Friday, 26 October 2007

Church colleges get advice on sacking staff

A report in the Times Higher Education Supplement tells about the advice given to its members by Council of Church Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

See Academia checks on faith in The Times:

Advice from the Council of Church Colleges and Universities tells universities to mention their Christian ethos in employment contracts so that staff who “openly flout” their ideals can be said to be in breach of contract.

It is thought that the rules are most likely to affect senior staff, chaplains and teachers of theology.

“If an employee acts in a way that is detrimental to the employer, by openly flouting the ethos . . . it may be possible to conclude that there has been a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence,” the advice adds…

And also Universities told how to use Christianity to sack staff on Ekklesia:

…But Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said that the advice was deeply disturbing.

“This report obliquely suggests ways of ensuring that some positions are not held by those whose lifestyle is at odds with some Christian doctrine, presumably in terms of sexual orientation, attitudes to abortion and maybe even to marriage”, the Times reports…

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Comments

Whoops! Our mistake. We ought to have specified that staff should be as antipathetic to marriage, and as much in favour of killing the unborn, as possible.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Friday, 26 October 2007 at 12:29pm BST

Excellent. A blast of the Trumpet for righteous tutors and for the recovery of our Christian institutions.

We need Christian staff in our Universities and Colleges who are prepared to stand up for Biblical Principles in this degenerate world, and not condone those who live in sin or approve the wholesale murder of children. There are too many unmarried cohabiting staff in these institutions flaunting Church teaching on no sexual relations before marriage and failing to acknowledge what the Bible teaches about male headship.

Hopefully institutions with Godless foundations like the University College of London will now wither on the vine.

Posted by: Will Prynne on Friday, 26 October 2007 at 1:34pm BST

This latest example of sectarianism hasn't a cat in hell's chance of being taken up, especially with the Wycliffe fiasco in the background.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 26 October 2007 at 2:41pm BST

Yes, Will, and you can be the first to stick that letter on your great-great-great aunt Hester.

John

PS: Maybe those institutions will teach the correct use of adverbs as well.

Posted by: John Bassett on Friday, 26 October 2007 at 3:43pm BST

"not condone those who live in sin"

Good heavens no! We must browbeat and oppress those we believe to be sinners, God, after all, or according to NP it's Paul, having given us the right to sit in judgement on everybody else. No mercy, no quarter. I'm wondering how much Jesus pays you for keeping the Judgement Seat warm till He gets back. You'll be judged the way you judge, Will Prynne.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 26 October 2007 at 5:12pm BST

"stick that letter on your great-great-great aunt Hester."

LOL: good one, John Bassett!

I'm tempted to say that "Will Prynne" is a parody---but then by that standard, Christopher Shell and NP would be, too. ;-/

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 26 October 2007 at 7:31pm BST

Why should the taxes I pay go to financing institutions which wish to discriminate against people like me? If 'Christian' Universities wish to adhere to those 'biblical'and such like 'values' which only a tiny minority now hold to they shouldn't be receiving any state funding at all.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Friday, 26 October 2007 at 8:30pm BST

I don't have a problem with wanting people who model healthy lifestyles that are worth emulating.

I do have a problem of modeling and teaching hate theology - misrepresentations, exaggerations, selective comprehension, false accusations, overgeneralizations, violence justification, deceit, corruption, vilification.

I think some of the early "righteous" postings on this very thread prove the point.

What was the word Jesus used for such souls? Hyprocrites!

Mathew 23:25-28 "“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."

Matthew 15:-11-20 "What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’ ” Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’ ”"

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Friday, 26 October 2007 at 9:56pm BST

May I ask this question, especially of those who are in favor of this move: is academic freedom compatible with Christianity in general? Just wondering.

Posted by: Ren Aguila on Saturday, 27 October 2007 at 3:48pm BST

Ren:
If by academic freedom you mean the promotion of moral nihilism, then the answer is no. This certainly seems to be the way the majority of posters above define academic freedom, as if Christians were supposed to follow the majority of the population in making a mockery of Christianity and Bible teaching. Really, for supposed Christians to classify the defence of marriage and the life of children as 'hate theology' just beggars belief!

