Skip to comments.The C of E has forgotten its purpose. Why, exactly, does it exist?
Posted on 04/09/2009 5:59:46 AM PDT by cartan
What did you give up for Lent? I gave up chives again. Forty-five days of deprivation. According to the ecclesiastical calendar I am allowed my first chive on Saturday—but do you know what? I’m going to say no. My willpower has become a marvel to myself; I’m saying no to chives all the way through to May. I might have one then, and then again, I might not. The power of my faith enables me to crush utterly any bodily craving for chives. I am on a spiritual plane beyond such temptations, although this does not stretch to other members of the alliaceae family, i.e. onions. I have had onions.
Lent is another of those things which is not what it used to be. It lacks the rigour of, say, Ramadan. By and large the Church of England does not demand that we be self-denying because it knows that we do not want to be self-denying. Perhaps it does not see the point in self-denial or deferred gratification anymore. But it’s more likely that it is too closely attuned to a society which is not terribly keen on even the briefest expression of asceticism.
The Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, gave up something rather more substantive for Lent—and he won’t be succumbing on Saturday either. He’s given up being a bishop for good, unless we can persuade him otherwise. In future he intends to work for the benefit of Christian people who suffer religious persecution in foreign lands—in other, less elegant words, he is going to be socking it to the mozzies. It is remarkable that he should be forced to leave his current position in order to fight for the human rights of persecuted Christians; you might have assumed that being a Church of England bishop was a pretty good platform from which to undertake such work. As it is, he will not have the full force of the Church of England behind him; he will be, so far as Lambeth Palace is concerned, an ex-parrot.
We do not hear very much from the Church of England about the plight of Christians, and particularly Anglicans, in hostile foreign environments. Under the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the church does not like to make too much of a fuss about murdered priests in the Sudan, the constant fears of samizdat believers in Riyadh, the continued state persecution in Turkey, the perpetual discrimination in Indonesia and Malaysia and Bangladesh. Or about the Punjabi Christian dragged before a court in Pakistan accused of having sent a blasphemous message on his mobile phone, the Muslim hordes screaming for the death sentence outside the court. The thousands of Christians in Bauchi, Nigeria, watching their homes burned to the ground and their leaders attacked by, again, Muslim mobs. The beatings and murders in liberated—yea, praise the lord!—Afghanistan. We don’t hear much about that stuff from anyone, be it the BBC, our politicians or most notably the Church of England.
You might expect the C of E to feel at least a little bit uncomfortable that Anglicans were being strung up or burned alive in the middle east and elsewhere. But it does not seem to be an enormous issue for the prelates. The problem being that it would bring Rowan, and the church, into conflict with the very Islamists with whom they are thoroughly enjoying their important ‘inter-faith dialogues’, by which they seem to set so much store. These inter-faith dialogues have never, ever, to my knowledge, touched upon Islamic persecution of Christians: all the traffic is in the other direction, and the Church of England thinks it is all going swimmingly.
The C of E is very pleased and proud of its inter-faith dialogues—largely, I suppose, because when conducting them it always adopts a strategy of total capitulation, much as it does before any and every assault upon its ideology, be it from Islam or from the decadent depredations of modern Britain.
There may be another reason for Nazir-Ali’s Lenten undertaking, then. It may be that he is sick to the back teeth of the leadership of the Church of England. He has not said that he is, but he is a polite and affable chap apparently. But he has had this to say recently; he has lamented a ‘gradual loss of identity and cohesiveness in (British) society’ which he feels is down to the abandonment of biblical values. He thinks that we reside in a ‘values vacuum’. He has also complained that British people suffer from a ‘historical amnesia’—by which he means that we prostrate ourselves to apologise for slavery while forgetting that we also ended slavery, while the Africans cheerfully continued with it.
We forget to celebrate our tolerance and diversity, our willingness to allow the freedom of speech and the freedom of worship. Nazir-Ali concluded by saying: ‘The church is seen simply as the religious aspect of society, there to endorse any change which politicians deem fit to impose upon the public.’ You could not get a better description of the Church of England today, I would argue. It is a church which has manipulated itself into a position whereby it can accommodate any adjustment to its own faith and ideology in order to make sure that it is in step with what it believes to be popular thinking.
