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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When the circus came to York Minster




It is interesting that the BBC reports before and after the consecration of the Rev Libby Lane as the new Bishop of Stockport appear under the URL "bbc.uk.co/news/uk-politics" for that is what it is, politics. The pre-service clip in the first link is of a TV interview with 'Mrs Lane's friend and curate', the Reverend Georgina Watmore, on the BBC Breakfast show. It stops short of the point when she was asked how they would be celebrating her vicar becoming the first female bishop in the Church of England.

Here was a heaven sent opportunity to say that they would be celebrating the Holy Eucharist, the essential sacrament of the Church, injecting some Christian teaching at the culmination of their 'equality' campaign - a spurious claim if ever there was one. They were going to celebrate with a knees up - rather than knees down. Previously a commentator who had been speaking live from York Minster referred to the thousand or more 'spectators' including a hundred bishops from around the world who wanted to lay hands on the first female bishop to be consecrated in the Church of England. Surely she meant 'congregation' I thought but on reflection she was correct. 'Spectators' summed up the media event. - After all, it's all about equality, stupid!

When the Archbishop of York asked the spectators during the proceedings, "Is it now your will that she should be ordained?", there was one objection on the not unreasonable grounds that innovation was not in the Bible.  The objector was refused permission to speak. Instead Dr Sentamu read out a prepared statement assuring the spectators that the consecration was lawful under the Canon of the Church of England which is "part of the law of the land". Correct. It was legal, the Church of England having enacted it but it was not legitimate in the eyes of the wider Church, hence the objection.

A spokesman for the Church of England said the objector, the Rev Paul Williamson, a priest in charge of St George's Church, Hanworth, West London, had shown himself to be a "lone voice of protest in a sea of voices of affirmation". So he was but he gave an honest response, one which many others could have made had it not been for the agreement which enabled the consecration to take place. It is regrettable therefore that an objector voicing his response according to conscience was portrayed as a clown in the rite of feminist authentication in the same way that other objectors on grounds of conscience have been portrayed in the media.

Everyone who was anyone, or anyone who thought they were anyone in this charade was there. Around 100 bishops 'from around the world' pressed forward to be in front for the laying on of hands while exercising sufficient restraint to avoid the appearance of a Black Friday stampede. I say charade because in the view of the wider Church, Orthodox, Catholic and for most Anglicans the Church has no authority to ordain women. Hence it was a gross parody to answer "I do" to the questions:
  • Do you accept the Holy Scriptures as revealing all things necessary for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ?
  • Will you teach the doctrine of Christ as the Church of England has received it, will you refute error, and will you hand on entire the faith that is entrusted to you?
  • Will you be faithful in ordaining and commissioning ministers of the gospel?
  • Will you promote peace and reconciliation in the Church and in the world; and will you strive for the visible unity of Christ's Church?
  • Will you accept the discipline of this Church, exercising authority with justice, courtesy and love, and always holding before you the example of Christ?
Nobody thought to question how these questions could be answered in the affirmative with complete integrity having changed the rules, thus putting themselves at odds with the the rest of the Church and creating a serious impediment to Christian unity. But what is that to commentators who appear to know less about Christianity than their understanding of Islam.

Commentators were stressing that women in the Church of England had waited twenty years for this moment as if a prejudiced minority had impeded their legitimacy. They were of course applying secular principles of equality of opportunity in the workplace. Claims that the ordination of women are about equality are totally spurious but who cares these days let alone understands? Typical Sunday attendances in the Church of England have halved to just 800,000 in the last 40 years. That is around 1.5% of the population of England, just slightly better than attendance in Wales. Most of those remaining will simply have played follow-my-leader without regard for the consequences while others have left, their faith destroyed.

Friends of Libby Lane may celebrate with a knees-up but it is a hollow victory for the Church of England given the damage the liberal invasion has caused. Writing in the Telegraph their Religious Affairs Editor, John Bingham, poses the question "Female bishops are go: What on earth will the Church row about now?" One has to ask if it really matters any more given the damage to the Church the innovation has caused.