A better definition of academic freedom has been provided by Christian institutions in centuries past: the freedom to learn and debate academic issues in a manner that is not repugnant to the basic principles of moral law and ethical behaviour. Fortunately, institutions like Wycliffe are beginning to recover this classical view of the Christian academy.

Posted by: Will Prynne on Saturday, 27 October 2007 at 6:49pm BST

Ren

Academic freedom should be intrinsic to Christianity.

Christianity was about making God and the holy texts available to the masses, who are no longer dependent on "holy" priests.

Jesus legitimised sharing the holy texts to all humanity, from the unclean leper, to the serial-relationship Samaritan woman, to the tax-collector, to the priests in the synagogue. He did not have entry requirements to his sermons, and he fed all who came to learn with him. Matthew 25:31-45 is an example of Jesus thinking, whatever we do not do for the least of us, we do not do for God and God is affronted.

We are made free in Christ, retain free will to choose a relationship with God. Jesus did not preach rituals as intrinsic to salvation, he did not preach lifestyle as a pre-requisite for holiness, he did not use age to exclude, he did not use sexuality to deny grace, he did not demand literacy or good health, he did not have a prescribed study program.

Actually, Jesus most serious rebuttals were against who advocated for any and all of the above. Jesus at his most protective was when he saw attempts to deny grace or teachings to others, including with his own disciples e.g. Matthew 9:38-41 Anyone who gives you a cup of water in Jesus name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. So, if a GLBT offers you sacramental bread or win in Jesus' name because you belong to Christ, neither you nor the GLBT will lose their reward.

Matthew 18:21-35 there is no limit to the number of times one should forgive. Be merciful to others so that God will be merciful to you (Matthew 5:7)

Jesus' rebuke at Luke 11:52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” Luke 6:40 everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Yet in Matthew 5:20, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus didn’t want us to be parrots, Jesus wanted us to read comprehend and transcend existing paradigms, he called on us to judge for ourselves and to offer grace to all who would come to Jesus’ table, including the least of us.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Saturday, 27 October 2007 at 11:30pm BST

In Cheryl's defense, what she means by "hate theology" is precisely a kind of theology that encourages people to hate people that the dominant ideological construct (mainly what I would characterize as a rightist, conservative one) find either utterly unworthy of divine salvation or unable to attain it except through someone else other than God. Such a theology has biblical proof-texts to back the ideology (not the other way around).
While one cannot deny that no education is value-free, as I believe, it is difficult to tolerate, even in a context of academic freedom, such an ideology. Which is far from being, in my view, the message of the Gospel, which is meant to put down those "in power" more than it does those who are already marginalized.

Posted by: Ren Aguila on Sunday, 28 October 2007 at 12:25am GMT

You are mistaken Ren to assume that Biblical norms are merely 'rightist, conservative' ideological constructs. On this logic, it would certainly be fairer to say that libertine, leftist ideological constructs are dominant in our academies today, and as we see above, its adherents are engaged in a process of demonising those who challenge their assumptions.

It is absolute nonsense to claim, as Cheryl seems to, that Jesus had no problem with libertinism, and 'did not preach lifestyle as a pre-requisite to holiness'. What did Jesus say to the adulterous woman: 'Go Sin No More'!

Jesus encourages us to love the sinner and loathe the sin: this has nothing to do with Cheryl's 'hate theology', but rather with promoting righteousness. He calls us to very high standards, especially those in positions of authority. Recall Mt 5.19-20: 'unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of heaven'. St Paul continues Jesus' injunction in the First Letter to the Corinthians. 1 Cor 5.9-11: 'I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother who is sexually immoral'. Worst of all sins is to lead young minds astray, as Jesus argues forcefully in Mt 18. Those in power are called to help the marginalised, through giving them the opportunity to learn and live the faith, not by leading them into sin.

This much is clear: the murder of children, the denigration of marriage, and the promotion of adultery, divorce, and sexual immorality ( Note Cheryl, that bisexual activity is even more clearly denounced in the Bible than sodomy) are unequivocally sinful activities. If you want to promote these activities, then you are free to do so, but please do not pretend that this is the teaching of the Bible, the way of Jesus Christ, or suggest that they should be promoted in a Christian academy. The CCCU should be praised for calling on Christian tutors to return to the Christian life!