I should come clean, here: the Church of England’s historic commitment to tradition mediated by a rational appraisal of modernity is what attracts me to its rapidly evolving catechism. But in the last few years it seems to have chucked out the tradition bit—the rock upon which it is based—entirely. Under Rowan Williams particularly, it seems to have swallowed whole every convenient shibboleth of modern liberalism, every transient political fashion—just as have, by the way, our judiciary, our social services, our education departments. It has become an institution which is more politically correct even than our government; you look to it for moral leadership and it offers none whatsoever.
It has swallowed whole, for example, modern environmentalism, as you will see if you log on to its benighted website and sign up to its ‘shrinking the (carbon) footprint’ campaign. It will attach itself to any and every expression of metropolitan anguish, regardless or not of whether it has any ecclesiastical root.
Bishop Nazir-Ali was in the news a little while ago for having expressed—with delicacy and tact—a faint misgiving about Rowan Williams’s suggestion that Muslim sharia law courts should be accepted within our society, or within certain sectors of our society. Nazir-Ali said that this might cause a few problems vis à vis the law of the land—he worried particularly about what this would mean for religious freedom and the position of apostates. Islam is not terribly keen on apostates, unless they are Christian apostates converting to Islam. As ever, the British public was entirely on the side of Nazir-Ali and even some Muslim leaders found Williams’s statements either patronising or simply unnecessary. But within the church, by and large, Rowan Williams was commended.
Williams was, one supposes, attempting to align himself with the now discredited creed of multiculturalism; that each belief system is equivalent, regardless of the misery or injustice it might impose upon those who fall within its ambit. Such as, for example, women, homosexuals, people who do not wish to accede to arranged marriages, female victims of domestic abuse, people who no longer wish to be regarded as Muslim, and so on. It was a fantastically stupid thing to have suggested, even if you were not the leader of the Christian Church in Great Britain. As the leader, you might think it antithetical.
It was the Bishop of Manchester, Stephen Lowe, who supported Williams’s attempt to have sharia law enshrined in Great Britain, in an angry denunciation of provincial opinion (rather than metropolitan liberal opinion). This is the idiot who has also called for the first verse of ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’ to be struck from the hymnals, to be wiped out with no trace left of its repulsive existence, because he believes it is ‘heretical’. Heretical only to his political point of view; it is nothing to do with theology. Most British people, I suspect, would prefer to wipe out all trace of Stephen Lowe from their lives. But he is not alone in his attempts to rewrite or expunge politically incorrect stuff from the hymnals. At Christmas last year a Church of England vicar in Dorset explained that he would not be allowing the popular carol ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ to be sung in his church that season because he had just returned from some fatuous ecumenical trip to meet the Arabs of Bethlehem and decided that the town was not lying still but was, instead, struggling under the jackboot of fascist Israeli oppression. So he banned everybody from singing the carol.
We also need to take in the magnificently half-witted Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, who was pre-eminent in the campaign to allow the muezzin wail—the Muslim call to prayer—to batter the eardrums of all people in his diocese. Again, the Bishop of Rochester, Nazir-Ali, suggested that this wasn’t a great idea, as did (of course) the people of Oxford. But Pritchard was unrepentant. He told the press that he considered himself not merely the spiritual leader of Oxford’s Anglicans, but the ‘community leader’ for all faiths. What a silly and presumptuous little man: as if the Muslims would concur with that particular description of him.
But that is the view the Church of England, or much of it, has of itself these days. As a sort of superannuated ad-hoc branch of social services: non-judgmental, non-partisan, wholly secular, not Christian at all really, when it comes down to it.
It is a little like the BBC, in a way, the Church of England. We all knew why it was brought into being and we all signed up to the necessity for its existence, back then. And we might still have an affection for both institutions, based upon nostalgia and wishful thinking. And yet now, with every year that passes, one wonders why they both still exist, what the purpose is, exactly, for having them.
