Comments: bishops oppose Trident

May God bless the signatories to this petition. And may God bless all moderates, of whatever faith or movement, that can envision and walk towards a future without slavery (in whatever form), fear or power mongering, and embrace reverence for all of God's creation.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 10 July 2006 at 11:39am BST

Trident? From the title, I thought there were bishops opposing the Tridentine mass! That seemed singularly pointless.

This is a much more reasonable blog entry than I had feared. Good on those bishops!

Posted by Alison at Monday, 10 July 2006 at 2:18pm BST

After what seems to me extraordinarily sad equivocation from the Bishops' bench regarding the ministry of gays in the Church & reproductive health & the right to die with dignity & I can't remember what all else, I am pleasantly surprised to see some of the political appointees of the ecclesiastical establishment saying the right thing -- & I heartily reiterate what Cheryl Clough said at 11:39am BST!

Posted by Prior Aelred at Monday, 10 July 2006 at 3:02pm BST

What about the Bishops who didn't sign? What do they think?

Posted by Tony B at Monday, 10 July 2006 at 4:15pm BST

Presumably the Bishops who didn't sign think that the Bishops who did sign are a bunch of pacifist idiots who have no expertise on the majority of what they talk about in their statement.

I certainly don't agree with them that, "...Just War arguments rule out the use of nuclear weapons...".

Jeremiah 48v10: "Cursed be he that doeth the work of Jehovah negligently; and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood."

If these Bishops had been around in Jeremiah's day, the would have been petitioning the king not to renew his sword construction contracts.

Posted by Andy at Monday, 10 July 2006 at 5:03pm BST

Perhaps they are becoming Valiant for truth ? Realising the dominical teaching against all violence and war,as in the sermon on the Mount / Plain, and the practice of the first followers of the Way.

'Blessed are the poor in spirt.'

It is never to late to turn our feet to the Way, while we have breath.

'Come , come everyone come--this caravan is not of Despair.' (Rumi)

The Hindu and the Sikh faiths teach ahimsa, as did Gandhi; and the Buddha also points to the way of understaning and love.

'May all beings be well
May all beings be happy'.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 10 July 2006 at 10:54pm BST

Laurence Roberts wrote: "Perhaps they are becoming Valiant for truth ? Realising the dominical teaching against all violence and war,as in the sermon on the Mount / Plain, and the practice of the first followers of the Way."

No. They are being valiant for their own liberal personal political opinions. They are CofE bishops, and the 39 articles explicitly state a contrary position to your misunderstanding:

"XXXVII. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates.
...
It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

Posted by Andy at Tuesday, 11 July 2006 at 12:35am BST

>It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

But just wars, presumably? Are you being valiant for your own illiberal personal political opinions?

Posted by Tony B at Tuesday, 11 July 2006 at 10:18am BST

The Ordinal only requires an acceptance that 'the historic formularies of the Church of England' such as the 39 Articles of Religion 'bear witness’ to the faith. OK so the sort of folk who insist that the AV is the authoritative Word of the Almighty might maintain something similarly unchanging and absolute about the 'Articles', but we are only required to see them as faithful in their ancient context. I don't honestly think they were drafted with WMD in mind. A similar point might be made about the NT injunctions to honour civil authority — does that make Christian civil disobedience an act of faithlessness?

The bishops are signatories, I think, because WMD appall them theologically and spiritually. I was at a meeting last night when one of the signatories gave a talk on the outrage of God at what has been done to his creation, and I think that was very much at the front of +wherever's mind in signing the letter.

Posted by mynsterpreost at Tuesday, 11 July 2006 at 1:41pm BST

"It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

This is not to "explicitly state a contrary position to your misunderstanding".

This is stating that it is lawful, not good, great, commanded.

