roman Catholic or Anglican . In Christ they are set free from all slavery and granted the dignity of a royal priesthood. As God’s elect, believers have been given new birth into a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:3, 23). As living stones who trust in the living foundation stone, Jesus Christ our Great High Priest.
We no longer need 'mediators'to make 'offerings' for us as these were made redundant by Christ.
No one needs the Catholic Church to 'get saved'but one definitely does need Christ.


21 November 2013 18:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Apparently, Christ needed his apostles to act as priests, but one is sure you’ll find an explanation for that....


21 November 2013 18:40  
Blogger HughOxford said...

Maybe if the Church of England cared less about being behind the times, and more about being beyond the times, it would have a future.

21 November 2013 19:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, the Inspector awaits your reply to his post at 18:40

Are you, by chance, somewhat weak on the history of Christianity who thinks the only place around the Mediterranean the faith was established was Rome ?

Let’s say, for arguments sake, Rome got it wrong with priests. Where is it recorded the strife that resulted involving the non Roman Christian churches, that presumably stayed loyal to Christ's intention ?

21 November 2013 21:19  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Len,
I appreciated your testimony earlier and concur that some churches that are into Discipleship or control, can lead to family break up. However, there were Churches in new testament time that did not get everything right in respect of their relationship with the people.
As to your ongoing debate with the RC's I humbly suggest that you ignore them as they will never be convinced over doctrine.
What was it that was written about Pearls and Swine?

21 November 2013 22:59  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack thinks Len and the Inspector have let this all get too personal. Jack agrees with Len that it is God who causes us to change and believe in him and this is how we get to heaven. Jack thinks it happens in different ways for different people.

Happy Jack also agrees with the Inspector that their had to be a church of some sort to go around the world and tell people about Jesus and agree what to say and also to get people together to talk things over, pray and worship God.

21 November 2013 23:34  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

For pity's sake grow up.

22 November 2013 08:21  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

The term priest is never used of a Christian minister in the New Testament. There is only one mediator, Jesus.

22 November 2013 08:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Christianity cannot exist in isolation. Man is a social animal. That’s how it is...

And here endeth involvement in this thread...

22 November 2013 09:40  
Blogger Len said...

Inspector, I seem to remember Jesus telling His disciples to be witnesses to Him.(not to a Denomination)
Jesus told His disciples to go out into all the World preaching the Gospel(the Gospel of Jesus Christ)not to sit in churches preaching to the converted?.

Christianity does not exist' in isolation'(Jesus is the Head of the Body which is spread throughout the World)

If ones version of Christianity points to itself rather than to Christ then it has totally failed in the function that God intended for it to perform.

22 November 2013 10:20  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Catholic Church is not a denomination, Len. All the rest are, we're not.

22 November 2013 15:31  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Corrigan,

This is an Anglican blog. You are a welcome guest. The Roman Catholic Church can believe and say of itself exactly as it pleases. On this blog, it is a denomination: simply one expression of the Church Catholic which consists of all believers.

22 November 2013 15:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



The Inspector was not going to post on this thread again. Having seen that Len apparently speaks for quite a few followers of this site, it was time to gently and quietly walk away, rather like scenes in Hitchcock’s The Birds.

But then, something quite remarkable happened. After a couple of years posting with you all, this man has finally realised what it’s all about. It’s as if someone switched the light on. Of course there should be NO churches. It’s so obvious…

Having gone to the trouble of ‘saving yourselves’ and jumping through various hoops to do it, the last thing you need around is a church. Because churches are going to attract the wrong sort of Christian. People who have no business interfering with the select or is it the elect. Keep the faith pure is the watchword. The fewer that know the secret of salvation, the better. If they truly want to be saved, then they just have to go to the trouble you crowd did, and read up on it in the book. And as soon as they feel equally as protective of membership of the exclusive Jesus Club as you all do, and with suitably sanctimonious attitude to match, they have arrived in the promised land…

Gives thanks and praise, for the Inspector has seen the light. Alleluia, what !