Nazir-Ali at least suggests that there could be a purpose; so too does the excellent Bishop of London, Richard Chartres. But they are both on the losing side. One wonders how many other people will have given up the Church of England this Lent, perhaps without ever realising that they have done so.
They are afraid to say they are right and the others wrong.
I think it is pretty clear. They have surrendered to immorality.
Yes, seems so.
The Church of England is truly sad. One could look at Africa and elsewhere and see the amazing things the Lord is accomplishing through Anglicans. One could look around England at all the empty churches and see what once was but is no more. A look at Alpha and one would see what could be.
King Henry created the CofE. He saw the people still paying priest in the church even after he took most of their money in taxes so, like governments today he create a new revenue vehicle for his government and created the church to get the rest of the poor peoples money. He ripped off most of the ideas of the catholic church of the time and forced subjects into his new revenue vehicle. The rest is pretty much history of generation after generation going to the governments church which, is why our founding father put in the 1st amendment of separating the church from government and ensuring, future governments could not create religion as a new taxing vehicle.
The name "Anglican" means "of England", but the Anglican church exists worldwide. It began in the sixth century in England, when Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine to Britain to bring a more disciplined Apostolic succession to the Celtic Christians. The Anglican Church evolved as part of the Roman church, but the Celtic influence was folded back into the Roman portion of the church in many ways, perhaps most notably by Charlemagne's tutor Aidan. The Anglican church was spread worldwide first by English colonization and then by English-speaking missionaries.
The Anglican church, although it has apostolic succession, is separate from the Roman church. The history of Christianity has produced numerous notable separations. In 1054 came the first major split from Roman administration of the church, when the Eastern Orthodox church and the Roman split apart.
The conflict of authority in England between church and state certainly dates back to the arrival of Augustine, and has simmered for many centuries. The murder of Thomas a Becket was one of the more famous episodes of this conflict. The Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215, contains 63 points; the very first point is a declaration that the English church is independent of its government..
The beginning of the sixteenth century showed significant discontent with the Roman church. Martin Luther's famous 95 Theses were nailed to the door of the church in Wittenburg in 1517, and news of this challenge had certainly reached England when, 20 years later, the Anglican branch of the church formally challenged the authority of Rome. Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and abbeys in 1536.
There is a public perception, especially in the United States, that Henry VIII created the Anglican church in anger over the Pope's refusal to grant his divorce, but the historical record indicates that Henry spent most of his reign challenging the authority of Rome, and that the divorce issue was just one of a series of acts that collectively split the English church from the Roman church in much the same way that the Orthodox church had split off five hundred years before.
Call it what you wish, either celebrate or don't, but don't condemn others for doing so. Do everything for the Glory of God.
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.
FReepmail Huber or sionnsar if you want on or off this low-volume ping list.
This list is pinged by Huber and sionnsar.
Resource for Traditional Anglicans: http://trad-anglican.faithweb.com
Humor: The Anglican Blue
Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
“Do everything for the Glory of God.”
How is naming the day to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection after an abomination for the glory of God?
What you say is contradictory. You say “call it whatever you want”, but you say I can’t tell you what I call it? How is that for the glory of God?
People have been uneducated for 100s of years, and accepted this nonsense blindly. Now we have some education and educated people are saying that we don’t want to call this holiday “Ish Tar”. We’re saying we’ve read the Bible and we know how God feels about these abominations; these fake “gods”; to venerate one in this way is the height of hate towards God.
Look, I really don't have a dog in this hunt; my Church does not call the day "Easter." It's Pascha. And we don't even celebrate it this Sunday.
But you are just acting like a gloomy know-it-all. Give it up. Have some mercy and love. Jesus rose for everyone, not just those who are as smart as you. Let them have their festival.
1 Corinthians 10:31.
Utterly liberal attitude, accusing someone of not having “mercy and love”, because they disagree with your worldview. UTTERLY liberal. Not to mention the censorship mindset you have displayed.
