Canon Dr Giles Fraser 104


Canon Dr Giles Fraser is being forced from his job for the dreadful sin of actually acting as a Christian.

I was sent this recently; different church, same shit.

I am some kind of confused deist myself. I was recently told what I am sure is an old joke, but it struck me as very true:

God looked down at the sufferings of man, turned to the Devil, and said: “The plight of man moves me to compassion. I will send them Religion for consolation.”
“Good idea,” said the Devil, “I’ll organise it.”


104 thoughts on “Canon Dr Giles Fraser

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  • craig Post author

    Chienfou

    Personal insults – only if they are both in jest and witty.

    But John 3:16 (which in my memory is “only begotten” rather than “one and only”) does not make any claim to be a quote from Jesus. It is the view of St John, part of a long exposition of St John’s theological beliefs.

    Nowhere is JESUS quoted as making any claim to divinity or to being the son of God in any way that he did not believe we all are – and plainly he did believe we all are. I really don’t care what St John thought, or anyone else. Where did Jesus claim to be divine, or to be “begotten” by God? He didn’t, anywhere.

    Is that not a curious thing for him to have omitted to say? Oh, by the way, “I am God’s only son”. That would be quite important news. Strange that he never once told anybody.

  • Chienfou

    Craig

    John 3 is a conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. verse 16 is a quote from Jesus.

    KJV says “only begotten” NIV puts this in more modern English as “one and only”. Either way the word “only” is there is there.

    So yes it would be curious if hadn’t said it but according to the gospel of John, he did.

    Why won’t you look it up? Otherwise we are just arguing about how good your memory is.

  • Sorry for all of you

    Jon,
    “Playground bullshit based on petty tribalism. “My religion is better than your religion” is the adult version of “my dad is harder than your dad”.

    -Don’t behave like a 5 year old kindergarden silly boy. Give me facts.
    *
    I can give you facts to support my argument. Go ask any judaism folllowers, they talk very bad about Jesus and Muhammad, who came after Moses, now go and and ask any christianity followers, they talk nice about Moses, who came before Jesus but talk bad about Muhammad, who came after Moses and Jesus, and now go ask any muslim, none of them will talk bad about either Moses or Jesus. Now, think why i mentioned sequence of revelations to these three greatest prophets.

    *
    believers in the Quran love Jesus, honor him and believe in him. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim unless he or she believes in Jesus. The Quran says that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he spoke while he was still only a baby, that he healed the blind and the leper by God’s leave and that he raised the dead by God’s leave. Significance of these miracles is that God demonstrates His power to create in every way. God created everyone we know from a man and a woman. God created Adam from neither a man nor a woman. And Eve from only a man, without a woman. And finally, to complete the picture, God created Jesus from a woman, without a man.

    *
    Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospel of John to have said: ‘I can do nothing of my own authority’ (5:30). Jesus came to teach the same basic message which was taught by previous prophets from God – that we must shun every false god and worship only the One True God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of the One True God, the God of Abraham. In the Bible (Mark 10:18; Matthew 26:39; John 14:28, 17:3, and 20:17) where Jesus teaches that the one he worshipped is the only true God. See also Matthew 12:18; Acts 3:13, and 4:27 where we find that his disciples knew him as ‘Servant of God’. The Quran tells us that some of the Israelites rejected Jesus, and conspired to kill him, but God rescued Jesus and raised him to Himself. God will cause Jesus to descend again, at which time Jesus will confirm his true teachings and everyone will believe in him as he is and as the Quran teaches about him. Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from God, and a spirit from Him. He is honored in this world and in the hereafter, and he is one of those brought nearest to God. Jesus was a man who spoke the truth which he heard from God. In the Bible Jesus says to the Israelites: ‘You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God’ (John 8:40).

    * Now tell me if I said bullshit and offended any christian on this blog.
    So, don’t behave like a 5 year old child, do more reading and learn things that are surrounding you.

  • Dr Paul

    Karl Marx once said that the Church of England would sooner accept an attack upon 38 of its 39 articles than lose one thirty-ninth of its income. Pretty apposite when when considers the ganzer-macher of St Paul’s fretting about the protest camp’s reducing the number of fee-paying visitors.

  • Pee

    John Goss-thank you so much for the link. Wonderful tribute to Michael Lyons. Also must read more about Robert Bage. Thanks again.

  • Vronsky

    “Where does he make a claim either to being uniquely son of God, or to divinity?”
    .
    From Matthew:
    .
    10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

    10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
    .
    Ipse dixit. These examples found quickly on the laziest of searches. Elsewhere (for example in the popular prayer) he says not ‘my’ but ‘our’ father. So sometimes Sky Daddy is uniquely his, sometimes not. Claiming that your dad is a god seems to me to be a claim to divinity, although I suppose we can’t be sure that normal rules of inheritance apply. Who cares anyway – probably everything has been lost in translation.
    .
    You’re being unfair to chienfou.