Posted by: Will Prynne on Sunday, 28 October 2007 at 1:40pm GMT

I'm sure those sorts of Christians can have academies for themselves that follow the Wycliffe strategy, but as for Christian institutions of the past, the official ones used to exclude anyone outside the Church of England. From them society fought for the right to plurality and this is what we have got. The major educational institutions have no place to limit to or issue any religious ideology to anyone - their concern is academic freedom and academic standards.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 28 October 2007 at 3:30pm GMT

"making a mockery of Christianity and Bible teaching"

The only mockery I see of Christianity is carried out by people who consider it an insult to be called a Christian, and who mock the kind fo "Fishtianity" that you seem to be espousing, with it's judgementalism, paranoia, martyr complex, and self-delusion.

"supposed Christians"

There's the judgementalism I spoke of.

"the defence of marriage"

From what, the gays who hate marriage so much they are fighting for the right to get married, or the heteros who love it so much over half of them end the marriages they enter?

"life of children"
I find it curious that those who trumpet defending the lives of the pre-born don't seem to give much of a toss about the post-born. No concern for those who suffer child abuse, for instance. The Roman Church is still fighting, 20 years on, to avoid compensating the victims of pedophile priests, and the Anglican Church of Canada is still dealing with the aftermath of the Residential Schools scandal, of which, being such the defender of children, you surely know all the details. Not saying anti-abortionists abuse chlidren, just that you seem to care a lot more about them when they are in utero than you do when they're out. But then, it isn't the unborn at all, is it? It's fighting for a return to some fictitious Ozzie and Harriet, c.1954 type society where women knew their place, gays were hiding in shame and fear, and everything was just peachy keen and nifty cool, and everyone was a virgin on their wedding night!

Posted by: Ford Elms on Sunday, 28 October 2007 at 7:16pm GMT

Will

Who did Jesus start his public ministry with (i.e. after first gathering and grooming his first disciples)? A Samaritan woman who was living with her fifth man out of wedlock.

Did Jesus rebuke the "pure" Pharisee or the woman who washed his feet with her hair and tears? The Pharisee, quite tersely. The passage Luke 7:37-50:

"… When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”"

I've quoted the entire passage, there is not one word about her needing to repent. You quote unforgiving scribes, I quote Jesus.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Sunday, 28 October 2007 at 8:12pm GMT

A friend of mine pointed out this interesting item of trivia: the UK centre of the US Council for Christian Colleges and Universities is based at Wycliffe Hall (see www.bestsemester.com). Wycliffe is also, unlike any other Anglican training institution, an affiliate member of the CCCU.

Posted by: Sarah on Sunday, 28 October 2007 at 8:18pm GMT

WP "the denigration of marriage... unequivocally sinful activities"

Good to know that both Jesus and Paul are sinful.....

Posted by: mynsterpreost (= David Rowett) on Monday, 29 October 2007 at 8:00am GMT

"Jesus encourages us to love the sinner and loathe the sin: this has nothing to do with Cheryl's 'hate theology', but rather with promoting righteousness."

On its face a bland statement, but, you see Will Prynne, that phrase so often means "Hate the sin, hate the sinner even more" that no-one really listens when people like you use it. You do not love me. Your behaviour and the things you say prove it. I will not tell you what those things are. I have no intention this morning of telling someone how to hate me more covertly. But you do not have love, Christian or otherwise, for me, that is obvious, so when you come out with that statement, it just adds to the overall image of selfrighteousness and judgementalism you portray. Now, if you don't mind giving that public appearance and making all Christians and the Gospel itself look bad, then fine. I would ask, does it not bother you that innocent people can consider the word Christian to be an insult? That they honestly feel that we are the enemy? Don't go getting all huffy about being an enemy of sin or something. Perhaps this is a shock to you, but there are ways to preach the Gospel and oppose sin that do not require insulting and browbeating the sinner, or threatening said sinner with God's judgement, which you should be looking to avoid yourself rather than calling down on someone else. In so far as Jesus called down judgement on anyone, He did it against people who sound rather a lot like you in their religiosity. He also, being God, had the authority to do so. You, AFAIK, are not God.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 29 October 2007 at 11:56am GMT

In response to Sarah:

this story relates to the Council of Church Colleges and Universities, a UK organization of Anglican colleges etc.. They abbreviate themselves to CCCU but unfortunately so does the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, a North American federation. Wycliffe is a member of the latter CCCU.