22 November 2013 17:43  
Blogger Len said...

Inspector... you soapbox is looking a lttle shaky, though of trying a sandwhich board instead?.

22 November 2013 18:25  
Blogger Len said...

The' Church' was never meant to be an Institution.The 'Church 'is a congregation, a gathering of' called out' believers.
Now a gathering of people who`s Head is seated in Heaven is a lot harder to influence and to control than an Institution controlled by a man or group of men on Earth.
Jesus said His Kingdom was not of this Earth and could never be part of this present World system.

Christians are
IN the World but not OF the World.
Many' Churches' run on principles very much' of this World' where wealth power and prestige are the measure of success.

The Letter to the 'churches' in the Bible`s book of''Revelation' reveals Church History but also different Churches that are running concurrently and Jesus is asking us to examine which 'Church' we are currently in.



22 November 2013 19:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Heh ! Your guilt has made you search the net, eh - use of ‘find’ command, on the bible, for ‘church’

A bit of back pedalling, and you think you are back on track, do you ?

Looks like churches are back in. Glory be !!

22 November 2013 19:47  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Can anybody cite the reference in the Bible where it says to read the Bible?

22 November 2013 20:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



An extremely good point Corrigan, and one that this man wished had occurred to him. But you are younger and cleverer...

Considering the high levels of illiteracy that existed up to the 19th century, and still persist today, we can take it that an ability to read the bible is NOT necessary for salvation. Good grief, that brings us back to churches as sources of instruction. This is really going to annoy the born agains...





22 November 2013 21:01  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

OIG: 2 Timothy 3:14-17 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

But I've a funny feeling we've been here before.

Then there's the impact of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus - if they will not believe Moses and the prophets, they will not believe even if one rise from the dead...

Then there's the Bereans, who searched the scriptures to see if what the apostles were saying was true.

Then, talking of 'Born Agains', we take that term from the lips of Christ himself, who seemed to think it was important. Do you not?

One generally finds that the Bible brings literacy with it, at least Wycliffe Bible Translators have witnessed that.

Hope this helps.

23 November 2013 00:20  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

OIG - I forgot to say it's not necessary to read the Bible to be saved, but it is necessary to hear its message.

I also forgot to mention the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 who was reading Isaiah in the desert, and Philip was moved by the Spirit to go to him and explain how it had been fulfilled. Reading the scriptures again, nowhere near a church. That came after.

23 November 2013 00:36  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Mr Bacon, the passage you quote could just as easily apply to tradition (a la Catholic Church) as to scriptural authority per se). In addition, you forget that at the time he was writing, neither Christian or Jewish scriptures were held to be canonical.

23 November 2013 09:50  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Corrigan - Christ makes a distinction between traditions handed down from the fathers and the word of God, available to, and read by those to whom he spoke. He pointed out that some traditions were in conflict with God's word as it stood then. The authority of the books of Moses, whether handed down orally or written as they were at the time, was sufficient for him to use as a standard of judgment of those who would refuse his authority. If you say there was no canon of Jewish scriptures at that time, you flatly contradict the Son of God.

We've been through canonicity before, - so I think I'll let this one lie. I thought this thread was about spreading the good news of Christ's sacrifice for sin, so that people become Christ-ians, rather than Church-ians. There is a difference - the latter group can and will become extinct - the former group will not for eternity.

23 November 2013 10:16  
Blogger Corrigan said...

A pretty definitive prophecy, Rasher. Look up the reason why prometheanism is considered a heresy.

23 November 2013 11:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Rasher, one sees what you mean. The churches are turning out the wrong sort of Christian. Indeed, one stands before you now. The sooner we take the roofs off these churches the better. It would be what Christ would want. “Blessed be the sandwich board man, for lo, there is nothing else.”

