What English Catholicism will look like in 2115

Distribution of English Recusant Catholics, 17...

Distribution of English Recusant Catholics, 1715-1720. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is pretty interesting, and while it specifically talks about England, it perhaps has wider application.

A century from now Catholics are likely to be the country’s largest Christian body. But the priesthood, the Mass and the laity may look startlingly different to today

An English Catholic in 1615 lived an entirely different life from one in the early 1700s, 1800s, 1900s or 2000s. The changing backdrops of the Elizabethan persecutions, the Jacobite revolutions, the legalisation of Catholicism, the First World War and modern secularisation gave each of them historically distinct experiences. By 2115, the life of an English Catholic will be different again.

Some of the following predictions are guaranteed to be wrong. Casting the runes of the future is an imprecise art. However, the broad themes of the next 100 years are already taking shape.

The first is the de-Christianising of England, where the number of Christians is dropping. This affects the Catholic Church as it does the others, yet not all are falling at the same rate. The most acute crisis is in the Church of England, where recent independent statistics show membership fell from 40 per cent of the population in 1983 to 17 per cent in 2014, a drop of 58 per cent.

Source: CatholicHerald.co.uk » What English Catholicism will look like in 2115

I doubt anything will be as he says, actually. The West is far too dynamic to be predicted a hundred years out, in any detail at all. Could anyone have predicted the world of 1915 in 1815? Or today’s world in 1915? It’s beyond the realm of possibility, I think. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about the actions we take in terms of the future, but we shouldn’t think we can see clearly through this very dark glass either. Because there is something out there, today, as radical as the cotton gin, or the telegraph, or the internet, which will again change the world, in ways we cannot predict, and that likely will happen many times in the next century.

May you live in interesting times, indeed.

Keeping the Faith

I can’t speak for you but, this has been the longest summer I can remember. It has had many distractions in my life, and our lives as Christians and citizens of free countries and it seems like none of them were for the good, or at least they seemed to have little good at the time. My friends, and my God have pulled me through, sometimes nearly against my will. I’m not sure that the trials of ’14 are over, in fact, I’m quite sure they are not.

Still, as always, I find comfort in the music of my faith, in many ways, I think it one of the great contributions of Protestantism is in the awesome (in the real sense) hymns of faith that we have brought to our worship. These are some of my favorites, and I’m sharing them with you today mostly because maybe they will help you in your troubles as they do me in mine.

I was reminded today of a poem that Jess adores, and I’m going to use part of it but, I will let her introduce it. Jess’ words are all from Naught for your Comfort and are in italics

Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse deals with an episode in what must have seemed at the time the doomed attempts by King Alfred of Wessex to deal with the invading Norsemen. No one did historical-Romantic despair like GKC, and I adore the whole poem. It is far too long to quote in full, but the lines which came back to me as the result of reading the two posts were those Our Lady speaks to King Alfred at the lowest moment of his fortunes: Read more of this post

Using the Bible Against Christians: Sola Scriptura Atheism | Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy

Luther Bible, 1534

Luther Bible, 1534 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This is not a new post but it has some truth to tell us. It appeared last summer during the Chik-Fil_A mess. The thing about it is that it makes some really good points. What kind of a silly argument is it when you use the Bible itself to disprove God? Huh?

 

If you can make a rational, science based argument against God, that’s one thing. I’ve never seen one that is convincing, there’s always a loose end. But we don’t argue for darkness based on the source documents extolling light. You don’t argue for freedom by quoting Mein Kampff.

 

It’s just silly.

 

One of the things that struck me during the Chick-Fil-A debacle couple of weeks ago was a curious theme I perceived in the inundation of negative comments I saw on social media regarding the statements made by Chick-Fil-A COO Dan Cathy, who came out (no pun intended… no, really) in favor of “the biblical definition of the family unit.” What was that theme? It was using the Bible itself to “prove” that Cathy didn’t know what the “biblical” definition of marriage and family really is.