Writing about the consecration of Fr Philip North, a 'traditionalist Anglo-Catholic', next week Bingham commented: For reasons which might charitably be described as obscure at best, there is 'acrimony'  because "the plan is - ironically - to depart from tradition for the central part of Fr North's consecration service". A Religious Affairs Editor who can refer to the Apostolic Succession as 'obscure at best' must surely be in the wrong job unless his main purpose is to denigrate the Anglican Church. If the deliberations of the Church are "tortuous and, to many people, simply incomprehensible" Mr Bingham would have been better employed explaining the genuine held beliefs of traditionalists rather than making a cheap buck out the misery inflicted upon them.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Taint as they say!


Ministerial group: the Prime Minister with (left to right) the Ven. Dr Jane Hedges, the Rt Revd
Kay Goldsworthy, and the Ven. Christine Hardman                                   Credit: Church Times


"A confident Church is a 'vital partner' in the care of the nation" the Prime Minister wrote in the Church Times. A report on his politically correct twaddle dressed-up as faith can be read here. With this new founded but deluded confidence the latest call raised by MPs is: "Give us a female Bishop of Durham and Bishop of Newcastle",  having approved legislation to help fast-track female bishops into the House of Lords over the next decade.

In the debate "Mrs Blackman-Woods told MPs: I should say that we have recently got a new bishop in Durham and I am not trying in any way to push him out of the door, as he is doing an excellent job, but when the time comes for him to retire I hope that a woman bishop will be on our agenda. Backing a change in the law, Mrs Blackman-Woods told the Commons: 'Without the Bill, a woman appointed as a diocesan bishop would effectively join the back of the queue to get into the House of Lords. At anticipated rates of retirement it could take up to seven years for the first female diocesan bishops to get into the Lords, a period that could cover the lifetime of the next Parliament. That would create an anomaly whereby women were actively and visibly involved as bishops in all aspects of the Church’s national ministry except as Members of the Bishops’ Bench in the other place'."

I don't know whether or not Mrs Blackman-Woods is a regular churchgoer, an Anglican or even a believer but in her previous intervention in the 'Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure' we heard the usual political claptrap dressed as faith when she said. "This is a historic moment that we should note, because it gives the Church a real chance to look more like the society that it seeks to serve. A Church with women in office at the highest levels of authority will better reflect British society today" [@5.56]. I note also that she voted in favour of Same sex marriage so if she had been ordained no doubt she could have expected a call from the Archbishop of Wales with an offer of another plumb appointment over the heads of his loyal but long suffering clergy.

Of little surprise to observers, there are now dire warnings that that this 'confident church', this 'vital partner' in the care of the nation is in peril. If it is not to go into 'terrifying' decline the Church of England must 'adopt one of its most radical shake-ups in generations'. Senior Church leaders have warned: "It leaves the Church little time to sit back and enjoy the success of the legislation as the consecration of the first woman bishop at York Minster approaches."

If readers think these reports are exaggerated they should read Virtue Online. Here is a sample:
"Virtually all the 1,900 churches with more than 350 people in their congregation are either Catholic (1,350) or evangelical (460); the remaining seventy are considered broad or liberal. There are also virtually no churches with 350 or more in rural areas; just thirty spread across numerous commuter rural areas (and all between 350 and 400 people). There are one hundred churches of this size in city centers, 310 in inner city areas (many of which are Roman Catholic), 165 on council estates, 920 in suburban areas, and 350 in separate towns".

As a "dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist" I am told that I should avoid waving around statistics shrieking: "See! We told you this would happen if you let women have opinions, and stand at the front of church, and be vicars. We told you the men wouldn't like it. You've feminised the Church! Of course the men are leaving!" The author of this Telegraph article, Helen Coffey, continued: "This sexist hysterical crew seem to think that, in slowly but surely embracing equality, the entire Church is being transformed into one long episode of Loose Women. That by letting women lead, it naturally follows we're creating an environment that is “toxic” to men. What a load of tosh." Obviously hysteria is not confined to the male sex. Helen Coffey is a sub editor and staff writer at Telegraph Ski and Snowboard. Her previous contributions have been "Church yoga row: Am I going to hell for stretching myself?" and "Twenty years of women priests: And the Church has survived just fine".