23 November 2013 13:19  
Blogger Len said...

Jesus quite clearly defines the 'wrong' sort of Christian.
Jesus words;
Luke 6:46 Jesus said "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?.

Being 'born again' is a direct command from God ...but Inspector you ridicule the Word of God.

Jesus also said "He who loves me will obey my commands"



23 November 2013 15:01  
Blogger Len said...

I can only conclude that those who follow a 'works based' religion such as Catholicism have been 'spiritually blinded' much as the Pharisees were who refused to recognise Christ even when He stood before them.
The Bible reveals this truth about Christ to true believers and once the truth is revealed it becomes very difficult to see how others can continue [and even cling] to their deception.

"Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." (2 Cor. 3:12-16)

23 November 2013 15:12  
Blogger Corrigan said...

I don't think the Inspector ridicules the Word of God; I think he ridicules the word of Len.

23 November 2013 15:17  
Blogger Len said...

I have used scriptures Corrigan.
The Inspector ridicules the Word of God.
But Catholic`s do not obey the Word of God anyway preferring 'the word' of their church.So little surprise there?.

23 November 2013 15:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan, at 15:17

You wag, Sir !

23 November 2013 16:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, But Catholic`s do not obey the Word of God anyway preferring 'the word' of their church.So little surprise there?.

One notes that in your determination to obey one of Jesus’ commands, selling up and giving your money to the poor, you have overlooked one precious possession, to wit, PC, one off. Unfortunately for the rest of us. Perhaps you have an explanation...


23 November 2013 17:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Come on Len, explain yourself and your failure to surrender unto the poor that is due to the poor, to wit, your wealth, specifically, your PC...

As you yourself has opined, “Jesus also said "He who loves me will obey my commands"

23 November 2013 21:38  
Blogger Len said...

My wealth Inspector?,
My' treasure' is in Heaven (Unlike your Church)

24 November 2013 10:51  
Blogger Len said...

Just an observation here' Inspector 'seems to be doing here what Julia accuses' Danjo 'of on another thread?

Just sayin?.

Doesn`t bother me though just gives a reason to expose the true nature of Catholics every time they respond and to prove their religion cannot change anyone (in fact Catholicism seems to turn out far worse personalities that secularism?.)

Inspector or Corrigan your move I believe?.

24 November 2013 10:55  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Len

"I can only conclude that those who follow a 'works based' religion etc"

I once heard a talk by a pastor who gave talks all over the world. He was a big guy and he said one night he could not sleep because of the time change and he was hungry at 2 am

He asked the hotel if anywhere was open to eat and he was directed to a diner across the street. As he was eating he overheard the conversation of two women and it was clear that they were prostitutes and in two days time one of called Chloe them was having a birthday. One asked Chloe if she was having a party and the answer was that she has never had a birthday party in her life.

The pastor asked the bartender who I think he called Joe and asked if he knew these women and Joe said that he knew all the women that came in here. The Pastor asked if he could arrange a party for “Chloe” who had a Birthday in two days time, could he decorate the place and have some food and nice a cake etc. Joe agreed provided the Pastor paid.

Two nights later at 2am the room was filled by Chloe’s friends who were clearly mostly prostitutes also. Soon Chloe arrived and was totally shocked that the party was for her. Then the cake came in with candles lit and everyone asked her to blow out the candles and cut the cake. Chloe who had tears in her eyes said “can I not cut the cake?” and the Pastor said of course it is your cake, to which Chloe said that she wanted just to keep it and look at it for a while, a few min later she left with the cake intact but in tears.

Nobody knew what to do, Joe the barman asked the pastor if he was “some sort of preacher” To which he replied that he was. “what sort of Church are you from?” Joe asked, “one that bring a birthday cakes to prostitutes at 2 am was his reply” To which Joe said, “there is no such church, because if there was, I would join it”

Works Len are a marvellous gift of being a Christian. I leave the Theology to God. The Pastor might be saved by grace but without works there is no hope for the Chloes or Joes of this world.