Perhaps you saw it, too: We were treated to a trotting-out of biblical polygamists, rapists, provisions of levitical law that require a widow to marry her husband’s brother, et cetera, ad nauseam. A-ha! There’s “biblical” for you! Look at all those sorry miscreants in the Bible, presenting an image of marriage and family life that would make the chicken-and-pickle-chomping Christian suburbanite shudder! Ha! We got ‘em! And while we’re at it, let’s also mention that God hates shrimp, that God starts wars, and so on. The idea, of course, is to delegitimize the Bible or at least to claim that people who follow the “biblical” model of this or that are ignoring vast portions of Scripture to suit their own purposes.

What struck me about all this is that these atheists and various other assorted anti-Christians were reading the Bible essentially as sola scriptura fundamentalists. In essence, they presume to claim that their own reading of the Bible is the only possible one, that their reading is also quite obvious (perspicuity), and that the Bible is the sole basis for Christian doctrine, life and legitimacy. If the Bible can be made unpalatable even to Christians, then it just shows that the whole Christian enterprise is bunk.

And, true to form, I saw plenty of sola scriptura Protestants arguing with these atheist fundamentalists on exactly the same grounds. The exchanges just got shriller and shriller, with each side claiming that the other must be stupid, evil or uneducated, which is what brought about their fallacious reading of the Bible.

None of this is new, of course. People have been using the Bible against Christians for a long time. But when they do, they almost always do so precisely in these terms, with a sola scriptura hermeneutic. Here, look: I read this thing in the Bible. Isn’t it bad? Christianity is bunk!

 

Continue reading Using the Bible Against Christians: Sola Scriptura Atheism | Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy.

 

 

Women Bishops?

English: Flag of the Anglican Communion

English: Flag of the Anglican Communion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s continue what we started Sunday.  From what I’ve seen many of my Catholic friends are rehashing women in the priesthood, rather than sticking to female bishops, which I think is rational given that Bishops are a subset of the priesthood, in their churches. As always, the C of E sits on the fence, not quite Protestant and not quite Catholic either, and it seems many of my Anglican friends are just plain not sure which is fish or fowl at this point. Let’s see if we can find a little light in all the smoke here.

First what constitutes the priest hood, for me as a Lutheran, there are two classes.

  1. The High Priest; Who for all of us is Jesus Christ, himself.
  2. The Universal Priesthood

That last is a belief with its roots in the Reformation, particularly in Martin Luther. Let’s let him speak for himself, in  To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation he says.

That the pope or bishop anoints, makes tonsures, ordains, consecrates, or dresses differently from the laity, may make a hypocrite or an idolatrous oil-painted icon, but it in no way makes a Christian or spiritual human being. In fact, we are all consecrated priests through Baptism, as St. Peter in 1 Peter 2[:9] says, “You are a royal priesthood and a priestly kingdom,” and Revelation [5:10], “Through your blood you have made us into priests and kings.”

Two months later in his  On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520) he would write:

How then if they are forced to admit that we are all equally priests, as many of us as are baptized, and by this way we truly are; while to them is committed only the Ministry (ministerium Predigtamt) and consented to by us (nostro consensu)? If they recognize this they would know that they have no right to exercise power over us (ius imperii, in what has not been committed to them) except insofar as we may have granted it to them, for thus it says in 1 Peter 2, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a priestly kingdom.” In this way we are all priests, as many of us as are Christians. There are indeed priests whom we call ministers. They are chosen from among us, and who do everything in our name. That is a priesthood which is nothing else than the Ministry. Thus 1 Corinthians 4:1: “No one should regard us as anything else than ministers of Christ and dispensers of the mysteries of God.”