To these politicians and journalists who feel free to dictate what true Anglicans are supposed to believe, sending the Church of England and the Church in Wales into terminal decline in the process, must be added liberal Anglicans whose sole aim is to change the Church to meet their career prospects and to suit their particular lifestyles. The feminist pressure group Women and the Church (WATCH) has played a key role in this phenomenon: "We have in modern society a new F-word: Feminism" - Keynote address given to the WATCH AGM, 3 November 2007, by Canon Lucy Winkett, Precentor of St Paul’s Cathedral.

I admit to having expressed regret about the increasing feminisation of the Church although not in the manner suggested by Helen Coffey. However, if women were supposed to halt the decline by spreading 'equality', how is it that the Anglican Church has reached this perilous position? Women clergy have not halted the decline in liberal Provinces by 'looking more like society', they have exacerbated it. Perhaps they are waiting until they have packed the benches of the Lords Spiritual by which time they will be left to talk among themselves on current trends.

Notwithstanding the fact that the innovation of women priests has been a complete and utter disaster bringing the Anglican Church to the point of collapse, there is no indication that lessons have been learnt with calls for yet more women, particularly younger women to be ordained instead of the elderly matrons soon to join the retirement queue. The secular notion of rapid advancement for women in the Church which shattered any claim about introducing 'equality' has not lessened their anger as they invent more claims of foul play so that they can frustrate procedures if no longer backtrack on their promises.

The latest outcry is over the token consecration of one traditionalist, the  Rev Philip North as Bishop of Burnley on 2 February alleging female 'taint' because the Archbishop of York will not participate in the laying on of hands when Fr North is consecrated. This is deliberately emotive point scoring. It has nothing to do with 'taint'. It is a question of true belief in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. A matter of 'authenticity' such as bishops of The Old Catholic Church acting as co-consecrators in the ordination of Anglican bishops.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu,  told The Huffington Post that "he was the one who suggested the unusual change, in order to accommodate North's strong theological conviction that women should not be ordained. Giving traditionalists room to flourish was part of the church's plan all along -- a necessary concession that makes it difficult for either side to claim outright victory". Dr Sentamu added: "Any suggestion that the arrangements proposed for the consecration of the Bishop of Burnley are influenced by a theology of ‘taint’ would be mistaken," Sentamu said. "These arrangements are for prayer, not politics."

The consecration of the first woman bishop in the Church of England takes place tomorrow (26 January, 2015). In the Observer it has been reported that the Rev Libby Lane is aware that "what I say and do will be heard by millions, many of whom have no other contact with the church". So what does she say? - She hopes that as the new bishop of Stockport she will "send a signal to young girls regardless of their faith". Whilst Anglicanism has become all about the advancement of women, the new bishop admits to "feeling the pressure that comes with the historic appointment, expressing concern that her position may distract people from the message of Christ". The message of Christ is what some of us have been concerned about all along, not a distorted version of Christ's ministry designed to satisfy wants, not needs.

There is no letup in the feminist's campaign. The 'theology of taint' is the latest weapon feminists are using to exercise their power. They agreed a compromise to ensure that women were allowed to become bishops in the Church of England but now they are seeking to dictate on matters which should not concern them. They should follow the advice of the Archbishop of York "giving traditionalists room to flourish" rather than creating imaginary divisions. That has caused more than enough damage in the Anglican Communion.

All credit then to His Grace the Archbishop of York for his integrity in maintaining agreements unlike the example set across the border in Wales.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Free will...
























The gift of free will brings with it responsibility to fellow men and women. 

God's will cannot be enforced with the sword, bombs and bullets while supposedly earning sexual favours in paradise as a reward. Sex is a human requirement for furthering the species, not a heavenly prize for slaughtering the innocent on Earth. Why would God want an army to destroy what He created anyway?