Only lawful. One needs not disobey.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Tuesday, 11 July 2006 at 5:58pm BST

There is also a big difference between a sword and a weapon of mass destruction. There is a difference between using mutagenic weapons that leave a legacy long after the conflict has been resolved (even if it is that the parties have managed to annihilate each other). There is a difference between carrying a sword and being prepared to use it to defend yourself in one-on-one combat and using a weapon from a vantage where the target has no hope of protecting themself (e.g. snipers). There is a difference between two parties having a fair fight and conflict mongerers turning humans into husks to be expended to protect their power bases, either as soldiers to be counted in the battle field, or casualities to demoralise their opposition (including civilians, their infrastructure and children), or booty to reward and bribe corrupted husks (e.g. rape and plunder). There is a difference between a soul openly defending itself and its interests and a whispering shadow that hides behind politicians, spies, the media, and corrupt theologians.

Such people (and those who theologically justify and defend them) fit into Habbakuk's worst case scenario (1:5-11): “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians,that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor. Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like a vulture swooping to devour; they all come bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand. They deride kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; they build earthen ramps and capture them. Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—guilty men, whose own strength is their god.”

Substitute horses with tanks, planes, and military weapons and this perfectly describes the war machine most feared today (in both its overt and covert forms). To despise such people is biblical.

And remember Jesus' promise "The meek shall inherit the earth". Liberals who call for the end of unethical weapons and wars (open or covert) are closer to the intent of the bible that the scriptural purists who shunt aside the bible to flatter their sponsors and train their husks.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Tuesday, 11 July 2006 at 7:50pm BST

Cheryl wrote: "Liberals who call for the end of unethical weapons and wars (open or covert) are closer to the intent of the bible that the scriptural purists..."

Obviously it is the people who *aren't* scriptural purists who really understand the intent of the bible.

Posted by Andy at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 2:13am BST

Laurence wrote: "Realising the dominical teaching against all violence and war,as in the sermon on the Mount / Plain, and the practice of the first followers of the Way."

Andy wrote: "XXXVII. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates.
...
It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

Tony wrote: "But just wars, presumably? Are you being valiant for your own illiberal personal political opinions?"

Laurence asserted that the sermon on the mount prohibits all violence and war. Not "prohibits all non-just war".

These Bishops are ignorant concerning the field they are commenting on, and I consider their comments an abuse of their office to further their own personal political interests.

How much do you think the Bishop of Bath & Wells knows about the tactical uses of trident nuclear missiles in a just war?

I watched a program about the cuban missile crisis recently. The Americans were thinking of launching an invasion, and one of their concerns was a single tactical nuke being able to wipe out their entire invasion force as they massed for the crossing.

In WW2 if the Nazis had massed in France for an early invasion, England might well have lost the war. WW2 was a just war. Can anyone see a use for a nuke in a just war?

Posted by Andy at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 2:40am BST

Cheryl wrote: "To despise such people is biblical."

Maybe. But someties God *curses* those who are abstaining from violence.

Jeremiah 48v10: "Cursed be he that doeth the work of Jehovah negligently; and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood."

Posted by Andy at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 2:46am BST

I don't care WHAT the 39 Articles say. I'll try and go on staking my life on the teaching of Jesus, though it comes through the prism of the gospels; and his spirit in the here and now. IT is backed-up by the costly praxis of the first followers of the Way --long before they had bishops, Creedal christologies,or Articles ! And also backed-up by the expereince and teaching of Buddha and Gandhi.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 11:56am BST

Andy you sure do love (to quote) Jeremiah 48.10. I'd be in your debt if you could at least hint at that verse's place in the message of Jeremiah (the verse alone sounds like a jeremiad ! oops, sorry! :-) ). Also the place of this verse in the whole counsel of God (space permitting). This is too much for any one of us, but I guess we must explore it...

My sense , right now,in this moment, is of one thing :--


the Lord Jesus Christ (would) destroys no one.


(He hasn't got it in him)

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 12:07pm BST

"tactical uses of trident nuclear missiles"

I thought Trident was strategic. If Trident is being recategorised as a tactical weapons system then we ought to be REALLY worried.

Posted by mynsterpreost at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 2:39pm BST

" The Americans were thinking of launching an invasion, and one of their concerns was a single tactical nuke being able to wipe out their entire invasion force as they massed for the crossing."

Ermm.... perhaps the American's shouldn't have been thinking of invading a sovereign state in the first place?

Posted by mynsterpreost at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 2:41pm BST

apologies — my last post contained a grocer's apostrophe. A typo, not a grammatico, I promise (or, perhaps, "promi'se"?)

