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Thursday, 6 February 2014

There is only One Lord


 Readers who have clicked on this icon in the right hand column will have seen a short video clip (here) with the quotation: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." As Greg Koukl says, there is never a suggestion in Jesus' teaching that all religions are basically the same and it doesn't matter which one you follow; quite the contrary.

Why then are other religions held in such respect and Christianity so ridiculed? As Cranmer puts it (here), "It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister should find himself incapable of referring to the Bishop of Bath and Wells without referencing satire", having compared the Bishop of Bath and Wells with a character from Blackadder.

More seriously I was struck by this comment from "The end of Christianity in the Middle East?":  The first paragraph of the chapter quotes from a report by the charity Aid to the Church in Need, in which it soberly and chillingly asks whether “future historians [will] say of us that we were first-hand witnesses to the extinguishing of Christianity in the very countries where the light of our faith first took hold?” 

What a devastating indictment yet Islam continues to be treated with the utmost respect by Anglican leaders. Why? There is only one way to the Father - through Our Lord Jesus Christ. I sometimes wonder if they really believe it. 

8 comments:

  1. "While the Church Commissioners have deemed it unsuitable as an ongoing place of residence, it will remain the working headquarters for the diocese"
    The key sentence in Cranmers blog is the above.
    The Church Commissioners are seeking pleasant administrative offices ,to boost their ego and make it clear who really runs the Church!

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    1. The Church Commissioners' offices are in London, not Wells.

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    2. The Church Commissioners may well have their offices in London ( for the time being) ,but managers of all sorts breed in an incestuous way,and I still think that the Bishops Palace becoming 'working headquarters' (for the diocese) is for their own kudos.

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    3. The Church Commissioners' reply: (quoted by Cranmer)

      "As the providers of housing for all Diocesan Bishops in the Church of England, the Commissioners consider that the sustainability of the ministry of each bishop to be of crucial importance. This means that every Bishop should be housed appropriately and that their homes are properly places of rest and privacy in the midst of ministries which are increasingly demanding in terms of leadership and management, civic engagement and pastoral support of the whole diocese.

      The provision of housing inevitably involves choices and on occasion making hard unpopular decisions. In recent years similar decisions have been taken in Durham Diocese and Carlisle Diocese. In every case the provision of housing is appropriate to the local context. In Wells, the Bishop’s Palace is currently celebrating record 2013 visitor figures of 61,100; a 39% increase compared to 2012 (44,100 visitors). In addition, 53 events were held at the Palace (an increase on the 47 held in 2012), including festivals, fairs, medieval falconry, outdoor theatre, hands-on workshops and family trails.

      The Church Commissioners share with the Palace Trust, who continue to be responsible for the day to day running of the palace, the hope that this increase in visitor numbers and activity will continue in the years to come.

      In light of such activity it is right and proper that considerations such as appropriate privacy for any new Bishop are considered and whether it is sustainable for a diocesan bishop and his family to live in the midst of an increasingly busy tourist attraction. The Commissioners believe that it is not. Inevitably such decisions are hard choices and in this instance the Commissioners are aware that their decision has not been popular. It must, however, be balanced against wider considerations, not least where the welfare of those who by virtue of their calling find themselves in demanding positions of responsibility.

      The Commissioners believe that by living in the palace, the Bishop will in practice find it very difficult to avoid devoting significant amounts of time to its maintenance, operation and upkeep. The experience of the last bishop bears this point out. It remains the Commissioners’ view that any incoming bishop should not find his ministry restricted in this way before his ministry commences."

      There is no prospect of the Commissioners ever leaving London. But future bishops of Bath & Wells will be grateful not to be managers of a tourist attraction - or to be one of its features.

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  2. Some argue the case for the disestablishment of the Church of England,and Archbishop Rowan said "if this happened it would not be the end of the world". I am sure political parties would hope for votes within this adopted plan. I fear that the Islamic community would jump for joy and begin to claim equal religious status. Our order in this country owes itself to Christian principles .just think about our Health Service: the first hospitals were Christian organisations.

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    1. And senior nurses are still called Sister.

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  3. I find myself incapable of referring to the Prime Minister without the aid of satire. (It's kinder than the other expressions I might otherwise use).

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  4. Luke 22:61 " The Lord turned and looked upon Peter and Peter remembered..." Why are there no comments about the complacency surrounding the ridiculing of Christianity or about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East? This is misplaced tolerance : " and Peter went out and wept".

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