  • craig Post author

    Chienfou

    Apologies, you are right, it is Jesus’ dispute with Nicodemus. But at that point it is by no means clear that he is referring to himself. Also there is a strange inconsistency. Where John then gives us a similar but much more extended formal dispute at Chapter 8, with the Jewish religious leaders, where this time Jesus is unambiguously speaking of himself throughout, he gives a much less clear formulation. He also again refers to people in general as sons of god, and calls his disputants sons of the devil – presumably neither meant to be literal.

  • TK

    I see whistleblowers are modern day martyrs in the sense that the word “martyr” derived from Greek word “witness”. To that extent, Craig, you and people like Clive Ponting, Katherine Gun, Bradley Manning, et al. were doing the works of God, and I have nothing but awe and admiration for these people.

    It’s one of the tragedies of modern times that being spiritual and being religious are often contradictory. That’s partly because today “personal” is in opposition with “collective”, but mainly because organized religion tend to split the intimate relation between the social justice and the moral development. But hasn’t that always been the case? Jesus, Gandhi, many great religious figures criticized the mainstream religion of their day for that.

    “In the western culture compassion has been trivialized and sentimentalized. People are thinking that it is about dropping crumbs from the table: feelings of pity. But in the biblical tradition, compassion means justice. It means basic healing that comes out of our yearning for unity and the sharing of common experiences.” Matthew Fox

    So, to try to somehow translate the personal spirituality into the collective good is the seemingly impossible task we are given to undertake as a modern child of God whether we claim to believe in Him/Her or not. Because we cannot “escape from the darkness outside and within by dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.” T. S. Eliot – The Rock”

  • Nextus

    It ain’t so simple. The epithet “only-begotten son” is a controversial translation of the word monogenes, which normally meant “only child”; it was used in a variety of contexts to mean “single” or “unique”, with no reference to lineage. Add to that possibility of metaphor, appeal to the masses, and the years separating the events and the writing of the scripture, and the matter isn’t clear-cut as some would like to portray. Jesus himself favoured the term “Son of Man” (used 14 times in Mark’s gospel), and also referred to God as “the Father” and “your Father”. So you can have it any which way. May as well be arguing about how many angels can balance on the head of a pin.
    .
    Patriarchal religions employ the God-as-Father metaphor because it utilises a cognitive script fundamental to childhood experience,. In most traditional families, the father is the provider, the disciplinarian and the protector. It runs very deep in the psyche. Grown-ups simply apply that conceptualisation to the “unknowable” spiritual questions of existence, and it produces an answer to comfort all manner of existential anxieties. Adults sometimes need a parental figure for emotional and spiritual comfort, and patriarchal religions allow them to reuse the associations they learned in childhood. It doesn’t matter that it’s an untestable hypothesis: you don’t question your Father (i.e faith is family loyalty and paternal deference, transferred to the spiritual realm).
    .
    Incidentally, a similar transfer of familial instincts occurs in animals when they bond with humans as they once did with their parents: following, nestling, kneading, purring, etc. My cat probably thinks I am God-the-Mother (cat theology is matriarchal).
    .
    If God is some kind of unknowable spiritual entity, then it doesn’t help to answer our most vexing questions. So it’s probably best to think of him as something like Morgan Freeman or Stephen Fry with a beard.

  • Strategist

    >>>”Who said that the Church of England were just the Tory Party at prayer?”

    Well, according to St Brian Sewell (and who would gainsay that luminary?):

    “It was not Jeremy Bentham who said “The Church of England is the Conservative Party at prayer”, but a forgotten suffragette, Agnes Maude Royden, a Germaine Greer of her day, author of the equally forgotten Woman and the Sovereign State, The Church and Woman and, broadening her scope, Modern Sex Ideals.”

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-2159870-downfall-of-the-bigots.do

  • angrysoba

    Craig Murray: “I think you are being deliberately obtuse. Of course he calls himself son of God – but he also makes plain that we are all children of God. Where does he make a claim either to being uniquely son of God, or to divinity?”
    .
    Well, if Jesus was claiming that he is but one son among many, as Mr Murray seems to be asserting, then why was he the only one who was given God’s Big Book of Party Tricks allowing him to perform such feats as turning water into wine, raising Lazarus (again, what for?), walking on water, feeding the 5000 and causing an earthquake letting out all the dead from their tombs in Jerusalem when he died on the cross leading the centurion to remark, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
    .
    The latter one is in Matthew, not John. Of course, we could say that the Gospel writers were just making stuff up, and I am inclined to agree with that, but if that’s the case then it leaves us in a difficult position explaining just what Jesus did or did not claim given that all evidence he existed at all is highly unreliable.

  • angrysoba

    Mark Golding, Eh…what wagon have I fallen off?