I had a chance of salvation because of the street preacher's act. So did Chloe and Joe, because of the Preacher's love. Ultimately their salvation is also dependent on our works. I am saved by grace Jon, but do you know if I had been in the diner, I would have stayed away from the prostitutes, not organised a party for them.

What the Preacher Protestant or Catholic?

Did it matter to Chloe or Joe? Or me by the seaside?

So

Does it matter to God?

Phil


24 November 2013 11:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, My wealth Inspector?, My' treasure' is in Heaven (Unlike your Church)

Nonsense dear fellow. By disobeying a direct command from Jesus, your treasure is not only in heaven, but here on earth too. To think that this man had you down for blind obedience...


24 November 2013 13:39  
Blogger Preacher said...

Len & Rasher of Bacon.
I find it wise not to be drawn into debate or dispute with those who do not believe or follow the same path as we do. Be they followers of a different Church, or total apparent non believers.
It's a fruitless & useless waste of time & only serves to allow them to be contentious & argumentative.
Far better to shake the dust off your feet & move on to those that are searching, rather than waste time with those that are blind but insist that they see.
Pray that the Lord will give them sight & leave it at that, or you give the enemy the chance to delay & divert you from reaching the lost.

24 November 2013 15:08  
Blogger Len said...

Phil Roberts, you seem to have missed the point?.
Our 'works' do not justify us before God only our faith in Christ justifies us before God.
Is it possible to have' works' without faith in God ?..certainly Atheists certainly do' good works' so do most other faiths.
So' works' although important cannot save us only Christ can save us.

That is my point which I have been making(seems like decades now) with Catholics.

Preacher thanks for your advice I realise the likes of 'the Inspector' and 'Corrigan 'don`t want to hear God`s Truth because the Truth as revealed by the Bible didn`t sit well with their Catholic 'theology'.But I hope that others might be more receptive to God`s Truth.



24 November 2013 16:23  
Blogger Preacher said...

Len.
Amen!.

24 November 2013 17:11  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Preacher - Amen. The leaves don't rake themselves - Glass of Badger inside somewhere with my name on it. Good weeks all.

24 November 2013 17:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Preacher, I find it wise not to be drawn into debate or dispute with those who do not believe or follow the same path as we do.

Very wise, that man, and a sentiment the Inspector agrees with. However, his jolly time of late of goading Len is down entirely to countering the rotter's rabid hate of Roman Catholics. Do examine the thread for yourself. Not just this thread, ALL OF THEM !!!



24 November 2013 17:27  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Len

But how do you know that your heart truly is given to Christ?

By works.

What does God use to draw people to salvation? An offer of forgiveness for sins that most people do not believe are sins? Ask DanJo if he is impressed by an offer of heaven that he does not believe exists or forgiveness for sins that for him "feel right" and he feels need no forgiving.

Ask Chloe if she was impressed by the birthday cake and we might just have touched her heart. Why? Because we have let God's love shine through our hearts.

True an atheist could do the same, but would it sill not change Chloe's heart and could God then not use this.

You are both right in a way.

Parable of the Sheep and the Goats

Matthew 25 31 to 41

Phil

24 November 2013 17:39  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Len Preacher etc

We have had this argument before I seem to recall. You seemed to argue then to lets all huddle together and turn our faces away from those that do not agree with us. Because we are on the right path and all others are not.

These sort of people were around in Jesus' time. Jesus had utter contempt for them then as they would for the self righteous now. They began with a P and ended with an e.

Nothing changes.

Phil

24 November 2013 17:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

An adjustment to one’s last comment. ‘Hate’ is too strong a word for Len. We’ll say instead he enjoys baiting Roman Catholics, as Julius Streicher enjoyed baiting Jews...