Note that this does nothing to eliminate the preaching office or authority, including bishops. Nor is anything in it gender specific, although at the time, all were male, as was indeed true of the Apostles as well. And traditionally with us, as with all churches remained true until the late twentieth century. From the Augsburg Confession:

[From Article 4:] Furthermore, it is taught that we cannot obtain forgiveness of sin and righteousness before God through our merit, work, or satisfactions, but that we receive forgiveness of sin and become righteous before God out of grace for Christ’s sake through faith when we believe that Christ has suffered for us and that for his sake our sin is forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are given to us … [From Article 5:] To obtain such faith God instituted the office of preaching, giving the gospel and the sacraments. Through these, as through means, he gives the Holy Spirit who produces faith, where and when he wills, in those who hear the gospel … [Article 14:] Concerning church government it is taught that no one should publicly teach, preach, or administer the sacraments without a proper [public] call.

I also note that the Roman Church has recognized this also, from Wikipedia:

The dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council specifically highlights the priesthood of all believers. It teaches that the Church’s relationship with God is independent of whatever ordination people have received, as evidenced by the guidelines and rubrics for personal prayer when no priest is present. Such Churches have always taught implicitly that a Christian’s personal relationship with God is independent of whatever ordination they have received.

Thus, the Catholic Church accepts the ‘priesthood of all believers’ doctrine – it is not the exclusive domain of Protestantism. This is exemplified in ‘chaplet of divine mercy‘ prayer, in which the individual Christian declares: “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins…” The primary difference between the teachings of the Catholic Church and those of the (non-Anglican) Protestant churches that reject the ordained priesthood is that the Catholic Church believes in three different types of priests:

  1. first, the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5–9);
  2. second, the ordained priesthood (Acts 14:23, Romans 15:16, Titus 1:5); and
  3. third, the high priesthood of Jesus (Hebrews 3:1).[8][9]

I think, without much source documentation, that the difference between the C of E and Lutheran churches, has most to do with historical and political matters rather than belief structure. What I’ve read (and I’m no church historian) leads me to believe that Luther would have like to have reformed the church much as happened in England but, the difference between a group of  Principalities in Germany, protected only by the Rhine, and the nation-state of England protected by the Channel led Luther to realize he would have to make a clean break. Where England was able to sort it out on their own until the Crusade of 1588 (otherwise known as the Spanish Armada) which of course, failed.

It might be useful to note for my American readers, that the Queen is titular head of the Church of England. Hence the title, Defender of the Faith, which is an ancient one. If memory serves, and I could certainly be wrong here, it was first bestowed by the Pope on King John after he swore fealty for the Crown of England to obtain the Church’s help in suppressing Magna Charta. But at any rate, as with all of the Monarch’s powers, it has devolved on Parliament, although the church is supposed to be self-governing under the Archbishop of Canterbury. [If I’m wrong here, somebody please correct me. Jess?].

[Edit/Correction I asked for corrections on this paragraph because I was out of time and working from memory, and as always my astute readers have come through.

From David B. Monier-Williams

From Wikipedia: “The origin of “Defender of the Faith” was given to Henry VIII by Pope Leo X in Oct. 11th 1521. His wife Catherine of Aragon held the same title in her own right. The title was conferred in recognition of Henry’s book Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (Defence of the Seven Sacraments), which defended the sacramental nature of marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. This was also known as the “Henrician Affirmation” and was seen as an important opposition to the early stages of the Protestant Reformation, especially the ideas of Martin Luther.

There are a couple more paragraphs in the comments. Thank You David.]

In Conclusion

What I intended this for is basically a background piece, because few of us, including myself most likely, understand all the issues involved, and I hope I’ve shed a bit of light on what’s involved here.

You all know I am a conservative, in all things. That means I don’t believe in changing things unless there is demonstrable improvement or correction to be made, and I’ll readily admit that although my contact with female clergy has all been positive, I’m still not completely convinced that it was a good idea. Not least because in our churches, it seems to have cost us (sometimes) one of our most valuable offices; the unpaid one of the Pastor’s wife.