    .
    Uh…the Infidel Express?
    .
    I ask because of your references to Jesus as a prophet, which of course he is in Islam, and your use of PBUH everywhere. Just curious.
    .
    Incidentally, Jesus is also a saint in the Cao Dai religion as well as being a Buddah and son of God. I once visited the Holy See which is a short trip from Saigon. Very unusual but interesting.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Dai

  • Chienfou

    Craig

    Yes agreed. In John 3:16 he does not explicitly refer to himself. But since he defines the term “Son of God” there in fairly unequivocal terms, it’s reasonable to use his definition to help understand what he means when he uses it about himself later on.
    The less explicit discussion with the religious leaders later on makes sense if you skip to the end of the book – as soon as he says to them “I am”, they crucify him – something which wasn’t in his plan to happen till much later. So its not suprising that he held back is it?

  • brobof

    In the Gnostic creation (Twitter version): the supreme deity created Heaven and the Angels. The Angels revolted and fell. The Earth was Lucifer’s creation.
    But the Holy See didn’t like that Result Inquisition 1: Cathars 0

  • Quelcrime

    Vronsky
    10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
    10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    If my Dad were dead and I believed he went to heaven, might I not say the same things? This comes down to the meaning of ‘Father’ – does it mean the man who got your Mum up the duff? Does it mean the notional source of human spirituality?
    .
    I think to say these passages mean that Jesus was and/or claimed to be ‘the one and only son of God’ in the sense that Prince Charles is the son of Prince Philip is ridiculous. For such a statement to mean anything we need definitions of ‘God’ ‘Father’ ‘Son’ and probably half a dozen more concepts.
    .
    Now in fact, if you read the whole of John chapter 3, isn’t it quite clear that ‘Father’ does not mean ‘the man who did your Mum’ – he’s talking about spiritual rebirth. The whole thing of ‘Father’ and ‘birth’ is a metaphor, and as ever, metaphors get messed up when translated across languages, centuries and cultures. And if he’s talking about spiritual rebirth, what does ‘only begotten’ mean? I think this is taking interpretation of a translation too far. You’d need to go back to the original text, or as close to it as can be found, to try to understand what is meant. Not only is it likely the writer of the Gospel had an agenda, the translators were coming from a millenium and a half of accepted religious dogma.

    3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

    5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

  • John Goss

    It is the dogma of various forms of Christian sectarianism that has led to much trouble in the world. Hopefully nobody commenting on this blog would resort to arms to establish that their faith was the real one. But this has happened too often in history already. Thought-provoking comments like these can be stimulating and we can all learn something from them. In recent years there has been a coming together of faiths and that cannot be a bad thing – unless it is used to lead the united faiths against another religious sect. The US claims to be a Christian country and yet its government has committed the most heinous crimes I have seen in my life.

    For me there was something about Jesus and the teaching he left behind which are beyond explanation and if followed would make the world a much safer place. It is impossible to be a real Christian and wage war, or fight in any way. Today the window I look through is clouded. Something happened 2000 years ago which was unique. I know that because the world’s calendar was reset to that date. It was along time ago and even when I quote myself I misquote and I don’t doubt all the verses and texts in the New Testament are open to scrutiny. There are, however, some clear messages about being charitable to your neighbours, about not responding to violence with violence, about helping the needy and other good deeds. That is what the blog started off as, that is, Giles Fraser, doing the Christian thing in not resorting to violence to remove protestors. It turned into a discussion about whether Jesus was the son of God.

  • nuid

    ‘Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car’. I suspect most of the commenters here would agree that if Jesus (as described to us) were alive today he’d be with the protesters outside St Paul’s — not whining about £20,000 a day, or indeed planning an unprovoked murderous attack on Iran.
    How extremist, racist, Tea Party activists in the US can reconcile their views with their professed Christianity is an ongoing mystery to me.

  • mary

    from medialens
    .
    City of London Corporation’s public meeting on St Paul’s Fri 28Th Oct – Livery Hall -10.30
    Posted by MikeD on October 28, 2011, 8:31 am

    .
    http://thoughcowardsflinch.com/2011/10/27/the-city-of-london-corporations-public-meeting-on-st-pauls/
    .
    A City of London Corporation press release says:
    .
    The City of London Corporation, which is the Highways Authority for the Square Mile, is set to call a special meeting of its Planning and Transportation Committee for Friday to hear legal advice and decide whether and, if so, how to take legal action to clear the highways around St Paul’s of campers.
    .
    The Planning and Transportation Committee would meet in private session to consider the legal advice (my emphasis).
    .
    The wording is clever, and may lead members of the public unfamiliar with local government legislation into thinking there’s no point in turning up to such a meeting.
    .
    In fact, the meeting is bound by law to open in public, and declarations of personal and prejudicial interests on the part of committee members must be made, in public, in respect of the WHOLE agenda. In this case, such declarations may prove of interest to the public, where they concern financial or other relations with St Paul’s…

  • angrysoba

    John Goss: The US claims to be a Christian country and yet its government has committed the most heinous crimes I have seen in my life.


