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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Passion tide


"Fling wide the gates,
For the Saviour waits to tread in His royal way
He has come from above in His power and love, to die on this Passion day.
Fling wide the gates!
The Saviour waits......."

Stainer's Crucifixion Oratorio is a well loved meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer but this Passiontide has seen other manifestations of passion in the Church.

Take this headline from Changing Attitudes: "The Church of England enters a new era – married gay clergy are the new reality". Fling wide the gates indeed.

Perhaps we should no longer be surprised to read "The Passion of Christ" is banned by Oxford City Council in the mistaken belief that it was a live sex show! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Assisted killing of the Church in Wales - Part 3


St Michael's College, Llandaff, Cardiff                                                                        Picture: WalesOnline


WalesOnline is carrying the headline, "Top Church college could face axe despite £1.7m revamp", a complete turnaround of the story in 2009, "Report praises St Michael’s College in Llandaff." Followers of the greatly missed Llandaffchester Chronicles will recall the forecast closure of  'St. Michelle’s College' after the failure of substituting sing-along-worship for scholarship to accommodate the mainly women social workers the Archbishop likes to point towards ordination to justify his belief that only women clergy and gay pride matter in the Church today.

Hat tip to Llandaff Pewster for the links under a previous entry here, the first of which harks back to March 2004 with the headline "Church college up for sale".  Another commentator, Episkopos, estimates that the Church in Wales has wasted over £3 million pounds:

"£1.7 million refurbishment since 2007.
£150,000 per annum since 2007 to keep the place financially afloat = £900,000.
Another £150,000 for 2014, 2015 and 2016 until the place can be closed = £450,000
This for a college that was a dead duck and put up for sale in 2004.
Grand total of the profligacy = £3,050,000"
adding,
"If such a sum of money had been invested by the RB into a Choral Foundation for Llandaff Cathedral Choir, it's future would have been secured into perpetuity. As things now stand, Wales (the land of song) has neither a professional Cathedral Choir nor a Theological College."

Theology is no longer the main consideration of the Archbishop of Wales. He is more comfortable operating in the political arena having long since sacrificed the pillars of Christianity in favour of promoting the heretical ideas of his idol, the  Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

Ten years after the rejected proposal to sell the site of St Michael’s College, Llandaff, the whole Church in Wales as handed down to the present overseers appears to be on the verge of collapse as it embraces non-conformity with the Archbishop and his Bench securing their own futures as 'bishops' in a new protestant backwater in which bishops don't necessarily have to be priests!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This piece of papyrus



In 1938 Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich with his worthless piece of paper. In 2014 a fragment of papyrus is held up to suggest that, contrary to all the biblical evidence, Jesus had a wife. That must be a considerable disappointment for today's proponents of same-sex marriage but it is hardly earth shattering news that this fragment could "support the notion that Mary Magdalene was a major leader in the early Jesus movement!"

On moving up to an affluent parish in reward for doing her Archbishop's bidding, a 'major leader' in the current Jesus movement, the Archdeacon of Llandaff said: "It’s unbelievably important that discrimination against women in the Church is coming to an end. Anybody coming into the Church in Wales now is joining a Church that opens all its offices to women – we can’t have people joining this Church, with the expectation that it will continue to discriminate – that is absolutely unacceptable. It is shame on us that it has taken this long."

Real discrimination against women is defined here. There is no discrimination against women in the Church. That the role of women in the Church is different is NOT discrimination as Dr. Marianne Dorman explains here. The accusation is simply a tool used to convince the ignorant that some ambitious women are being denied their fundamental right. If what they claim were true, Christ Himself would be guilty of discrimination.

In between fiddling filling in their expenses in the "palace of sexminster" MPs are instead conspiring to discriminate against men to allow women bishops to be fast tracked into the Lords. Caroline Spelman, the Conservative MP for Meriden, said: "At present, many ordained women have reported feeling that they are still regarded as second best, which will persist unless we are successful in getting a mix of men and women bishops in the Upper House." Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, said: "To have places reserved solely for men brings into question the legitimacy of bishops in the Lords in a modern democracy. Since the seats are currently allocated on a seniority basis, changing this will require legislation, which the Labour Party will be happy to support." 

Our Prime Minister knows a little bit about Christianity as he explained in his Easter message here. His 'acts of kindness' in fighting discrimination where none exists and in pushing through same-sex marriage without a mandate help us to see how much more Christ could have done if only he had the insight of the modern Jesus movement.

Postscript
Read here about "the state of modern scholarship" which puts “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” into context.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Respect!























On the right is a picture of Her Majesty the Queen,  Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England covering her head as a mark of respect as she visited a 15th century mosque on her state visit to Turkey. 

On the left is a picture Rebekah Dawson showing no respect for The Queen's justice. 

The Independent asks what happened after Rebekah Dawson refused to take her niqab off in court. Read the shocking story here.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Assisted killing of the Church in Wales (continued).



In my 3 April entry I wrote about two agenda items to be discussed at the Governing body of the Church in Wales later this month, Assisted Dying and Same sex Marriages. Papers here.

Sandwiched between the two items is a third, "Church in Wales response to the Proposals from the Gathering of the Covenanted Churches 2012". It makes interesting reading.