My opinion after a good deal of thought, not that what I think really matters to anyone involved, is that once you decide to have women clergy, you really have no ground to stand on in stopping their advancement to the rank of bishop.

[ Admin note: A further note, since it seems to be impossible to discuss female bishops in the Church of England without wading through tons of Catholic writing on the male priesthood here, which might be an interesting topic but is not the topic today, leading to such things as having the basics of all the Protestant faiths called “silly putty”. I am going to place all comments into moderation. If they are at least close to topic, in my opinion, they will be approved, if not they won’t be. Have a great day.]

Luther: The Faith of Unbaptized Infants

Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk

Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of you know I’m Lutheran but, what exactly is a Lutheran. The Lutheran church was, of course founded by Martin Luther, in one of the opening salvos of the Reformation, and is the oldest of Protestant Churches followed closely by the Anglican, with which we share many things, as indeed we do with Catholics as well.

That may be part of our problem over the last 500 years we have developed many strains of Lutheranism, in one place we may be a very liberal church, while simultaneously next door being, very close to as traditional as the traditional part of the Catholic church. Personally, I’ve very much on the traditional end of the scale, while my particular branch is pretty liberal.

This seems to be another way we have become a lot like Anglicans. I can find you a Lutheran Church where God is Love is the main gospel proclaimed, the rest seems to be on the cafeteria plan but I can also find a Lutheran church where confession is practiced, and the veneration of Mary is encouraged. Sometimes we get lost in our own church.

My own theory of operation is that when I don’t understand something, I look for authority, and as a Lutheran that usually means Martin Luther, of course almost all Catholic teaching up to the Reformation is allowed, after all Luther was an Augustinian monk as well as a priest.

I was raised strangely enough in the United Church of Christ, yep the same church in which Reverend Wright serves. My church unlike his was a pretty conservative church in the German tradition, nearly Lutheran itself, which makes sense, as we’ll see.

My church was an Evangelical and Reformed church before the merger that created the UCC. But as has been said, part of the problem with Protestantism is that sometimes it gets down almost to Tom’s Church and Dick’s Church. My home church was a split from a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, and no I don’t know why, either. It might have been because Matilda had a prettier Easter bonnet than Maude,. Sometimes it’s that trivial.

As usual soon after the church was formed, there was a need for a cemetery, which was located about 3.5 miles from town, just over the county line, which seemed weird to me. When I was a trustee, my main responsibility was the cemetery, so I found out why. The first member of the congregation to die was a girl who died of whooping-cough, and because of health regulations, her body could not be transported across county lines in those days. So something had to be done. Since the church needed a cemetery it was decided to locate it on the other side of the county line, the logical place was next to the Catholic cemetery. All went well and it was done.

But there was another anomaly, our cemetery ran along the south side of the Catholic cemetery and then across the back of it. In that back part there was a grave of a baby girl, whose date of death was before the establishment of the cemetery. I got curious about this and dug around in our records, and found the story.

This baby, a girl, had lived less than an hour after she was born, and was Catholic, for whatever reason she had not been baptized, and so could not be buried in the Catholic cemetery, and so had been buried behind it. When we bought ours, one of the stipulations (besides maintaining a hog proof fence around the cemetery) was to care for this  lonely grave.

The article which follows from  writing in De Profundis Clamavi ad Te, Domine, tells you why this was completely acceptable to my church.

Thus the spoken Word is indeed the word of a human being, but it has been instituted by divine authority for salvation.  For God wants to govern the world through angels and through human beings, His creatures, as through His servants, just as He gives light through the sun, the moon, and even through fire and candles.  Here, too, you could say: “No external thing profits.  The sun is an external thing.  Hence it profits nothing; that is, it does not give light, it does not warm, etc.”  Who would put up with one who argues in such a silly way?