    .
    In fact it claims to be a secular country and also claims to be in no way a Christian country as it has a formal separation of Church and State.

  • Iain Orr

    Thank you, Mary, for your link earlier this morning to the BBC’s Sick Joke for the Day [executive pay rises in top UK companies]. The paradox that “To encourage the rich you pay them more; to encourage the poor you pay them less” is usually explained by reference to the short supply of gifted bankers and footballers , while by contrast good road-menders, nurses, receptionists, teachers, bakers and bus-drivers are supposed to be two-a-penny.

    In fact pay levels have little to do with how we value individuals, their skills and their contributions to society. Determining factors for pay levels include comparative bargaining powers, market constraints and imperfect market information. A considerable part of the framework for these is set by political and administrative structures, within a legal framework (at least in in those societies where laws and justice are respected and applied equally to rich and poor, to those with influential friends and those with none).

    How we value people and how we feel valued has little to do with pay. What matters as far as work is concerned includes having the right resources and training, being trusted, the satisfaction of work well done and the appreciation of others. There is something pathological about people and systems for whom remuneration packages are the primary incentive and reward. It is dehumanising at both extremes to pay people as little as you can get away with or as much as they can get away with.

    To get my vote – an imperfect surrogate for being qualified to practice as a national or local legislator; and one that operates within the equally imperfect market of party political selection processes – a politician will need to agree that the mark of our having internationally competitive financial and footballing industries will be that competent bankers and footballers can be hired more inexpensively in the UK than in other countries.

    However, just as good mathematical analysis benefits from employing negative numbers, our political analysis needs to have recourse to negative values: in the case of banks – indebtedness to the taxpayer; in the case of our four national football teams, goals conceded in international matches.

  • Komodo

    Fraser was in favour of negotiating with the protestors to obtain a smaller presence, and damn (if necessary) the legal advice that this would imply consent to their occupation. Good for him, and his resignation shows the spinelessness of the State Church.

    I am sure the protestors would have left happily if the Church had made specific undertakings to use its still considerable influence and wealth and campaign actively to obtain a just distribution of wealth in what is, after all, its own country.

    Winged pigs at three-o’clock….

  • craig Post author

    Nextus

    “May as well argue about how many angels can stand on the head of a pin”.

    Don’t be daft, it’s 372. Everyone knows that.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Interesting link Angrysober, thanks, especially the early Chinese struggle to understand and explain ‘nothingness’ or the form of emptiness. Modern cosmology describes nothing as a chaotic state where space, time and energy have no order.
    .
    Nothing we understand has the ability to create something in an uncertainty of time. The earliest Chinese text on bamboo tablets describes, ‘the emptiness (the unpainted) has the power of animating the trees, mountains, and rivers it surrounds.
    .
    Creating a beautiful order from an infinite amount of disorder is of course a god-like quality, a spark of which exists in the beauty of nature or the glow of birth in a mother’s eyes.

  • Erica Blair

    The photograph Craig uses is misleading. The ceremonial robes worn by the Pope represent a tiny fraction of the expenditure of the Catholic Church.

    from

    http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=30147&lan=eng

    Charity and assistance institutes run in the world by the Church include: 5,558 hospitals most of them in America (1721) and Africa (1290); 17,763 dispensaries, mainly in America (5495), Africa (5280) and Asia ( 3634), 561 care Homes for people with Leprosy mainly in Asia (288) and Africa (174); 16,073 Homes for the elderly, or chronically ill or people with a disability, mainly in Europe (8238) and America (4144); 9,956 orphanages, about one third in Asia (3406); 12,387creches, 13,736 marriage counseling centers mainly in Europe (5948) and America (4696); 36,933 education or social rehabilitation centers and 12,050 other kinds of institutions, mainly in America (4484 ), Europe (3939) and Asia (1857).

    The Pope lives in a relatively modest apartment in the Vatican, which was until recently in such a bad state of repair that it was almost uninhabitable .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_Apartments

    As for personal wealth, this is from the will of the previous Pope, JP2:

    ‘I leave no possessions of which it will be necessary to dispose. As for the things I use every day, I ask that they be distributed as seems appropriate.’

  • mary

    Media fabricated ’empty tents’ story at OccupyLSX
    Posted by baldr on October 28, 2011, 3:02 pm

    ‘Following all the media hype (Telegraph, The Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express) about ’empty tents’ at OccupyLSX we decided to check out whether their thermal imaging evidence was true.
    .
    We got hold of *exactly* the same thermal imaging camera and showed that – surprise, surprise – you can’t tell when people are in their tents.’

    .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aBYAUl4O5v4

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