Comments: opinions collected

Ted Harrison makes a point that I have been arguing for some time -- it seems curious indeed that the solution to the increasing alienation of the people of England from the C of E (which theoretically is supposed to be the people of the Commonwealth at prayer) is to keep increasing the number of bishops. Downsizing never seems to stop at the top, alas.

Posted by Prior Aelred at Saturday, 20 September 2008 at 7:49pm BST

The Presbyterians got it right. Get rid of the bishops. They back slap and self-serve, at the expense of their own parishioners if their career interests are jeopardized.

God is God of ALL Creation and God is responsible for all souls. Nor is God diminished by human comprehension of universal mechanism. Nor is God dictated or defined by angels, Jesus, humans or priests.

The Christians that claim that Jesus is the complete and perfect fulfillment of God are welcome to their one-way street to Jesus' heaven.

God is righteous and God makes fair provision for all souls.

My recommendations to God are that the lines between heaven and hell have become too blurred. What Christians have been to prepared to forgive or allow second chances amongst themselves can apply to the camps. Otherwise God is not a just God and would be showing partiality in matters of law. Further, all the sciptures have not been fulfilled and thus any theology that purports otherwise is in error, and as we have seen in recent years its priests are belligerently defiant.

So. The middle ground belongs to God and all are welcome to that ground, provided their aggression is under control. The Buddhas, little gods, saints, angels and prophets are to keep their aggressive extremists under control or locked away. That includes Gabriel (who sponsored Islam), Jesus (who sponsored Christianity), and Satan. After all, all three will be the laughing stock of celestial beings if they bring this planet to extinction.

Ezekiel 16 and 28-12:26 or Hosea 6:7 to 7:16

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Saturday, 20 September 2008 at 10:53pm BST

Thankfully the Canadian legal system seems to be fairer and quicker than that south of the border. Whilst I have sympathy with the "conservatives", the fact is I feel that they are on a loser here. Wouldn't their money be better and more wisely spent on a building fund for their new churches..rather than lining lawyers pockets?

Furthermore you can bet that the new structure they eventually set up, will guarantee that all future property stays within the grouping!

Posted by Robert Ian williams at Sunday, 21 September 2008 at 6:42am BST

On Romain and Francis:

No, the solution is to deliver on the promise of a good education for all, since level of education by his own analysis is a contributing factor. Then again, Martin Amis is hardly illiterate but still manages to have some 'doubtful' views of Islam, and Nick Griffin was educated at Cambridge. So clearly this isn't just about five good GCSEs or more.

Be careful of yourself employing the language of 'zero tolerance' towards the apparently ignorant. It seems to me you would rather condemn a certain social stratum than raise up those who can be classified as such, and you will only show them that the best object in life is intolerance - you will be paid out inevitably in the coin you yourself have minted.

I suggest also Romain visits a few car-boot sales near any large conurbation. he will see that despite his understanding, the presence of Union Jacks, and the mass of buyers being of the 'lower' educational orders, Muslim women in Burkas will pass by without comment, will haggle with traders in the same way as everyone else, in an atmopshere where there is no 'atmosphere'.

I take a very dim view of the implication that it's the (older) working classes at the root of such deadly ignorance. Ignorance is not a cause in its own right of despising others, but one symptom of despair, and so hate. I was once present at a debate of humanists, secularists and those of many faiths when a clearly very riled Muslim women interjected "And Jesus said 'an eye for an eye', didn't he?!". She was soon relieved of her lack of education in this matter, but not of her despair.

Francis might though be interested to make his interfaith dialogue into just that - not broadcasting again at those he deems ignorant educationally who have no right to be on one side only of the debate, but drawing in all who hold illusions about others (Muslims, Jews, their neighbours, the handicapped, shopkeepers, homosexuals, workmen) and shattering them. Education has nothing to do with it, personal enlightenment has.

Posted by orfanum at Sunday, 21 September 2008 at 7:52am BST

Cheryl Va.

Oh dear, I'm afraid I cannot agree -- a friend of mine was ordained today in the Dutch Reformed tradition, but she does not claim to be a priest -- a pile of presbyters does not a bishop make, no matter how high you stack them.

When my Novice Master was in seminary, the debated as to whether bishops were of the "esse" of the church or the "bene esse" & concluded that they must be of the "esse" of the church, since they were obviously NOT of the "bene esse"!

Posted by Prior Aelred at Sunday, 21 September 2008 at 10:44pm BST

Prior Aelred, you're a hoot!

I recommend the opposite of what seems to be the popular stand: I recommend MORE bishops -- many more -- one for each parish would seem about right (and would emulate the pre-contaminated Church mighty well).

But no episcopal palaces, no stipends higher than the lowest paid priest, no drivers or valets (and, of course, no chancellors or archdeacons). But at least two non-stipendiary deacons who could "run things".

But then, of course, we'd still probably end up with boundary-jumpers! Perhaps the solution would be an ankle chain which would reach only to the parish bounds (and would make for a much more exciting Rogationtide).

Posted by John-Julian, OJN at Monday, 22 September 2008 at 3:59am BST

Thanks for the light moment John-Julian.

Alas, when we use the word priest, we no longer can refer to only males who attempt to contain God to their limited imaginations.

More bishopes is not the answer Hosea 4:7-14 "The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful. They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. And it will be: Like people, like priests... They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. They sacrifice on the mountaintops... where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery. “I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—a people without understanding will come to ruin!"

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Monday, 22 September 2008 at 12:31pm BST

How about we cut the middle and say of the pleni esse, which is more in keeping with our divines past? We do not unchurch churches that do not have bishops, and I think we need to remember that when we start feeling Romish.

Posted by Christopher at Monday, 22 September 2008 at 2:30pm BST

Christopher postulated "How about we cut the middle..."

Therein lies the problem.

If we cut the middle, then only extremists remain. The selfish can not control the middle, because the middle by necessity involves engaging and accommodating the "other".

So choose extremism and your god of justification for violence, or choose the middle and accept your god as one of many who have to cohabitate in a Creation and acknowledge a God who is the parent and sponsor of all (from the least to the greatest, dirtiest to purest).

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Tuesday, 23 September 2008 at 10:38am BST
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