This is what He intended based on centuries of evidence, not just on what one man told others he had heard:

  

Monday, January 19, 2015

By The Book



"Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me;  
I will repay, says the Lord.Romans 12:19


I have lost count of the number times the Quran has been quoted after the Charlie Hebdo massacre to convince us that Islam is a Religion of Peace: 5.32. It is because of this that We ordained for (all humankind, but particularly for) the Children of Israel: He who kills a soul unless it be (in legal punishment) for murder or for causing disorder and corruption on the earth will be as if he had killed all humankind; and he who saves a life will be as if he had saved the lives of all humankind. Assuredly, there came to them Our Messengers (one after the other) with clear proofs of the truth (so that they might be revived both individually and as a people). Then (in spite of all this), many of them go on committing excesses on the earth.  

No mention is made of 5.33: The recompense of those who fight against God and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth causing disorder and corruption: they shall (according to the nature of their crime) either be executed, or crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off alternately, or be banished from the land. Such is their disgrace in the world, and for them is a mighty punishment in the Hereafter.

Of course the majority of Muslims want to live peaceful lives but that is not the point. Islamists such as IS and Boko Harem terrorize Muslims and non-Muslims alike for not adhering strictly to the book using "The Verse of the Sword" to justify their actions.  Questioning the basis of this ideology prompts outrage leading to even more deaths and burning of churches. From BBC Africa: At least three people have been killed and six churches attacked in Niger amid fresh protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo's cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad. There are 114 chapters in the Quran giving ample scope for quoting peaceful passages  but WikiIslam lists 113 verses which are abrogated by the Verse of the Sword - full list here.

Excuses, half truths and outright dishonesty will not provide a solution to jihad. Islam should be explained openly, not misrepresented. Instead we have the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) complaining about a letter from Eric Pickles "sent to 1,000 Muslim leaders after the attacks in Paris".  He wrote "You, as faith leaders, are in a unique position in our society. You have a precious opportunity, and an important responsibility, in explaining and demonstrating how faith in Islam can be part of British identity. "We believe together we have an opportunity to demonstrate the true nature of British Islam today. There is a need to lay out more clearly than ever before what being a British Muslim means today: proud of your faith and proud of your country. We know that acts of extremism are not representative of Islam, but we need to show what is." 

The MCB said the letter appeared to suggest that, "like the far right", Muslims and Islam were "inherently apart from British society". MCB members need to get out more. Many people in Britain will recognise the situation outlined in this article where whole areas have been Islamised with Sharia law courts in place around the country while Muslim polygamists simply circumvent UK law by using unofficial Islamic ceremonies. That is not integration. Other critics of the letter are popping up in the media turning the problem around by suggesting that Imams and Mosques are powerless. Playing the victim card is similar to cries of Islamophobia - just shut up and let us get on with what we are doing without interference. That is not good enough.

Open examination of Islam is absent in Great Britain. More often it is promoted by politicians mouthing the usual mantra that Islam is a Religion of Peace despite all the evidence to the contrary from around the world. The basis of violence in the name of Islam needs to be confronted. Muslims who denounce violent jihadists as not being true Muslims need to be part of the debate. The life of their Prophet, the circumstances in which God is said to have delivered His message and its context in the 21st Century would be a useful starting point opening Islam to the same scrutiny as other faiths. 

Islam denies the very foundation of the Christian faith: that Christ died for us on the Cross "And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures1 Corinthians 15:4 but Christians do not take to the streets abducting the innocent, killing, burning and pillaging.

The resurrection of Christ is central to Christianity. If Christ has not been raised our faith is in vain but according to the Quran Jesus did not die on the Cross, thus wiping out the centrality of the Christian faith. "That they said (in boast), 'We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah'—but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not—nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself." Surah 4:157-158. Read "What does Islam teach about the crucifixion of Isa al Masih (Jesus)?" here

There are even Muslims who claim that Jesus was a Muslim! In fact, Islam demands the freedom to make any claim regardless of the sensibilities of others while demanding no right of reply for fear of offending their Prophet. Whereas the Bible is a collection of stories which can be held up to scrutiny, the Quran is a set of instructions which Muhammad said he had received from God to be followed without question. There lies the problem.

We owe it to Muslims and all God's people to spread the message while being aware of the dangers involved spreading the Good News today. There can be none other after Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the prophecies of Holy Scripture. Witnesses and historians testify to the Resurrection. Accordingly, Muslims who have lived by the Quran, taking vengeance in God's name are in for a nasty shock when they meet their maker: "Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.Romans 12:19


This is the reality in Islamic states so, "Why Are Christian Cathedrals Opening the Door for Muslim Prayers to a Different God?" here. HT Anglican Mainstream.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Religion of Fear




The truth is out!