Therefore the rule of which I have also spoken above stands.  It states that God no longer wants to act in accordance with His extraordinary or, as the scholastics express it, absolute power but wants to act through His creatures, whom He does not want to be idle.  Thus He gives food, not as He did to the Jews in the desert, when He gave manna from heaven, but through labor, when we diligently perform the work of our calling.  Furthermore, He no longer wants to form human beings from a clod, as He formed Adam, but He makes use of a union of a male and a female, on whom He bestows His blessing.  This they call God’s “ordered” power, namely, when He makes use of the service either of angels or of human beings.  Thus in the prophet Amos (3:7) there is the noteworthy statement that God does nothing that He does not first reveal to His prophets. 

But if at times some things happen without the service either of angels or of human beings, you would be right in saying: “What is beyond us does not concern us.”  We must keep the ordered power in mind and form our opinion on the basis of it.  God is able to save without Baptism, just as we believe that infants who, as sometimes happens through the neglect of their parents or through some other mishap, do not receive Baptism are not damned on this account.  But in the church we must judge and teach, in accordance with God’s ordered power, that without the outward Baptism no one is saved.  Thus it is due to God’s ordered power that water makes wet, that fire burns, etc.  But in Babylon Daniel’s companions continued to live unharmed in the midst of the fire (Dan. 3:25).  This took place through God’s absolute power, in accordance with which He acted at that time; but He does not command us to act in accordance with this absolute power, for He wants us to act in accordance with the ordered power.

Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, AE 3:273-274

Because daily I see and hear with what carelessness and lack of solemnity—to say nothing of out-and-out levity—people treat the high, holy, and comforting sacrament of baptism for infants, in part caused, I believe, by the fact that those present understand nothing of what is being said and done, I have decided that it is not only helpful but necessary to conduct the service in the German language  For this reason I have translated those portions that used to be said in Latin in order to begin baptizing in German, so that the sponsors and others present may be all the more aroused to faith and earnest devotion and so that the priests who baptize have to show more diligence for the sake of the listeners.

Out of a sense of Christian commitment, I appeal to all those who baptize, sponsor infants, or witness a baptism to take to heart the tremendous work and great solemnity present here  For here in the words of these prayers you hear how plaintively and earnestly the Christian church brings the infant to God, confesses before him with such unchanging, undoubting words that the infant is possessed by the devil and a child of sin and wrath, and so diligently asks for help and grace through baptism, that the infant may become a child of God.

Therefore, you have to realize that it is no joke at all to take action against the devil and not only to drive him away from the little child but also to hang around the child’s neck such a mighty, lifelong enemy.  Thus it is extremely necessary to stand by the poor child with all your heart and with a strong faith and to plead with great devotion that God, in accordance with these prayers, would not only free the child from the devil’s power but also strengthen the child, so that the child might resist him valiantly in life and in death.  I fear that people turn out so badly after baptism because we have dealt with them in such a cold and casual way and have prayed for them at their baptism without any zeal at all.

…see to it that you are present there in true faith, that you listen to God’s Word, and that you pray along earnestly.  For wherever the priest says, “Let us pray,” he is exhorting you to pray with him.  Moreover, all sponsors and the others present ought to speak along with him the words of his prayer in their hearts to God  For this reason, the priest should speak these prayers very clearly and slowly, so that the sponsors can hear and understand them and can also pray with the priest with one mind in their hearts, carrying before God the need of this little child with all earnestness, on the child’s behalf setting themselves against the devil with all their strength, and demonstrating that they take seriously what is no joke to the devil.

For this reason it is right and proper not to allow drunken and boorish priests to baptize nor to select good-for-nothings as godparents.  Instead fine, moral, serious, upright priests and godparents ought to be chose, who can be expected to treat the matter with seriousness and true faith, lest this high sacrament be abandoned to the devil’s mockery and dishonor God, who in this sacrament showers upon us the vast and boundless riches of His grace…

Martin Luther, “Baptismal Booklet”, in The Book of Concord, eds. Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert, pp. 371-373.