And the way you have posted on here shows that “mercy and love” are things that are very far from you.
Good bye, Newby.
Hope you are happy in your hate.
“probably better than your narrow-blinkered interpretation”
By the way, what’s to interpret? Are you saying that they have not named the day of Jesus’ resurrection after Ish Tar, the Babyglonian abomination of fertility?
Have I “misinterpreted” that?
What do you know of my interpretation? You know NOTHING of my interpretation. You take a few sentences and construct it into a nice easy little box to be placed in the pathetic pigeon-hole of your mind.
You need to get saved.
I’m not even sure what you two are arguing about, but it’s pretty weird.
Just for the record, what cult are you affiliated with?
I think you need to display more of a Christian attitude towards others.
“Just for the record” what that I have said do you disagree with?
“I think you need to display more of a Christian attitude towards others.”
Could you explain how I have not???
Me: Why in the name of Jesus are you [the man in the article] doing homage to Ishtar, the babylonian god of fertility?
Martin Tell: “Easter is a pagan festival” [..] don’t condemn others
[DID I CONDEMN OTHERS? DID I SAY IT WAS A PAGAN FESTIVAL? NO.]
Me: You say call it whatever you want, but you say I cant tell you what I call it? How is that for the glory of God?
Martin Tell: your narrow-blinkered interpretation [..] gloomy know-it-all [..] Jesus rose for everyone, not just those who are as smart as you
I DESERVED NONE OF THAT. NONE OF IT. AND THEN A BUNCH OF NAME CALLING BY SO-CALLED CHRISTIANS AS WELL! OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOUR. My comment “You need to get saved” was totally justified. Saved people would not manipulate someone’s words and demonize people like a no-good leftist. I have said NOTHING here you can use to justify your statement.
The expressions about Easter don't seem in keeping with Catholic or historic Protestant beliefs. So I questioned what group you might be affiliated with. I didn't want to make assumptions, so I asked. I haven't gotten an answer. So perhaps I will have to speculate.
I believe you did. You accused Martin and every other Christian on this thread of "paying homage to Ishtar". I don't think that was either justified or appropriate.
I DESERVED NONE OF THAT. NONE OF IT. AND THEN A BUNCH OF NAME CALLING BY SO-CALLED CHRISTIANS AS WELL! OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOUR
That doesn't matter. A Christian attitude would be to turn the other cheek, would it not? From my point of view you certainly have not shown that attitude on this thread.
My comment You need to get saved was totally justified.
From my point of view it certainly wasn't.
Saved people would not manipulate someones words and demonize people like a no-good leftist.
Look in the mirror, my FRiend. From my point of view that is exactly what you did to every other Christian on this thread. By telling someone you don't know anything about that they need to be saved, you are in effect demonizing them. Are you not?
I have said NOTHING here you can use to justify your statement.
I think you need to go back and read the thread over and then maybe you'll see yourself as the rest of us have seen you.
This thread was not about "Easter" it was about the Church of England. Because another CHRISTIAN just happened to use the word "Easter" you went off on a rant about that as if everyone who uses the word is bowing before Satan.
Well I use it. As does nearly every English speaking Christian. I frankly don't care what the origin of the word is. Even if the word had pagan roots, the word has been effectively sanctified by God on the basis that the word no longer has any pagan meaning for Christians and it is the term commonly used for the celebration of our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection. Now if you don't want to celebrate that event, then don't.
I pray you have a Glorious Easter my Friend.
He is Risen indeed.
Shortly before Easter every year these people who have a hang up about Easter (and usually other Holy Days) venture forth and try to ruin it for everyone else.
I find it best to just make my point with them and leave. Perhaps a seed is planted. Arguing accomplishes nothing with such folks (Matthew 7:5-7) and only unprofitably stirs my own passions. I have very little patience with puritans.
Please forgive me if I stirred anyone else.
And may all have a glorious Good Friday and Easter.
Although it is still to early, let me say: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.