 From the Spectator: "The West’s movement towards the truth is remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault...All these [Western] leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie. The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a ‘noble lie’, provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. ‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake. First, because the general public do not rely on politicians for their information and can perfectly well read articles and books about Islam for themselves. Secondly, because the lie helps no one understand the threat we face. Thirdly, because it takes any heat off Muslims to deal with the bad traditions in their own religion. And fourthly, because unless mainstream politicians address these matters then one day perhaps the public will overtake their politicians to a truly alarming extent."

The 2010 video above questions why two speakers who are qualified to challenge the basis of Jihad were refused entry to Great Britain after the butchery of an innocent British soldier on a London street. I questioned the Home Secretary at the time and received the same response: "their presence was "not conducive to the public good".

Listen here how a prevaricating London Imam was then let off the hook while one of the speakers who was refused entry, Robert Spencer, was smeared as a defender of the EDL because he accepted an invitation to reveal the truth about Islam based on his detailed knowledge rather than what Muslims tell us to believe.

What Mr Spencer had said was "...it [Islam] is a religion and a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society because media and general government unwillingness to face the sources of Islamic terrorism these things remain largely unknown". (Video here)So by explaining what the West needs to know about Islam Robert Spencer "would be behaving in a way that is not conducive to the public good"!

Anyone watching Panorama on Monday should have had a wake-up call. The presenter said "I understand that the Home Office believe that a worryingly high number of British Muslims to not subscribe to core British values like freedom of expression and equality and tolerance of other faiths and that none of the initiatives aimed at improving integration either from this government or the last have had any significant impact. The fear is that this will lead to what ministers describe as non-violent extremism".

The response from a 'moderate' Muslim was: Ten years ago non-violent extremism was very much a fringe element. What we have now is [the] majority of Muslims are not extreme but that fringe movement, that body is a lot bigger. Not only that, it has allowed a voice. And from another 'moderate': "I see the actions of these extremists are creating Islamophobia in this country so I feel very passionate that the children I raise are not being drawn into an intolerant dehumanizing interpretation of Islam which currently is starting to become more and more mainstream"

This is in line with two separate official Inquiries which found that there had been an attempt to inculcate a "them and us" mindset into Muslim children at up to sixteen State schools. There was evidence of homophobia, a hard-line curriculum, demonization of other faiths, anti-Western and especially anti-Jewish attitudes and contempt for the Armed Forces. The response of the Muslim Council of Great Britain:  This is not as evidence of extremist views but simply as evidence of "conservative Muslim practices".

One Muslin scholar and star of the Islamic TV circuit who 'fitted the governments definition' of a non-violent extremist had this message for his followers: Our ultimate aim as Muslims is to have, to see Islam spreading all over the world and to see the word of Allah [...] dominant on the whole globe. To achieve this Muslims in the West are encouraged to "exploit the freedom of parliamentary democracies run by kuffars, or unbelievers, so that one day they can replace democracy with theocracy. He says "I know it is filthy...I know all the kuffar will go to hellfire. I know all the kuffar hate Muslims. I know all of these statements that many brothers are saying but in many cases you have to deal with it. OK?"

That is what Robert Spencer and others have been warning in 'What The West Needs To Know' but he along with other experts are regarded by the Home Secretary as the threat. This is no surprise to anybody who has taken the trouble to find out what is going on rather than accept whatever Muslims choose to tell them. As Dr  Peter Hammond put it in his book “Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat”:

 Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components. Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges. When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well.

Moving forward in time, but backwards in the cause of freedom of speech and expression, the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo massacre claimed that they 'had avenged the prophet'. Emulated may have been more accurate there being numerous examples of killings he ordered or supported but since then the propaganda machine has been running on maximum power defending 'peace living Muslims'. Some have condemned the murders as un-Islamic. No doubt many believe that. I heard two apologists refer to the way that their prophet had been spat upon but 'he did not react'. No reference was made to hundreds of killings he ordered or supported.

