Saturday, 29 September 2007

weekend opinion roundup

Peter Selby writes in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column and reflects on how wars have challenged the modern church.

Jonathan Romain writes in The Times that Jews don’t have to believe – if they do what He says.

Christopher Howse writes in the Daily Telegraph about A (Muslim) duty to prevent wrongdoing.

Bill Countryman writes in the Church Times about A weakness in the US Constitution.

Giles Fraser spoke on the radio yesterday about the Levellers and Burma.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 9:36am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

In a similar way to Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain's piece, to be a good Christian means believing in the impact of God rather than necessarily believing in the existence of God - impact requiring human agents.

What the Burmese monks did was give added legitimacy to the protests, and remove it from the regime. It has taken the last vestige of authority from the regime, and left it ruling by power alone.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 10:53am BST

"What the Burmese monks did... "
And heaps coals on the heads of those, like many conservative Christians who foster war as an answer.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 1:52pm BST

My prayers are with the Burmese, I hope they find a peaceful solution so that all are healed.

Romaine's piece reminds us that it’s not just Christians who can take on the form of faith but lack the substance.

There are biblical passages that are very clear that souls can get so caught themselves that they become detestable before God by degenerating into prostitution or idolatry or being prepared to sacrifice their children e.g. Isaiah 44:13-20 or Ezekiel 16.

God also has contempt for souls who enter into covenants and break them (the covenant of peace e.g. Isaiah 54:13-15 is one that comes to mind) or when they do not respect boundaries and send out roots into another’s field e.g. Ezekiel 34:18-26 or 17:3-24 “…the Sovereign LORD says: As surely as I live, I will bring down on his head my oath that he despised and my covenant… I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment upon him there because he was unfaithful to me… I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain… it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “ ‘I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’ ””

Isaiah 37:24-29 “… your messengers you have heaped insults on the Lord. And you have said… I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights… I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its pines… Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone. Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame…. Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came.”

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 2:12am BST

Ford says ""What the Burmese monks did... "
And heaps coals on the heads of those, like many conservative Christians who foster war as an answer."

First - Ford, do you really want to blame all conservatives for what Dubya does???
(I vote Labour by the way ......not that that helps much!)

Second - are you implying that "conservatives" are not fighting for justice, helping the poor etc etc?

Third - even if your post was based on any real evidence (rather than pique), it still would not mean we ought to accept drunks or adulterers or thieves or the greedy or any other prohibited person as a bishop...sorry, many of us want to stick to the bible, "clobber verses" and all - we trust the Writer

Posted by: NP on Monday, 1 October 2007 at 4:44pm BST

Ford - by the way, I realise you said "many" and not "all" - but still, I am surprised by you making a statement like the one above

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 1:40pm BST
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