Posted by: Frozenchristian on Monday, 29 October 2007 at 11:56am GMT

Matthew 7:1: Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Need we say more?

Posted by: Carl Peter Klapper on Monday, 29 October 2007 at 3:22pm GMT

"Good to know that both Jesus and Paul are sinful"

I've been assured that both Jesus and Paul were quite positive on marriage, actually, and thought very highly of it. I can't see the evidence, to me Paul thought it a sop to those who couldn't keep it in their pants. What do I know, though, I'm only an EHBL who never reads the Bible, and certainly doesn't believe it.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 29 October 2007 at 3:29pm GMT

"Matthew 7:1: Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Need we say more?"

We all fall into this, but some seem to think it a virtue. One of the things more you will need to say shortly is how Paul does not, in fact, tell us to judge each other. NP will soon be along to make that assertion.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 29 October 2007 at 5:40pm GMT

David

This torah article is interesting http://www.torah.org/learning/halacha-overview/chapter2.html

It includes "From some traits, such as pride and anger, a person should keep as far away as possible. However, it is not always good to go too far; if a person suppresses his desires to such a degree that he does not eat meat or drink wine or marry, or live in a suitable house or wear suitable clothes, he is called a sinner."

One of the problems with both Jesus and Paul being publically celibate it that it fostered the puritan mentality that the feminine is to be shunned as "dirty". That is what neither would have intended, but it has created a dynamic where celibacy is over-rated.

It is not good for man to be alone, so God created Eve.

In the tikkun olam model, we are talking about healing a fractured world; that includes healing the rifts between the masculine and the feminine.

It is not healthy to keep women tucked away in a box because they are more extroverted or adventurous than you would like. That leads to stagnation and boredom as creativity and innovation is stifled, and the soothing healing balms of humour and nurturing become muffled. You will not see the best in the feminine when you continue to deny its validity, denigrate it to the status of slave, use it as a prostitutional outlet to satisfy selfish needs, or ignore the gifts and talents that it brings. If you want to see the best of from your women, then you need to be prepared to allow them to manifest their best.

Will, what you do not realise is that many of those who copy your words to promote righteousness are actually promoting elitism, arrogance and accusations. They do not separate the sinner from the sin. They condone deprivation of food, legal rights and freedom of movement to "unworthies".

Love is a verb. It involves entering into a relationship communicating, listening, empathy, justice, mercy. It involves feeding, cleaning, soothing, healing.

Aggressive puritans are like those who lock a soul in solitary whilst they have fever. They seem to think that life or death is "God's Will" and they don't have to do lift a finger to help or accommodate. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus rebukes those who do not do for one of the least of us, as those who do not do for Jesus.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Monday, 29 October 2007 at 8:37pm GMT

Ford - 1 Cor 5:12 is not my assertion....it is a verse in the bible
http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=1+cor+5%3A12

You will see the context Paul is writing into at Corinth.....sometimes, when a church is being corrupted by false teaching, it is essential that judgments are made about what is right and wrong (eg Lambeth 1.10)

You would not argue that we should allow any or all teaching....because we dare not judge if it is true, biblical, holy - would you?

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 30 October 2007 at 12:42pm GMT

NP,
I see nothing in the passage that justifies declaring someone you don't even know in the US faithless, nor claiming they neither read nor respect Scripture, nor claiming they are seeking the approval of the world. If you do, please indicate it to me. You may thing it reasonable to take one verse of Scripture out of context. I do not. The entire chapter deals with the Church addressing issues of doctrinal incorrectness. It nowhere tells us that we do that by claiming those we disagree with are faithless, or that they are plotting against us, or that we should distort the truth or lie about them. Please show me where it does. It does not tell us to accuse them of sins of which we ourselves are guilty, in fact, in other places, Scripture is quite clear on this last point.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 30 October 2007 at 6:11pm GMT

Be sure to relate any further comments to the original matter of church colleges in the UK and how they ensure their church ethos is maintained.