With so much dissimulation it is difficult to know what to believe but the evidence is there. As Dr Hammond points out, the response of Muslims depends on the relative strength of Islam in the country concerned. That ranges from outright oppression to playing the victim, a tactic used to great effect by the gay lobby and WATCH to gain control in the Anglican Church .

In Pakistan in 2010 two Christians were imprisoned for 25 years after being convicted for "touching the Qur'an without washing their hands". This is not an isolated incident. Check herehere or here or 'Google' under 'persecution of Christians' for numerous examples yet there is hardly a mention of the plight of non-Muslims in Islamic states where the killing of Christians and burning their churches is commonplace.

While events in the Middle East ensure media coverage, the Islamisation of Africa is rarely headline news despite the constant brutality. Perhaps because these events take place overseas there is a reluctance to accept the reality of the Islamic expansionism which is staring us in the face. Concerns about the lack of Primary School places have fueled a spate of dissembling for fear of offending Muslims who with their much higher birth rates along with immigration are largely responsible for the problem. The BBC published a story about it with only a passing reference to birth rates - "Official figures for 2013 show that more than a quarter of births (26.5%) in England and Wales were to women born outside the UK - that is 185,075 babies out of a total of 698,512 born that year", up form 17.7% in 2002.

Uncharacteristically, in their television coverage the BBC visited a school where the pupils were predominantly white. In earlier TV news bulletins one had to wonder if there were any white children at all in the areas the BBC visited. In 2011 the Mail published some figures which showed that One in four primary school pupils are from an ethnic minority, an increase of almost half a million since 1997, and  that almost a million schoolchildren did not speak English as their first language.

So farcical has the British education system become that we read headlines such as "Anglican school where 75% of the pupils are Muslim drops Christian hymns from assemblies". According to the Church of England website many church schools (both VC and VA, primary and secondary) have a high proportion of Muslim children, a substantial number have over 80 per cent intake from the Muslim community.

If the events of last week or so have taught us anything it should be that Islam cannot be trusted to live peacefully with other faiths. As Islam becomes more dominant in a particular area pressure for Muslim privileges increase. They can become furious if not getting special privileges. Cultural jihad is becoming as effective as armed jihad. It just takes longer. We are already experiencing the effect of unrestricted immigration and a higher birth rate. Muslim demands are increasing in line with predictions and most of us will be consumers of halal because of the absence of labelling. Anyone who questions the process is accused of Islamophobia. The media generally plays the same game while HM Government continues to bury its head in the sand.

Perpetually playing the victim our democratic processes are exploited to usurp the freedoms we enjoy in a process to spread Sharia law throughout the world. A study in 2009 showed that there were at least 85 "courts" operating across Britain and that "There are the dozens of informal tribunals run out of mosques or online". The majority of Muslims may appear peaceful but looking at Islamic states abroad the picture is different  - convert or pay the Jizya while apostates are executed.

Worldwide, halal is already forced on unsuspecting customers raising vast amounts of money as a tax through the halal certification industry, conservatively estimated at up to $20 to $30 million a year in Australia alone and that much of this money finds its way into terrorism:

"The halal economy covers much more than food. The talk at major international fairs, such as the World Halal Forum held annually in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, is of a global halal "industry". Already worth an estimated US$3 trillion, it includes chemicals, health care, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, leather products and Islamic banking. Islamic banking is based on the principle of profit and loss sharing and stems originally from a sharia prohibition on floating payments such as interest rates and fees. For example, instead of charging a property buyer interest on a loan, the bank buys the property and resells it with a profit margin to the buyer, who makes fixed payments for the purchase".

So much for the "Religion of Peace". It regards non-Muslims as inferior, demands lying (taqiyya) to protect it, converts people under threat of death, punishes by amputation, stoning and execution and assassinates apostates while its martyrs expect to go to paradise for their quota of virgins after murdering non-believers. Although many Christian leaders appear to have forgotten it we are warned about false prophets in the Bible but for those unaware that they cannot buy their way to heaven, they are confronted by "Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward". - All at our expense.