Posted by mynsterpreost at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 2:42pm BST

Laurence wrote: "IT is backed-up by the costly praxis of the first followers of the Way --long before they had bishops, Creedal christologies,or Articles ! And also backed-up by the expereince and teaching of Buddha and Gandhi."

This is a CofE forum, hence I quote the 39 articles. You on the other hand, quote the "experience and teaching" of pagans.

And you're wrong about the first Christians not having bishops:

Phillipians 1v1:
"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:"

Posted by Andy at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 3:16pm BST

Laurence wrote: "I'd be in your debt if you could at least hint at that verse's place in the message of Jeremiah"

This is not the right forum for discussing the message of Jeremiah.

Laurence wrote: "the Lord Jesus Christ (would) destroys no one."

In your desire to have harmony between the Word of God and the human philosophy of pagans such as Budda and Gandhi, you are having to blot out of your mind what the Word of God tells us about the Lord:

Jude 1:5:
"Now I desire to put you in remembrance, though ye know all things once for all, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not."

Zechariah 12:9:
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."

Matthew 10:28:
"And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. "

Posted by Andy at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 3:32pm BST

For myself, I do not believe the sermon on the mount 'prohibits' anything.

I don't think Jesus' teaching says in advance in any or every situation, this is what you must do. But that, at any moment, this is the kind of thing that Love or the Kingdom * may require of you.

( * / Queendom / Commonwealth / Republic )

Advices & Queries is inspiring too, I feel, and in this spirit :--

1. Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.

2. Bring the whole of your life under the ordering of the spirit of Christ. Are you open to the healing power of God's love? Cherish that of God within you, so that this love may grow in you and guide you. Let your worship and your daily life enrich each other. Treasure your experience of God, however it comes to you. Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.

31. We are called to live `in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars'. Do you faithfully maintain our testimony that war and the preparation for war are inconsistent with the spirit of Christ? Search out whatever in your own way of life may contain the seeds of war. Stand firm in our testimony, even when others commit or prepare to commit acts of violence, yet always remember that they too are children of God.

32. Bring into God's light those emotions, attitudes and prejudices in yourself which lie at the root of destructive conflict, acknowledging your need for forgiveness and grace. In what ways are you involved in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations?

33. Are you alert to practices here and throughout the world which discriminate against people on the basis of who or what they are or because of their beliefs? Bear witness to the humanity of all people, including those who break society's conventions or its laws. Try to discern new growing points in social and economic life. Seek to understand the causes of injustice, social unrest and fear. Are you working to bring about a just and compassionate society which allows everyone to develop their capacities and fosters the desire to serve?

34. Remember your responsibilities as a citizen for the conduct of local, national, and international affairs. Do not shrink from the time and effort your involvement may demand.

35. Respect the laws of the state but let your first loyalty be to God's purposes. If you feel impelled by strong conviction to break the law, search your conscience deeply...


I find these passages inspiring. From the Book of Discipline of Quakers (red book)

Hope this isn't too long, Simon.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 4:21pm BST

Andy you wrote "Cheryl wrote: "Liberals who call for the end of unethical weapons and wars (open or covert) are closer to the intent of the bible that the scriptural purists..." Obviously it is the people who *aren't* scriptural purists who really understand the intent of the bible."

This is sloppy logic. SOME people who are liberals and call for the end of unethical weapons and war IS NOT THE SAME as ALL people who aren't scriptural purists.

Also, you failed to distinguish between just and unjust, ethical and unethical. Even the US government has (finally) moved further than you, in that they have agreed to invoke the Geneva Convention for the souls interned at Guanamato Bay. Go and read Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine and Jesus' own writings e.g the Beatitudes at Matthew 5:1-12.

This again parallels the comparing the values and behaviours of the offspring of Esau to those of the Daughter of Zion. Esau and his descendants were cursed to live by the sword (Genesis 27:40). The souls of Edom were condemned for not only refusing to allow the Israelites passage but for actively attacking them and handing victims over to other tormentors. Read Obadiah, and this is God's promise to those who embrace the values of Edom (see Obadiah 1:15-18).