By the way, I have now read the full document which provoked the original THES article, and I think that article and the others have somewhat overstated the case being made in the original report.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 30 October 2007 at 6:19pm GMT

The question "You would not argue that we should allow any or all teaching...."

Actually, that is one of the issues, figures associated with college halls have advocated the closure of "difficult" sites e.g. TA.

One of my core positions is that any and all teaching should be possible and that like minded souls allowed to gather. That can create problems, for example with a sect that advocates the maiming of women or hunting of ethnic minorities or unsuitables.

That is a core tension between the right to free speech and religious freedom versus the needs to protect members of society. Neither extreme is healthy - one extreme is too repressive and stifles creativity and innovation, the other extreme is too laissez faire and dodges responsibility for how souls might aggressively harm others.

We try to walk the middle way, mitigating against the worst of either extreme. At the moment my protective hackles are up because some souls are being too repressive in how the scriptures can be read and interpreted.

That makes me a false teacher in their eyes. I can't change that. What I can say is that we are both fallen before God for every accussation they can throw my way I can throw an equivalent one back in the same direction.

Thus my stand before God is that God has either reconciled sinners and false teachers' through Jesus' sacrifice, or God hasn't. If God has then both camps of false teachers are forgiven. If Jesus has failed, I am consoled that both camps of false teachers are equally condemned.

I really don’t mind how many false accusations or exaggerations or misrepresentations they throw my way, my reply before God is “Yeah, and straight back at you!” The more they do the more they prove my point and the greater the victory. God set the snare and they took the bait, the more they struggle the tighter the noose gets.

And yes, Simon, this applies to those who would repress through the colleges as much as anywhere else.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Tuesday, 30 October 2007 at 8:36pm GMT

If Church Colleges are to maintain their ethos, then tutors have to hold themselves to high standards of behaviour, consistent with the Word of God. I am baffled that this should be a point of controversy. Jesus tells us in the Bible that there is nothing worse than leading young people into sin: his teaching continually separates godly from ungodly behaviour.

NP makes the point more succinctly than I have: the Bible most certainly calls on Christians to distinguish between that which is holy and that which is not. Ford is certainly wrong to claim that NP is quoting out of context. The context of 1 Cor 5.12 is provided by both chapters 1 Cor 5 and 1 Cor 6, where St Paul explains the need for the Church to condemn and expel bad influence in its midst, and then goes on to explain the need to condemn and avoid sexual immorality. This is particularly relevant for those in teaching positions within the Christian community.

1 Cor 6.3-4 "Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgements concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame."

Cheryl: forgive me if I do not know how seriously to take your comments. You tell us you 'refer to Jesus' and then quote Mt 9.38-41 which includes verses which do not exist in the Bible. As the Orthodox will tell you, Jesus' ministry began at Cana, not with the Samaritan woman. Please read John 8.11 - Jesus tells the adulterous woman 'go sin no more'. This is not quoting unforgiving scribes.

I am only refuting you with the words of Jesus and of Scripture. The suggestion that licentious and Bisexual behaviour, or the murder of babies, should be promoted in Christian Academies is clearly repugnant to the Word of God. Rebuking sin is a command of Jesus, just like forgiveness if the sinner repents.

Remember Luke 17 2-3: 'It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he be thrown into the sea, that that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.'

Posted by: Will Prynne on Tuesday, 30 October 2007 at 9:17pm GMT

"The context of 1 Cor 5.12 is provided by both chapters 1 Cor 5 and 1 Cor 6, where St Paul explains the need for the Church to condemn and expel bad influence in its midst, and then goes on to explain the need to condemn and avoid sexual immorality."