Is it surprising that we are not allowed to question it? When we do we are challenged with questions such as, have you read the Qu'ran? If the answer is yes, the next question is, but do you speak Arabic? If not, you are told that you cannot properly understand the text or that events are taken out of context. If all else fails we are charged with Islamophobia.

There was no misunderstanding when I heard one so-called expert tell his audience that a former Archbishop of Canterbury was in favour of Sharia, completely misrepresenting what Archbishop Rowan had said. So how much trust can we put in their condemnation of Islamic terrorist attacks, already approaching 25,000 and rising since 9/11?

The Religion of Fear is more appropriate.

"Mohammed is God's apostle.  Those who follow him are harsh
 to the unbelievers but merciful to one another"  Quran 48:29

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Women, sex, death and judgement


The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Archbishop of Wales and the Archbishop of Canterbury


Surprise, surprise! The Church of England cannot carry on as it is unless decline is ‘urgently’ reversed – Welby and Sentamu. The latest sorry saga is reported in a Telegraph article here.

First to hit the rocks was The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC). The Church in Wales is bobbing along on autopilot hoping to avoid catastrophe by setting the same course as TEC.  Now, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have warned that in the Church of England "there is a compelling need to realign resources and work carefully to ensure that scarce funds are used to best effect":

"The Church of England will no longer be able to carry on its current form unless the downward spiral its membership is reversed “as a matter of urgency”, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have warned.

It could face a dramatic shortage of priests within a decade as almost half of the current clergy retire, according to the Most Rev Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu.

Meanwhile dwindling numbers in the pews will inevitably plunge the Church into a financial crisis as it grapples with the “burden” of maintaining thousands of historic buildings, they insisted."

You don't need a doctorate to spot the link. TEC is now described as a post-Christian church :

"This is no longer George Washington’s Episcopal Church – in 1776 the largest denomination in the rebellious British colonies. Membership has dropped so dramatically that today there are 20 times more Baptists than Episcopalians.
U.S. Catholics out-number the Episcopal Church 33-to-1. There are more Jews than Episcopalians. Twice as many Mormons as Episcopalians. Even the little African Methodist Episcopal denomination -- founded in in 1787 -- has passed the Episcopalians"....

"Liberal Christianity has been hailed by its boosters for 40 years as the future of the Christian church. Instead, as all but a few die-hards now admit, the mainline churches that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are declining and, in the case of the Episcopal Church, disintegrating."

Sad to say, the Church in Wales is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Regular attendance figures are almost at rock bottom claiming just 1% of the population as regular attenders. The historic parish system is shot to pieces. Priests are no longer offered a 'living'. Instead, Priests-in-charge, often of groups of parishes and 'house-for-duty' priests have been used to prop-up the system but even this is no longer a viable option. The Church in Wales is regrouping into ministry areas "served by a team of people both lay and cleric", the hierarchy oblivious to the fact that in many parishes the laity have been shouldering the burden of responsibility for keeping the ship afloat for years, mopping-up tasks not suited to incumbents. But don't expect much change with the new breed of Non-stipendiary ministers who expect only to officiate on a Sunday because they work during the week!

From figures in the Telegraph article, "typical Sunday attendances have halved to just 800,000 in the last 40 years:

"The two archbishops gave their backing to a series of reports calling for administrative changes in the Church to be debated by the Synod next month but added: 'Renewing and reforming aspects of our institutional life is a necessary but far from sufficient response to the challenges facing the Church of England.' They went on: 'The urgency of the challenge facing us is not in doubt'.

'Attendance at Church of England services has declined at an average of one per cent per annum over recent decades and, in addition, the age profile of our membership has become significantly older than that of the population. 'Finances have been relatively stable, thanks to increased individual giving. 'This situation cannot, however, be expected to continue unless the decline in membership is reversed'."

So much for the transforming ordination of women, liberal views on gay and lesbian bishops and the current push for same-sex marriage to be recognised by the Church. Read a previous entry "The Church of England is in crisis" here. It is not as if the writing was not on the wall. In 2010 Archbishop Rowan warned "Conform or face the consequences":

"The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked Provinces who have violated the Communion’s moratoria on gay bishops and blessings, along with those who cross provincial borders in response to these actions, to withdraw their representatives from the Communion’s official ecumenical bodies and from the newly formed Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (UFO).