24 November 2013 17:49  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Typo

as they would should read as he would

24 November 2013 21:14  
Blogger Donald Jenner said...

Hmn. The Arminian line: God converts. Something about prevenient grace or the like. It might be, though, that God does not convert, so much as predestine? Something about a comfort to the godly and a scourge to the wicked? Article 17, is it?...

25 November 2013 02:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil:"Ask DanJo if he is impressed by an offer of heaven that he does not believe exists or forgiveness for sins that for him "feel right" and he feels need no forgiving."

We went through a phase here where various people were claiming that I was in a state of rebellion, knowing I was sinning but revelling in it anyway. I found it odd that people might think that anyone rational would do that given the certainty of being held to account in the belief system.

That said, it is not just the main attribute that defines me here which is relevant here. I have done many things which I am ashamed of in my life and carry with me. I need a My Name Is Earl solution rather than forgiveness from a god.

It sounds rather selfish to me to turn to the idea of a god in the hope of being free of the burden of feeling guilty for harm I have caused other people and to avoid godly punishment. As you say, I think the draw for someone like me would be to see life changing stuff.

25 November 2013 05:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil:"True an atheist could do the same, but would it sill not change Chloe's heart and could God then not use this."

I subscribe to the Daily Act of Kindness thing when I can, and I have an altruistic tendency where some lower cost to me has a higher benefit to someone else. For example, I anonymous gave some money to someone with a limited income I knew was fretting over a large electricity bill last Christmas. The cost to me was a couple of hundred quid but the associated benefit was huge in comparison. I think we should all be looking for ways we can help people, especially those who are struggling, whether we're religious or not. The communal benefit is more than the sum of its parts I think. It's also personally helpful to give in itself, I think, not for self-righteous or reputational reasons.

25 November 2013 05:59  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

"My Name Is Earl" solutions are fine. The world would be better if everyone did likewise.

There are lots of Lens and Preachers and Carls for that matter in every Church. I spend half my time trying not to punch them when they get on their high horses. If Jesus came to their church he would not say "well done mate", he would want punch them for their self righteousness also.

Phil






25 November 2013 13:57  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


Len etc,

FACT, you do not know who is saved. Only God knows this. We do not practice Greek fatalism, so we are not saved regardless of our conduct. We are not saved because of our works, or in spite of our works, but through our works.

WE ARE NOT SAVED when we come to the front, kneel down, ask for forgiveness and commit our lives to Christ. (If that were the case, Billy Graham would have converted the world to Christianity a long time ago.) We are saved when we let God change our hearts. That is why e.g. Danjo's act(s) of kindness or just simple humanity, may be far more valuable to God, than most of what we get up to, as part of our Church.

Yes really!

Phil

25 November 2013 14:14  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack says that was a very kind act and if you're ever in Durham ....

25 November 2013 17:05  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

O Phil (14:14)

Am I among the 'etc'? At the risk of getting a smack in the mouth... I wasn't wandering off because I thought I could form a huddle - I could see quite clearly that OIG was 'aving a laugh, as he later confessed. I also thought the Promethean thing was a wind-up, although I did smile. I initially thought it was about the chap who was chained to a rocky [blog] post, and capricious Greek gods appointing some vultures to pointlessly pick over things that were dear to him (his innards), then for the same thing to happen again later. Would you chain me up to that?

I fully agree - only God knows. .. James gives the bucket of cold water on the empty professors, and an example of the action taken on someone's profession not being backed by their behaviour is given by Paul in Corinthians - church discipline of the sort that OIG would like but was never practiced by Wolsey (but was by Ambrose). Even that has a view to restoration.

On the second paragraph, I would say WE MIGHT BE SAVED when we come to the front. That surely has to follow on your first paragraph - If only God knows, the dogmatism is a bit out of place perhaps?

DanJo - I'm not denying Phil's evaluation of your acts of kindness. My only question is over the things you're ashamed of in the past. Is the My Name Is Earl response a bit like breaking a glass vase, then saying that you're going to make sure all other vases are safe? The broken one is still broken and will never be the same again. If the standard is that all should be kept whole, we're all in the same boat, you and me.