The context of 1 Cor 5 is 1 Cor 4 which talks of Christians as mere keepers of God’s secrets/treasures, from 1 Cor 4:3 which equals/negates the Corinthian’s own “christian“ judging with that of others (“or any human court”) all’ oudè emautòn anakrínå; “for I will not (even) judge myself”,

and 1 Cor 4:4, which says o dè anakrinån me Kúrios estín; “for who judges me is the Lord (only)”,

and 1 Cor 4:5, which says åste mä trò Kairoû ti krínete éås án élthä o Kúrios; “judge not (anymore) before the Moment when the Lord comes, He who brings light on the hidden in the dark and reveals the purposes/causes of the hearts and lets God’s praise be to each, accordingly”,

and 1 Cor 4:6, which says with Dr Hooker that “nothing beyond what is written” is to be required of anybody (which is what is being done in this un-pleasantness by those who try to impose their own particular readings on the Church of Christ for political reasons) as it was done by those that put Paul up against Apollos and Apollos against Paul: taûta dè adelfoí metesxämátisa eis emautòn kaì Apollån di’ umâs, ína en ämîn máthäte tò Mä upèr a gégraptai, ína mä eîs upèr toû enòs fusioûsthe katà toû étérou; “all this, Siblings, I have applied (metaphorically) for you to myself and Apollos, for I want you to learn that Nothing beyond what is written, so that you don’t, for the sake of the one, exaggerate the other”.

It needed to be said then, as it needs to be said today; “nothing b e y o n d what is written” is to be required of anybody, and the stress is not on “written” – that is my own particular (or my tradition’s) development of it – but on NOTHING and on BEYOND.

"Mine is the Judgment", says the Lord.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 8:05am GMT

Hi Will

I took seriously your claim " Cheryl: forgive me if I do not know how seriously to take your comments. You tell us you 'refer to Jesus' and then quote Mt 9.38-41 which includes verses which do not exist in the Bible.'

In this thead I have referred to:
Mathew 23:25-28
Matthew 15:-11-20
Matthew 18:21-35
Luke 11:52
Luke 7:37-50

So your point about referring to Matthew 9:38-41 is based on what posting on what thread? I have low-level dyslexia and am used to having nit-pickers take advantage of that. Point to the thread where I quoted the non-existent passages, and I will look up and clarify the administrative error.

If you can not link to such a reference, then your claim is spurious and deceptive. In Aussie slang, another word is "busted".

God does not require perfect messengers, and sometimes relies on the imperfect to expose the nit pickers. If perfection is required, we all stand condemned, even more so those who think they are not.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 8:11am GMT

1 Cor 4:17 to 1 Cor 5:12 were written, probably by Marcion and the Smyrna circle, in the following century to refute 1 Cor 4:1 - 16 and to accomodate and promote the dernier cri of the day: congregational discipline; the judging by sinners of their (percieved) enemies.

Just as today.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 8:12am GMT

Goran, even if your theory were right, we can see St Paul judging the teaching of St Peter to be wrong and calling him to repentance.....in Acts

Now, what we do not see is Paul and Peter teaching contradictory things forever but still claiming to be united....which is what the AC fudgemakes ask us to do in the AC and what TEC HOB wants us to do because the alternative is being a tiny liberal denomination in the world....... St Paul did not say to ST Peter, you teach what you believe to be the truth and I will respect your integrity and teach the opposite as I believe that to be the truth.....of course, you probably do not believe what is recorded in ACts is reliable.....

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 11:24am GMT

"Remember Luke 17 2-3: 'It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he be thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones...'"

Or, similarly and more pointedly:
Matthew 18:6 (New International Version)

'But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.'

Which is why we should not be advocating the concept of "original sin" in our schools. Of course, proper criticism of that pernicious concept -- which ascribes sin to the innocent -- requires that it be understood, discussed and debated in a free and open learning environment.

What dogmatics fail to understand is that by repressing various viewpoints, they give greater credence to them than if they were given full vent and then fairly and thoroughly refuted.

What I would look for in a teacher is thus someone who can draw out different ideas and opinions from their students and help them develop their critical powers and their independence. In short, teachers should help students to think for themselves.

I know, I know... that is far too radical a concept!