'Some public marks of distance,' or discipline of those who defy the wider Church, 'are unavoidable if our Communion bodies are not to be stripped of credibility and effectiveness,' Dr Rowan Williams said."

But the liberal agenda continued until we read in 2013: "The Church of England is in crisis" (here).

While newfangled liberal Anglicanism continues to disintegrate, traditional Anglicanism is thriving where the majority have not been seduced into changing the faith to suit temptation. Some may see this as a judgement. Thriving Anglican Churches are not confined to Africa as witnessed in the Anglican Church in North America. In England there are many growing Evangelical and Anglo Catholic churches. In Wales Anglo Catholic parishes continue to shine in the darkness despite the efforts of their bench of bishops to extinguish the flame.

Amidst the gathering gloom there is still hope.

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need". Hebrews 4:16




Monday, January 12, 2015

Je Suis Charlie



Millions of people around the world identified with Charlie Hebdo by adopting the slogan 'Je Suis Charlie', shorthand for the basic human right to free expression. 

The message is obvious. If you do it to Charlie you do it to me echoing, consciously or otherwise, the biblical message: ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Take the 'I' out of JE SUIS (I am) and you have JESUS but this is not an option in all countries. 

The World Watch List ranks the 50 countries where Christian persecution is most severe. here are the top 5:

1. North Korea - Population: 25 million (300,000 Christians); Main Religion: Atheism/traditional beliefs; Persecution Level: Extreme; Source of persecution: Dictatorial paranoia.

2. Somalia - Population: 11 million (A few hundred Christians); Main Religion: Islam; Persecution Level: Extreme; Source of persecution: Islamic extremism, tribal antagonism.

3. Iraq - Population: 35.7 million (thousands of Christians); Main Religion: Islam; Persecution Level: Extreme; Source of persecution: Islamic extremism.

4. Syria - Population: 22 million (1.1 million Christians); Main Religion: Islam; Persecution Level: Extreme; Source of persecution: Islamic extremism.

5. Afghanistan - Population: 32 million (thousands of Christians); Main Religion: Islam; Persecution Level: Extreme; Source of persecution: Islamic extremism.

The pattern is clear. Leaving aside dictatorial paranoia, Islamic extremism is the main cause of persecution. Two of the countries many would probably rank as the leaders in religious persecution are ranked only 8th and 12th: 

Pakistan: "Pakistan’s Christians are caught in the crossfire between Islamic militant organizations and mobs that violently target Christians, and an Islamizing culture on the other hand that results in Christians being isolated from the rest of the population. The notorious blasphemy laws continue to have devastating consequences for minorities, including Christians. A Pakistani mob beat and burned to death a Christian couple in November for alleged blasphemy charges. Women and girls are experiencing violence every day; especially those from minority groups who are vulnerable and easy targets for rape, sexual abuse and kidnapping". In full.

Saudi Arabia: "The desert kingdom is defined by Wahhabism, a purist and strict interpretation of Islam. It is forbidden to openly practice other religions. Apostasy – conversion to another religion – is punishable by death. Radical Islamic breeding ground is widely present in the kingdom and Saudi funding of terrorism abroad is the main source of Sunni terrorism in the world. Most Christians are expats from Asia or Africa. Converts to Christianity from Islam face the risk of being killed or abused by their own families. House churches are often raided by the religious police". In full.

This is the price paid by one blogger who tried to exercise free speech in the Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: "Raif Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. He had criticized Saudi Arabia’s powerful clerics on a liberal blog he founded. The blog has since been shut down. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 1m riyals or about $266,600".

The sight of  French President Francois Hollande and other world leaders leading French citizens in a massive rally for unity was an encouraging sight, not least for Muslim minorities in non-Islamic states. But the major problem to be addressed is the position in countries where freedom is replaced by Sharia and human rights replaced by oppressive laws such as the blasphemy laws in Pakistan and the religious repression seen in Saudi Arabia where "twenty percent of the national budget is allocated to the worldwide expansion of Islam, and the country's enormous oil wealth has financed global Islamic expansion with billions of dollars".