"The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. Just as you drank on my holy hill,so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been. But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance. The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble, and they will set it on fire and consume it. There will be no survivors from the house of Esau.” The LORD has spoken.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 5:47pm BST

"Bishop", Deacon", "Hell"...

It seems that Andy need to get himself a correct translation.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 12 July 2006 at 9:20pm BST

Göran wrote: ""Bishop", Deacon", "Hell"...

It seems that Andy need to get himself a correct translation."

There's no such thing as a "correct" translation, but I have the AKJV, ASV, KJV, RNKJV, RSV, RNKJV, all translating "episkopos", "diakonos" & "gehenna" as "Bishop", "Deacon" & "Hell".

The translation of each of these words is good. None of them are 1:1 mappings, but neither would any other Enlish words be.

Posted by Andy at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 2:01am BST

Cheryl wrote: "Andy you wrote "Cheryl wrote: "Liberals who call for the end of unethical weapons and wars (open or covert) are closer to the intent of the bible that the scriptural purists..." Obviously it is the people who *aren't* scriptural purists who really understand the intent of the bible."

This is sloppy logic. SOME people who are liberals and call for the end of unethical weapons and war IS NOT THE SAME as ALL people who aren't scriptural purists."

It wasn't logic, it was irony. I made no logical connection between your statement and mine. But since you've raised the point, My statement makes no impilication that my ALL group is the same group as your SOME group.

Posted by Andy at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 2:30am BST

mynsterpreost wrote: "thought Trident was strategic. If Trident is being recategorised as a tactical weapons system then we ought to be REALLY worried."

We could argue over the definitions of strategy and tactics, but I don't think its particularly fruitful. I would think Trident as a deterent is strategy, and as a deployed weapon is tactical.

But Trident is not the real issue here. It is *all* nuclear weapons:

The Bishops statement read: "...we all agree that Just War arguments rule out the use of nuclear weapons and such weapons challenge the very core of Judeo-Christian Faith..."

These CND infiltrators into the episcopate are against a particular set of methods of causing explosions. Just wars must be fought with TNT only.

Posted by Andy at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 2:47am BST

Can anyone explain to this simpleton why the AV is still so often the preferred translation of theologically conservative English-speaking Christians? Surely they should be using the most accurate renderings of Scripture if it's that important to them?

Posted by mynsterpreost at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 8:51am BST

Andy wrote: "There's no such thing as a "correct" translation".

You know that? And yet you defend translating "episkopos", "diakonos" & "gehenna" as "Bishop", "Deacon" & "Hell"?

They are all incorrect.

(The Swedish 1541 gives "Biscopar och tienare", the 1917 "församlingsföreståndare och församlingstjänare", the 1981 "församlingsledarna och hjälparna")

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 9:34am BST

Jesus help !
Mary pray !

Posted by laurence roberts at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 11:40am BST

Göran wrote: "Andy wrote: "There's no such thing as a "correct" translation".

You know that? And yet you defend translating "episkopos", "diakonos" & "gehenna" as "Bishop", "Deacon" & "Hell"?

They are all incorrect."

Your comment is absurd. By your definition *all* translation of any language into another is "incorrect".


Göran wrote: "(The Swedish 1541 gives "Biscopar och tienare", the 1917 "församlingsföreståndare och församlingstjänare", the 1981 "församlingsledarna och hjälparna")"

Why are you posting Swedish on an English forum? And why do you think that your Swedish translations are not "incorrect" by your own definition?

Posted by Andy at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 1:59pm BST

It's strange to see all these Calvinist readings of dear Dr Hooker and the XXXIX Articles.

Wasn't Dr Hooker defending the Via Media of the Church against the Gregorian past (and Tridentine present) of schismatic Rome, and, equally, against the extreme Neo Platonism of secarian Calvinism?

It does look like the acrobatics performed by the Pietists over the German Lutheran Books of Concord ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 13 July 2006 at 4:33pm BST

Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the
Children of God
(Mat 5:9)
Jesus's way is not by sword but by cross
http://club.us.cyworld.com/prcc

Posted by David at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 8:04am BST
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