In the Love of Christ,
Carl Peter Klapper


Posted by: Carl Peter Klapper on Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 9:03pm GMT

" In short, teachers should help students to think for themselves.
I know, I know... that is far too radical a concept!"

That's exactly what is happening in the schools around me.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 2 November 2007 at 8:04am GMT

""original sin"....... -- which ascribes sin to the innocent "

No, original sin explains why it is there is suffering, pain, and death in the world. You inherently believe it, and you prove it everytime you say "Nobody's perfect". That is what 'original sin' means. This idea that it somehow is an unjust blaming of the innocent for sin is just reactionary. It comes from an understanding of sin as crime, which was convenient when the Church was the Enforcer of Imperial Morality.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 2 November 2007 at 3:26pm GMT

NP wrote: “Göran, even if your theory were right, we can see St Paul judging the teaching of St Peter to be wrong and calling him to repentance... in Acts

Now, what we do not see is Paul and Peter teaching contradictory things forever but still claiming to be united.... which is what the AC fudge makers ask us to do in the AC and what TEC HOB wants us to do because the alternative is being a tiny liberal denomination in the world...

St Paul did not say to ST Peter, you teach what you believe to be the truth and I will respect your integrity and teach the opposite, as I believe that to be the truth...”

No, Paulos did not say to Simon Petros that he spoke with integrity; he said Peter was wrong.

But you see, NP, you Anglicans have a peculiar problem (well, not you personally – God forbid – but Anglicans; that they desire to be POLITE.

Paulos had no such qualms… nor do you, it seems.

But there is still the wee difference between Paul and you – adherence to (distinct from rejecting) Goods very good Creation – Reality.

Facts not Statistics, as some people say.

“… of course, you probably do not believe what is recorded in Acts is reliable...”

Well, being 2nd century (130ies, 140ies) Acts sometimes are less than reliable – which one sees when comparing Acts 15 to Galatians 2.

So what’s your point?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 3 November 2007 at 11:41am GMT

Absolutes in the Bible are not as absolute as we moderns take them. Obvious exceptions to "none are without sin" are Christ Jesus and Enoch, whom God took. In addition, Christ Jesus excludes the little children from "none are without sin" in Matthew 19:14:

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. It is, to my mind, one of the great sins of the Church of Rome that it adopted a doctrine directly contrary to this passage and Mark 10:14 and Luke 18:16 and ascribed sin to babies.

If you want to see where sin and suffering entered into the world, look to the love of power and the use of morality as a vehicle to power. That is what happened in the Garden, that is the Sin in the Garden: Adam and Eve fell to the temptation of the power to be gained by self-righteousness, by morality. The Church of Rome repeats this sin every time that they affirm the doctrine of "Original Sin" because they, in so doing, show their lust for power over the parents of newborns and their neglect of the commandments of our Lord through Christ Jesus.

Posted by: Carl Peter Klapper on Monday, 9 June 2008 at 4:16pm BST

Hi Carl

It's interesting to see this thread pop up again. Thanks.

One comment is about the "original sin".

The mystics tell us that there are sometimes debates between God and angels. Particularly about this planet and its occupants. There is apparently one scene where God put forward the suggestion of creating humanity, a gaggle of angels started to debate why it was a bad idea. One of them (probably the Sheckina) came and told them that God had gone and done it anyway and went off to help God.

The whole Jewish, Moses Exodus thing fits into the same category. Again there was the Sheckina around Mt Sinai, the cloud by day and fire by night, aiding and abetting the Jews whilst God prepared them to be able to become a people in their own right. She was there at Jesus' transfiguration too.

On the eating of the fruit. It did not change that this planet and its occupants were created. That was God's Will and that was going to happen irregardless. It simply gave the name to the male and female guardians annointed to protect this planet and bring honor to the God of ALL Creation. Every planet that contains life is annointed guardians.

The underlying precept is either to think that this planet is undesired and to be rejected, or that this planet is very desired and to be nurtured. I think the latter. So does Jesus and Enoch, (along with all the other gentle prophets).

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Monday, 9 June 2008 at 9:40pm BST
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