That's why Christ died - to set us free to live to God, and take the punishment I deserved. I'm identified with his death and resurrection, so there's no place for pride. If Phil wants to come to the church I go to and punch me for believing and wanting to tell other beggars that, I'm not bothered. Hmm.. hang on a minute...

26 November 2013 00:12  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

OK

WE MIGHT BE SAVED

Often as not though it is just an emotional response that changes nothing.

26 November 2013 04:28  
Blogger Hannah said...

According to the thread below, there is an argument that who is 'saved' is predetermined before life. Putting aside what kind of deity has this cruel, perhaps even sadistic streak (both to itself and to its creations), what o what is the point of sticking by any of said religion's precepts for society? If 99% of us are all doomed, then let the 'elect' stick by their way of doing things, whilst everyone else muddles through as best they can.

26 November 2013 12:45  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 November 2013 13:20  
Blogger Hannah said...

Well it seems that there are 2 different things being discussed here.

The first is the 'my name is Earl' solution, or in other words one person trying to make amends towards another person that he/she has wronged in some way.

The other matter is regarding forgiveness between an individual and a deity, specifically Jesus with the particular emphasis on being 'saved'.

If you are religious, I can't see why these two matters cannot go hand in hand, or at least from my own religion's POV. If you are not religious, at least your glass will be half full...

26 November 2013 13:29  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Hannah

"If 99% of us are all doomed, then let the 'elect' stick by their way of doing things, whilst everyone else muddles through as best they can"

We do not know who is saved and who is not as thankfully it is not up to us (or even Len or Preacher for that matter!)

We therefore cannot determine whether it is just or not as we do not know people's hearts.

"If you are religious, I can't see why these two matters cannot go hand in hand"

I agree to a large extent. The problem with the my name is Earl' solution is that if you are acceptable to God because of what you have done or clever enough to get the theology right, then you would always worry that you have not done enough or have not studied enough to get the theology right. (What is God's passmark, 4 out of 10, 6 out of 10, 10 out of 10? Does he take into account that I started late, was not brought up as a Christian etc etc) Furthermore, you will always tend to look down on those that are do not do enough, or study enough or indeed have not found the "true gospel" or "path to salvation" like you (of course) have.

The miracle is if you have never read the bible, never been baptised, hated God, loved sin and evil. God can still draw you to him and you can still give your heart to him and he will make you as sinless and as acceptable to him as a newborn baby. (Yes the last part is an argument on another thread I know)





26 November 2013 19:38  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello Phil Roberts,

'he will make you as sinless and as acceptable to him as a newborn baby'.

Did you read bits on the thread below on this Christian idea of 'original sin'? The Calvinist 'Martin' quite clearly said that 'new born babies' (if they die) do 'go to hell' as we are all GUILTY as sin, but that Jesus chooses the few 'elect' (before being born) to be 'saved'.

26 November 2013 20:26  
Blogger Hannah said...

Phil Roberts,

In respect of the 'my name is earl' discussion, that is because in my faith there are sins against G-d and sins against other human beings and one requires forgiveness from G-d and one from the person you've wronged. I'd elaborate further, but I wouldn't want to disrupt.

26 November 2013 20:30  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Hannah

'new born babies' (if they die) do 'go to hell

Lets just say that CS Lewis does not agree with Martin and takes the view that all of us are born with a predetermination to sin. Lewis has a lovely picture of country roads in Wales. He says that if you start off on a country road (like in Wales) you are soon faced with two choices, and later with another two and another two etc. It is a bit like life, you can make a series of decisions away from God or towards God like the decisions on a country road and the older you are the more wrong turns you have taken. It soon becomes impossible to find your way back to the path to God without intervention (guidance)in your life from God, often though the actions and kindness of others. (works)

This explains often why older people find it very difficult to make it back to God as they need to give up every wrong turn (everything - completely humble themselves) and go back to the start. Christian families give children a series of correct turns early in life, so it is easier for them to find their way back if they take a series of wrong turns, as they do not need to go all the way back to the start. CS Lewis is not saying that this is exactly how it happens but it is a model that many people (like me) find helpful.