Continue reading Luther: The Faith of Unbaptized Infants « De Profundis Clamavi ad Te, Domine.

It is good for us to recall that the Lutheran Church stands for something along with our Christian brothers, and is not really simply the church that successfully broke from Rome. We, like our brethren believe this:

If you stand for nothing, You’ll fall for anything.

Deck Chairs and Bishops

Coptic Symbol @ Philae

Coptic Symbol @ Philae (Photo credit: kudumomo)

Here, at  All along the Watchtower, and at Catholicism, Pure and Simple, several of us have been discussing relations between our various churches, problems we see within and without of them and the threats to us all. It’s a very interesting and illuminating discussion, conducted with great respect, for in the last analysis, we all recognize that we are all the Children of God.

I can’t speak for the others but I have learned more about the Anglican and Catholic Churches in the last month than I have in my entire life, and I hope I have imparted a bit of knowledge of my Lutheran church as well. The main take away of our discussions so far for me is that they are my brothers and sisters, our beliefs are so close that you really have to look for differences, we do all have leadership problems which tend to magnify them and hurt the church as well but we are all on the journey to the foot of the cross, although by somewhat divergent routes.

My dear friend Jessica in her post yesterday, entitled On the ‘Titanic? said this:

My comment was inspired by a sense of frustration that in the face of the attacks to which Christianity is subject, our churches are far from united, and grown adult men who are certainly bright enough to know that the addition of the filioque to the Creed does not mean that Rome believes in double-procession, still seem to think it a barrier to acting together. Knowing a little of the history of the Church in the fifth and sixth centuries, it reminds me of how the disunity which followed Chalcedon in 451, weakened Christianity and helped pave way for the rise of Islam. Well, those who will not learn from history will be taught their lesson until they do.

Now the point here is that those involved in the Christological disputes which my co-author has described all thought they were arguing over ‘essentials’ – but what was the result? Within a few hundred years many of the inhabitants of Egypt and Syria were Muslim. Those who rejected the results of the Council of Florence (1438/9) on the Orthodox side thought they were arguing over essentials. In 1453 the Eastern Roman Empire ceased to exist and thousands were killed or sold off into slavery, and Constantinople became a Muslim city.

I very much agree with her. The disputes here may be important doctrinally but, is doctrine more important than shepherding the flock. Does it really matter to the parishioner if the bread and wine of the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of the Christ, if He is in them and under them, as Martin Luther said, or a symbol of his sacrifice, in all cases the words of institution are “Do this in Remembrance of Me,” and all three lead to a reverence for the Lord. I’ve read the arguments that split the Coptic and Syrian churches off at Chalcedon, and I haven’t quite figured out, what they meant. The filioque that Jessica refers to above is one of the things that rent the Orthodox Churches from Rome.

None of these disputes, in my mind, would have affected the average parishioner, not even one with an above average education, let alone an uneducated peasant (with no disrespect, uneducated is not a synonym for stupid), they are the thing that concern Bishops and theologians. Personally, I think there might have been a bit of pride and vanity involved. That holds for the Reformation too, of course. And the rifts in the Protestant churches, Martin Luther as well as the Catholic Church condemned predestination, after all, even though Zwingli was a friend of Luther’s. And we are all, of course, sinners.

The thing is, these arguments over doctrine, are fine, when conducted with respect, in fact they are interesting and fun, and help us to understand our heritage as well.

But the thing is: We have real enemies. And they are not each other, Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Orthodox, Fundamentalist, Evangelical, or any other. I may think you are a heretic, and you may think I am but, if you believe as I do that: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you … John 13:34. You are my friend and my coreligionists, our differences are slight enough that I’m completely willing to place the case in God’s hands, there are many roads to the foot of the Cross. But there is only one Triune God.

Over at the Watchtower last afternoon I said, “For the others, they are the enemy of my God, my faith, and me, and they should not be surprised when I act accordingly. Who was it that said, “Yes, turn the other cheek but, remember you only have two cheeks”?”