[the things you said] “don’t seem in keeping with Catholic or historic Protestant beliefs”
AHHHH!! Now we see why there has been this lynching. I’ve not been “in keeping” with your beliefs! Now we see who’s the bigot, attacking those who simply express their views on a subject [casual reader: look back through this post; that is exactly what has happened here]
So, I might ask again. Do you disagree that men have taken the resurrection of Jesus and called it after an abomination?
Or does it just not bother you?
I’m genuinely interested.
Oh, poor baby. Suffering from rope burns around the neck, are we?
You still haven't answered my question. Am I wrong? Have men not taken Jesus resurrection and called it after an abomination?
I don't believe that is the case. There is no evidence whatsoever to back up that assertion. In fact the evidence suggests that it is not the case.
Or would you just say that it doesn't bother you; it's no big deal to you?
The current (and historic) meaning of the word is the celebration of the resurrection. Call it whatever you want. It is only called "Easter" in the English speaking world. There is no evidence that it was ever a reference to some pagan God.
Have a glorious EASTER, my FRiend.
You don’t get any answers from me until you answer my question.
I will have a glorious Resurrection Sunday, thank you!
Since you’ve gone to great lengths to make my general comments all about you, hypersensitive that it’s an attack on your religion, I might as well ask, will you be decorating eggs, giving chocolate eggs, rabbits?
I can’t give you the answer you want. I’m a Christian. I believe the Bible. How about you?
“The current (and historic) meaning of the word is the celebration of the resurrection.”
That’s true. That’s the same reason I’ll celebrate Christmas on December 25th despite the fact we know Jesus wasn’t born at that time of year, and that Winter Solstice used to be on Dec 25th; it was just an extension of that pagan festival.
As far as society is concerned, it means something about Jesus, so that’s a good thing.
But, I won’t have a tree, tree worship is a very old form of worship; the “groves” are mentioned in the Bible many times.
But yes, I’ll certainly give you that’s what it means to most people. But that’s not its origins.
Why are you so attached to the word? It’s not some fundament of your religion, as far as I know?
Tell me my FRiend. Were the KJV translators in on this plot to name the day of Christ's resurrection after some pagan god?
Let me ask you another question:
If you wish to see the Son (sun) rise, in what direction would you look?
That my FRiend is a much more plausible explanation for the origin of the word. We look to the East to see the Son Rise. The Son Rises in the East.
Since youve gone to great lengths to make my general comments all about you, hypersensitive that its an attack on your religion, I might as well ask, will you be decorating eggs, giving chocolate eggs, rabbits?
I'm on a diet right now, but I must say that Chocolate Easter Eggs from Cadbury are pretty darned good. I hear they made them smaller this year. Bummer.
“Tell me my FRiend. Were the KJV translators in on this plot to name the day of Christ’s resurrection after some pagan god?”
It’s “passover” in the greek. There were many things they translated for political reasons. For example, the greek for “baptise” means immerse. That’s simply what it means. It was John the Immerser! But they knew if they translated it “immerse”, they’d be killed. So they transliterated it instead. The word “church” would also be much better translated “congregation”, in the greek its primary connotation is “those who are called out”, whereas the word “church” has connotations of building, authority, command structure. They translated Passover as “Easter”, because that is what the traditions of men had called it for many years.
“If you wish to see the Son (sun) rise, in what direction would you look?”
“Son” and “sun”, despite sounding similar, have no other connection. Sun worship is a very old thing.
“We look to the East to see the Son Rise. The Son Rises in the East.”
I think that’s a big reach, but even if so, then it’s sun worship. Still bad!
So you aren’t a member of any congregation or group, and you don’t follow the teachings of a particular expositor? You just cooked this up on your own?
But yes, Ill certainly give you thats what it means to most people. But thats not its origins.
You have yet to prove your source for your opinion. Prove to me where the origin of the word came from. Personally I believe it was a play on words about the sun rising in the East. I can't prove that, but there is at least as much evidence on that as your absurd claim that the Christians decided to name the holiday celebrating the rising of our Lord after some obscure Pagan goddess.
But, I wont have a tree, tree worship is a very old form of worship; the groves are mentioned in the Bible many times.