I did not get involved in the discussions with Martin because I am not a walking Bible. Even if it is true you have to think about the effect of your words on others. Telling parents that their dead child may be in hell is the same as telling Chloe (above) she is a filthy whore, she is going to hell (and how do you know-- are you God?) and so does not deserve a birthday party.

Love or hate?

Martin is not God, he doesn't come remotely close, so he does not know, but in his pride he thinks he can tell parents that their dead child is in hell.

Bastard

Phil



26 November 2013 23:41  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Phil

you can make a series of decisions away from God or towards God like the decisions on a country road

Etymologically, a decision is a cutting off, a de-scision. To choose one course of action is to cut off the alternatives. (A point I heard made in a sermon once.)

27 November 2013 10:04  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello Phil,

'I'm not a walking Bible'

That made me chuckle. As for Martin, he can answer for himself about his beliefs - I totally disagree with them and if that's an attempt at 'evangelism' then its having the opposite effect. He did admit he had lost children. I thought I'd leave it there as I didn't and don't want to get personal in these discussions.

27 November 2013 12:42  
Blogger Len said...

Well.... thats given 'salvation' a good airing ...good to get these things out into the open.

One thing,
Did Jesus say to the Pharisees I know your works you are definately all saved?.

Does 'right theology' save you?(well Jesus though so.... it certainly gets one on the path to salvation)

Does 'wrong theology' get you onto the broad path and wide open to deception?.

Offering to fight against those who reveal God`s truth has got a long history with' certain' churches.Bit sad really.

27 November 2013 13:21  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Len

If we sat down to do a Bible study together I think we might broadly agree on what the Bible teaches. However, when we go out into the world, I suspect that we are very different Christians. For you I feel that the interpretation of what we have learned from the Bible means that you see things as either black or white/ good or bad/ people are either saved or not saved etc. For me they are more of varying shades of grey. (Perhaps not 50 shades--- OK well perhaps sometimes!)

Phil

27 November 2013 16:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Phil Roberts. “...see things as either black or white/ good or bad/ people are either saved or not saved”

hmmm. A simple logic gate. Open or Closed. Used sparingly in primitive computers and indeed minds that are not troubled by the thought process. However, great banks of them in series and in parallel and you have the makings of smart artificial intelligence. Far smarter than the some humans, what !

27 November 2013 18:23  
Blogger Len said...

Phil Roberts ,

If we start on two parallel lines and then introduce a marginal difference in direction then in a relatively short time we will be miles apart.
I believe this happens when errors are introducted into theology.In 2,000 yrs some churches have drifted miles away from the original scriptures.

Jesus said" The Truth will set you free".
Satan will do all he can to render the Truth null and void.Satan attacked the Truth in the the Garden of Eden and thought he had finally destroyed the Living Truth at Calvary.
We live in a world steeped in corruption and deception and the attack on the Truth of the Word of God is constant, unremitting, and increasing in intensity. There were more Christians killed in the last Century than all the previous Centuries combined.
As for 'self -righteous' I gave up on that a long time ago I am as much a flawed fallible human being as anyone else and it probably for that reason that my total faith is in Christ and not in' the Church'or myself. Christ is our only hope and He should be the centre of our focus as all scripture points to Him.

The church is fine when it acts as 'a signpost pointing' people to Christ(that is the proper function of the Church) BUT when the Church points to itself then the church has totally failed in its mission.

The Apostle Paul said "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?"(2 Corinthians)

I believe there are many 'churchgoers'who believe they are 'Christians' solely by attending a Church much like being a 'club member.

All the best Len.





28 November 2013 10:06  

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