So, now about our enemies, I call them that because they are. The first ones are the Islamic Jihadists, They propagandize as peaceful but, they don’t assimilate, they attempt to take over, and they are not willing to live and let live. We all remember that dark day that they killed 2500 people in my country, because they were in my country, no other reason. Dan Miller in Panama brought an article to my attention today, on Huma Abedin, (if you don’t know, she is Anthony Wiener’s wife and an assistant to Secretary Clinton). I have not written about this because a lot of what I have seen has smacked of conspiracy theories and such, but this article appears to be well researched and sane, if so, it is a singularly bad thing the for us, and the free world. Here it is.

“Assimilation is a crime against humanity.” So  said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamic supremacist who is both prime  minister of Turkey and a close chum of President Obama.

The assertion ought to be infamous. But this is, after all, Islam we  are talking about – meaning, we are not talking about it.

You won’t read it in the American media, nor will you hear it from our  bipartisan Beltway profiles in courage. Both the Obama Left and the Republican  establishment are deeply invested in the fantasy that Erdogan, like Islam  itself, is our moderate ally – ironic, given that Erdogan himself is profoundly  offended at the very suggestion that there is such a thing as “moderate  Islam.” Yup, what you have been told is the plinth on which American Middle East  policy rests, is, according to Erdogan, not only a house-of-cards but:

… an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam.  Islam is Islam, and that’s it.

The prime minister is an excitable sort. Waxing metaphoric about his  aggressive, ascendant ideology, he has also observed:

The mosques are our barracks, the minarets our bayonets, the cupolas our  helmets, and the faithful our soldiers.

Continue reading Huma Abedin’s Muslim Minority Affairs: Not Just a Journal. If this is even close to the truth we, all of us, have willingly let a fifth column penetrate deeply into our countries.

Our other enemy are the secular humanists, we have all seen their work, many are overtly atheists, and are in open opposition to us. That’s all well and good but, many have also penetrated into our churches since the 60’s, and have influenced our doctrine from worshipping God, to proclaiming Jesus is Love. That is true, of course, but our God is so much more. he is a God of justice as well as mercy, He is a God of works as well as faith. God has standards, and he is our ultimate judge, there is no appeal. He does not grade on a curve, nor is his worship a cafeteria plan. He has inspired the works which have created western civilization, and without him it will fall.

One other thing, If the Church of God falls to either of these enemies, the Islamists will win. Why? Because while the humanists think they can convert the Islamists, they can’t. However flawed, Islam, or their system of belief in Islam, may be, they have a very firm belief, they will happily die for them, in this they are like our martyrs, who built our faith. The secularists will follow us because nothing can not stand against something.

In fact, what they will use, in the last analysis is the advice given to French Crusaders in the Albigensian Crusade at Beziers. When the Papal representative was asked how to tell the heretics from the others, the representative,a French Cistercian monk named Arnaud Amalric, supposedly replied, “Kill them all. God will recognize his own.”

The humanists will not survive without the tolerance of Christendom to protect them, whatever they think.

At the Watchtower, Jessica’s co-author Chalcedon451 has been publishing some sermons of John Henry Cardinal Newman, let us close with a paragraph from yesterday’s offering.

And yet we shall be obliged steadily to confront ourselves and to see ourselves. In this life we shrink from knowing our real selves. We do not like to know how sinful we are. We love those who prophesy smooth things to us, and we are angry with those who tell us of our faults. But then, not one fault only, but all the secret, as well as evident, defects of our character will be clearly brought out. We shall see what we feared to see here, and much more. And then, when the full sight of ourselves comes to us, who will not wish that he had known more of himself here, rather than leaving it for the inevitable day to reveal it all to him!

Faith and Prejudice, chapter 2 – Preparation for Judgment.

Our churches need to unify at least informally, any thing else is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

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