Here is a taste:



10. Long-term Recommendations

10.1 The Working Group recommends:
10.1.1 That the Commission invites the five Covenanted Churches to think of
themselves as the Church Uniting in Wales.
10.1.2 That this Church will be congregational, presbyteral and episcopal in
tradition and mode of pastoral oversight.
10.1.3 That the Church will have nine jurisdictions – the six existing Anglican
dioceses plus a Methodist jurisdiction, a Presbyterian jurisdiction and a
URC/Covenanting Baptist jurisdiction, each of which will be invited to
elect its own bishop.
10.1.4 That a description of the bishop’s role be drawn up and agreed by all
five Covenanted Churches (see Annex 1).
10.1.5 That, when and if the Methodist jurisdiction, the Presbyterian jurisdiction
and the URC/Covenanting Baptist jurisdiction each elect a bishop, the
bishop will ordain all those who are to become ministers within that
jurisdiction.
10.1.6 That this bishop will be a bishop in the Church Uniting in Wales and will
share collegiality and full interchangeability with all the other bishops of
that Church.
10.1.7 That the bishops of all nine jurisdictions in the Church Uniting in Wales
consult with each other at least twice a year.

At their GB meeting last November, the Bill proposed by the bishops of the Church in Wales to enable women to be consecrated as bishops was successfully amended by the  Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Ven Peggy Jackson, and the Reverend Canon Jenny Wigley. Their amendment substituted a voluntary code of practice for the statutory provisions contained in the bishops' bill. 

Here is what they said in explanation:
Our amendment seeks to reflect the overwhelming view of Governing Body members (as expressed in questionnaire responses in 2012), that:- 
 a) there should be provision for women to be consecrated as bishops in the Church in Wales, 
 b) there should be recognition and provision allowed for those who in individual conscience dissent from this move, 
while also keeping faith with other aims, as expressed:- 
 a) in 2008 – that provisions for conscience should not be included in the body of  formal legislation, 
 b) in 2012 – that legislation should not include structural provision to accommodate dissent. [My emphasis - Ed.]

That there should be women bishops in the Church in Wales gets over a covenanting hurdle but in the light of 10.1.6 above (That this bishop will be a bishop in the Church Uniting in Wales and will share collegiality and full interchangeability with all the other bishops of that Church), the agreed amendment to the bishops' Bill "that legislation should not include structural provision to accommodate dissent" now looks particularly spiteful if structural provision were thought credible.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cameron's trumpet


 Maria Miller leaves the Houses of Parliament after apologising to MPs. Photo Warren Allott/Telegraph


The bedrock of our society” - Women and Equalities Minister, Maria Miller!!

"Marriage is the bedrock of our society and now irrespective of sexuality everyone in British society can make that commitment. It is a wonderful achievement and whilst this legislation may be about marriage, its impact is so much wider. Making marriage available to all couples demonstrates our society’s respect for all individuals regardless of their sexuality. It demonstrates the importance we attach to being able to live freely. It says so much about the society that we are and the society that we want to live in."

In my mind's eye I can still see her at the dispatch box, brazenly lecturing the Britain people on how we should order our lives when in reality she was pressing the case of an unrepresentative minority for political purposes, creating a law which required numerous subsequent amendments to avoid, for example, a gay King’s ‘husband’ from becoming Queen!

It is now clear why Mrs Miller was so positive about "being able to live freely" in "the society that we want to live in." She had experience of living freely at the expense of the tax-payer.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found that the Culture Minister had over-claimed by £45,000 for expenses towards mortgage interest payments and council tax but the Commons Standards Committee ruled that Mrs Miller should repay only £5,800 and apologise to parliament for her "attitude".

The Prime Minister regards that as reasonable for an 'honest mistake'. He said, "It was found she had made mistakes, she accepted that, repaid the money, she apologised unreservedly to the House of Commons, so I think we should leave it there." His comments will make 'the hard working people of this country' wonder why there is one law for the privileged and another for the rest of us. As one MP remarked, "If one of my constituents had claimed £6,000 of taxpayers' money for, say, housing benefit and then tried to claim that it was an oversight, that she hadn't realised that she wasn't entitled to this money, the book would be thrown at my constituent, rightly."

Having made a terse, inadequate 'apology' to the House, Mrs Miller keeps her job despite being regarded as a mediocre minister who is "out of her depth".  Perhaps she feels secure as one of the few women in Team Cameron happy to act as his trumpet. A successful grammar school girl keen to make good she has been used by a privileged elite to undermine the institution of marriage in a squalid vote chasing exercise.

The Telegraph suggests that the 'apology' was used as an occasion to bury bad news but that is no surprise these days when everything seems designed to gain votes at any expense. That is evidenced by Dave looking to the Muslim vote by claiming that "halal meat will be protected as long as he Prime Minister". Perhaps that is why he prefers to shop at Waitrose with customers who are "more engaged than those who shop elsewhere". Somewhere he can rely on getting halal meats.

Nothing it seems is too difficult for us to swallow!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Assisted killing of the Church in Wales




At their meeting later this month the Governing Body (GB) of the Church in Wales (HT LNYD blog here) will discuss Assisted Dying and the Archbishop's current hobbyhorse, Same-sex Marriage - or the assisted killing of the Church in Wales as she has been handed down.

Mimicking the previous ruse used for admitting women to the Episcopate, cosy chats are being organised to discuss the blatantly loaded scenario:
"A couple of the same sex come to worship in your parish.   After a period of attendance, and enthusiastic participation in church life, they enquire if their relationship can be blessed.   How can the Church in Wales respond to same sex couples – theologically and pastorally?"

The Archbishop should know better than most how many gay couples are already in his Church with his blessing and have been worshiping without impediment for many years.