Very jealous these Christians

Yesterday, as he again returned to the cathedral to read aloud from the Bible, Mr Coote said: ‘I am not hurt or angry, but very surprised that St Paul’s would support the Occupy London people but not support the reading of the Bible.’

The Reverend Peter Simpson, a pastor at the Free Methodist Church in Penn, Buckinghamshire, said he endured a similar experience outside St Paul’s two years ago, when he and a colleague were ordered to leave. ‘We did not say anything inflammatory as far as I can recall,’ he said.

‘We were just preaching from the Bible but were told to move. We did not want to break the law so we moved to the edge of the grounds marked by bollards and preached from there.’

The Barnabas Fund, which campaigns against the persecution of Christians, has launched an online petition urging Parliament to intervene. Dr Martin Parsons, head of research at the charity, said: ‘This illustrates the slippery slope down which the UK is losing its heritage of religious freedom.

‘One of the first aspects of freedom of religion to be established in England was the freedom to read the Bible in public. A Royal decree specifically forbade clergy from stopping anyone reading the Bible in public. Now St Paul’s Cathedral is trying to stop someone reading the Sermon On The Mount in public.’

Well, you know, the Anglicans don’t want the Methodists – people who actually believe in the stuff – poaching their flock to be shorn, do they? As they have been for a few centuries now.

25 comments on “Very jealous these Christians

  1. The bloke running St Pauls demonstrated his credentials a few years ago when unwashed trots descended on his gaff and he met them with open arms. You can understand why two actual Christians reading the Bible aloud would horrify him.

  2. Er, didn’t Jesus actually spend rather a lot of time hanging around with unwashed trots?

  3. There was some stuff about selling all you have and giving it to the poor as I recall.

    Presumably that’s one of the many bits that isn’t to be taken literally.

  4. “There was some stuff about selling all you have and giving it to the poor as I recall.

    Presumably that’s one of the many bits that isn’t to be taken literally.”

    What’s that got to do with Trotskyism or any other branch of communism?

  5. BiGiH,

    That wasn’t an instruction, it was used by Jesus to illustrate that nobody can save themselves because nobody can live a perfectly virtuous life, therefore salvation must come through the grace of God.

  6. “…it was used by Jesus to illustrate that…
    …salvation must come through the grace of God.”

    Specifically, through Jesus. Classic cult leader stuff.

    Usefully adopted by the church to be specifically via them. Classic scam.

  7. Very strange actions by St Pauls. And a questionable enforcement by the police officer – B of the P is supposed to relate to possible violence as I understand it.

    But you calling Anglicans all the same (not true), and getting Methodists muddled up with whoever this Free Methodist chap is.

    Wishy-washy Methodists are even more wishy-washy than the wishy-washy parts of the Anglicans.

  8. Surely it, in a very real sense, illustrates the correct, non-literal interpretation of “turning the other cheek”.

  9. “That wasn’t an instruction, it was used by Jesus to illustrate that nobody can save themselves because nobody can live a perfectly virtuous life, therefore salvation must come through the grace of God.”

    It *was* an instruction. (And is perfectly possible to comply with. The disciples did.) You can only receive the grace of God by giving up worldly attachments and following Jesus. “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

    You can be forgiven your past sins, but you *do* have to stop sinning!

    Of course, Christians (especially the one’s living in Bishop’s palaces filled with gold and priceless art treasures) have motive to re-interpret that…

  10. Of course they’re jealous, they worship a jealous god: “For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God,” Exodus 34:14

  11. “Given that the definition of Breach of the Peace involves actual or intended harm to a person, I do not think the officer’s decision is defensible.”

    Quite often, their reasoning is that saying things that certain people are well-known to find “provocative”, that could lead them to violently attack you, with people getting hurt in the fight, constitutes a breach of the peace. It’s a way to shut down the right to free expression. If enough people make it known that they’ll start a riot if anyone says X in public, then the police will arrest anyone who says X for “breach of the peace”. I think it was used in the Mohammed Cartoons affair, for example.

    If I threaten to punch anyone if they preach the Word of God from the steps of a Church, then arresting prospective preachers is totally justified to prevent this harm. Some people think that’s sound thinking.

  12. NiV,

    The eye of the camel quote is also Jesus saying that you cannot enter the Kingdom of God based on your own merits. The whole point of the NT is: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

    Just to clarify, I’m not arguing from the perspective of a believer.

  13. “Just to clarify, I’m not arguing from the perspective of a believer.”

    Me neither. But I thought he was perfectly clear what he meant, and it makes no logical sense for people to be able to go on sinning exactly as before, but get away with it simply by admitting to having done it. ‘Repentance’ requires a genuine intention to stop doing it any more.

    But “logical sense” probably has little to do with a Church that elected the Borgias as Popes. I’m sure there’s reams of argument somewhere for why living in a palace filled with priceless art paid for with tithes extracted from the poor is perfectly compatible with Jesus’s message of virtuous poverty and self-sacrifice.

  14. Thing is, he wasn’t preaching in public, he was doing it on private land – the concourse of St. Paul’s.

  15. The C of E long ago decided to hitch itself to the caravan of leftists who would gladly see all Christians sent to the gulag.

    Two thousand years of Christian theology ditched in order not to offend people who hate them.

  16. “Two thousand years of Christian theology ditched in order not to offend people who hate them.”

    Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish them but to ‘complete’ them.

    🙂

  17. There are bits of the bible that are, to put it mildly, controversial – even among Christians. But I’m damned if I see how TSOTM can be controversial among Christians. Hell, as long as they promise to speak quietly and not shout they are welcome to come and read it in my front garden. I’ll even provide wine – or water if they insist.

  18. @jgh, July 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Thing is, he wasn’t preaching in public, he was doing it on private land – the concourse of St. Paul’s.

    +1

    Which raises: does BofP apply on private property?

  19. “Which raises: does BofP apply on private property?”

    If the police reasonably believe that a breach of the peace is being committed, or is about to be committed, on private property, they may use their common law power to enter the property without a warrant to stop or prevent the breach.

    From Fred’s link above.

  20. Free Methodists are not linked to Methodists. They split a considerable time ago (150 years plus) over how the church was run, the Methodists are who they split from.

    I used to attend a Free Methodist church in Lancashire for many years. Nice bunch of people but Methodists they are not.

    Now the Anglicans, surprised me about getting involved with stopping other people doing something.

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