Yeah, well I bet you have a tree in your yard. And guess what? God made it. Do you "worship" the tree in your yard? Neither do I. Nor do I worship the silly little Christmas tree with the colored lights that brightens up my house each December and reminds me that "for unto us A Child is born, unto us a Son is given."
I also listen to Christmas carols and have spent years perfecting many of them on my guitar. Do you have a problem with that too?
Not at all. It is SON worship. And that's good!
BTW you haven't proven the origin of the word.
Show me your sources.
so the KJV translators were all in on this Devilish plot to rename the resurrection celebration after a pagan goddess, eh? Pretty clever of them, I must say.
BTW what English translation of the Bible do you use?
“I also listen to Christmas carols and have spent years perfecting many of them on my guitar. Do you have a problem with that too?”
There you go again, making it all about you.
Straw man manufacture is a weak form of argument.
I prefer to follow the Bible. I’m sorry if my mention of that enrages you in a personal sense, as it clearly does.
There are many of the beliefs of others that have enraged me, from time to time. But I made a decision that we have far more in common than we have differences, especially in the world we have today. So when they make statements FAR more inflammatory than mine above; attacks like “what cult do you belong to”, which is FAR more inflammatory than my discussion of what a WORD means, I’m used to it, I ignore the nasty phariseeical self-righteousness, because that’s what the world is like.
More poor argument. I clearly explained that, and you just ignore what I said, and carry on with the attacks.
No further good can come from this discussion.
It doesn't bother me. It's no big deal to me. He is Risen. Happy Easter.
There is a valid point to having the Church of England politically stripped of its function as a state church. Having bishops appointed by the government is as untenable there as it is for the Catholics to have their bishops appointed in China.
The issue of church properties, churches and cathedrals, will take some years to hash out, as will the determination of the future succession of clergy. The wisest thing would be for the world Anglican communion to meet and reorder the priorities of the UK church.
To say that those who use the English language and consequently refer to Easter as "Easter" worship Ishtar is like saying that those who go to church on Saturday do so to worship Saturn.
Allow me to just finish that copy & paste for you!
Your answer was to:
“Have men not taken Jesus resurrection and called it after an abomination?”
Yes, the planet-god names for the days are interesting.
Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn.
Most interestingly, they are uniformly linked to the same days across all cultures, which is one proof that we all came from a single Tower of Babel culture as the Bible says.
If I could change the names of the days away from those planet-gods, I would. The days won’t be called that in the Kingdom.
Since languages pre-date Christianity, one would have a whole lot of things to rename, but I don’t disagree that at least the caledar proper names could have been renamed in the Middle Ages, and maybe one day they will be.
Imagine the surprise of an American Catholic accustomed to go to Mass on Ash Wednesday and worship Odin, only to find out, on his visit to France, that it is Mercury that is worshipped that day.
“Imagine the surprise of an American Catholic accustomed to go to Mass on Ash Wednesday and worship Odin, only to find out, on his visit to France, that it is Mercury that is worshipped that day.”
wodin actually was Mercury. It’s just it was also personified. Same kind of thing goes for thor & fria. The planets also mean those days in far-off places like Japan.
BTW, this was never a “catholic thing”. I know some people are hypersenstitive to that, and I have admonished those who cause trouble on BOTH sides, in fact probably more protestants, because if you admonish catholics for posting something they think it’s because you’re being anti-catholic... In fact I’ve been so fair, some catholic guy has assumed I was catholic and added me to his catholic ping list. But I’m not going to let that hypersensitivity stop me from having an opinion.
I didn’t take your post as anti-Catholic. I just think that it is incorrect to presume that someone is worshiping Ishtar or Odin just because the language he uses was formed in pagan times.
I never did presume that. Read the post. “Doing homage to” is not the same as “worship” by any means.
We do homage to Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar by naming a month after them.
Hardly anyone realizes they are doing homage to these things, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are.
I’d dispute even that. “We” did not name the month, whe just us the name such as it is in order to be understood.