Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Islam And The Eastern Church

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There was a time, not so long ago, that it felt like I was the only non-evangelical Christian, who cared about the plight of the Christian Church in Islamic lands. Worse still, every time I mentioned the situation somebody would imply that I was a racist or, at the very least, bang on and on about how terrible Christians were a thousand years ago as if that made it better for the Christians being imprisoned due to false accusations of blasphemy against Islam in Pakistan today. Fortunately the recent violent ousting of the last Christians of Mosul from their hometown by the Islamists of ISIS seems to have actually got passed the PC walls constructed around liberal Christianity and I notice that now a lot more of my social media friends are mentioning examples of the Islamic oppression of Christians without the scruples they once had.

Some, are asking “What can we do?”

I have one good suggestion. You see, I have not always had this huge concern for the Church of the East. It was not until I was studying for my theology degree in my early thirties that I was even aware of the problem. But two things happened whilst I was at university, I studied the Islamic religion and I met Christians from Pakistan and Egypt. The fear these people had for their families back home was always palpable. Through them I discovered that the persecution (even to death) of Christians in Islamic lands was very real and not some myth dreamed up by right-wing fundamentalist Christians to imply that the Islamic religion was barbarous and evil. My study of Islam at university showed me how true to the scriptures and early history of Islam modern day Islamic fundamentalists were being.

So my suggestion is this, get to know the history of the Church in the East.

As Bob Marley put it, “If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from.”

51f8lDGSbJLMy recommendation is that you read Philip Jenkins book, “The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—and How It Died.” Jenkins is an unbiased writer who, in my opinion, is a little too forgiving at times, and he often refers to the bad things Christians did and do, and I know you all will like that But I promise you, by the end of the book you will be filled with a sadness for something beautiful that has been lost that is overwhelming and which will never leave you.

It is my contention that modern day, non-evangelical, western Christianity has, in trying to be Christian and loving towards everyone, whatever their faith, has ignored and let down the persecuted Christians in our world today. Furthermore, we have cast to the back of our collective mind the whole history of Eastern Christianity, labelling it as nothing more than quirky when once it was so vibrant and extensive that the western Church appeared like nothing more than a tin tabernacle in comparison. It is time for us to right this wrong and to begin to value the Eastern church as it is very much part of our heritage, especially if the roots of your denomination go back to the Celtic Christian tradition which was based far more on the pioneers of Christianity in the East than on Roman Catholicism.

Philip Jenkins book is available on Amazon all over the place in hardback and paperback book form (new and used) and is available in a well produced audio format in the United States. If you do decide to buy it, do us a favour and buy it via my Amazon widgets, so that I get some much needed commission. You can find the widgets in the right hand side bar of this page.

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Passing Thoughts Of A MadPriest

Would some of the weird stuff of quantum physics, such as particles influencing each other over vast distances and the possibility of time appearing to travel backwards at the quantum level, be explained if there was no such thing as space and time? Or, to put it another way, if everything that is happening, that has happened and that will happen, is all happening at exactly the same moment in exactly the same place.

Perhaps there are bosuns that give what we perceive as time and space to particles in the same way as the Higgs bosun is responsible for giving some particles mass.

Holy Communion For The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

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Welcome to Saint Laika’s. Please join our worship as we celebrate our promised place in the kingdom of heaven.

Saint Laika’s is for everyone. Here everybody is encouraged to eat and drink in remembrance of Jesus Christ, just as he commanded his followers to do. No one is excluded and if you have been pushed out of a church in the past or if you do not feel part of the institutional churches, for whatever reason, you are especially welcome here.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol). How you view the nature of this part of the service is completely up to you.

CLICK HERE to download the service.

Click on the arrow on the far lefthand side of the sound bar to stream the service.

Alternatively CLICK HERE to access the podcast via iTunes.
Check back later if this podcast is not showing as iTunes takes a while to post the file.

CLICK HERE for the order of service, credits and details of the music featured.

And if you enjoy the service and want to make future podcasts possible CLICK HERE and pop some of your hard earned cash into the Saint Laika’s collection plate. This is my only source of income and as I have just come back fro my annual vacation stoney broke your generosity would be very much appreciated.

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Oh Lord, It’s So Hard To Be English
But I’m Doing The Best That I Can

In America, right on left wingers will attack the exponents of right wing policy but it is extremely rare to come across an American lefty having a go at America’s cultural roots. In England our trendy socialist types have spent so much time bigging up everybody else’s traditions and culture whilst taking the piss out of English tradition and culture that it really feels extremely uncomfortable to buck the trend and actually say you like English customs and English folk music.

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England – The World’s Least Successful Cultural Bully

If England has systematically crushed both Scottish and Welsh cultural identity so successfully as tribe centred Scottish and Welsh people would have everyone believe, why is it that a non-British person will have far more difficulty in visualising images of English cultural identity than they will visualising images of Welsh and Scottish cultural identity? Furthermore, my guess is that their images of English cultural identity will be predominantly lampooning rather than positive ones.

More Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Being out of work means that I have a lot of time on my hands which means that I could go and sign up for a course in the Autumn. I quite fancy going to learn to read music properly. However, being out of work means I can’t afford the course fees. So I will sit around doing nothing. Isn’t capitalism wonderful?

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

How difficult is it to delete job vacancy details from a diocesan website once the deadline for applying is past? Well, if you are in charge of either the Scottish Episcopal website or the Durham Diocese website it appears to be completely impossible. There is little more infuriating than seeing a job that would really suit and then, after you’ve read the profile and everything you notice that the interviews were back in May. Yes, May. Honestly, all the talk there is in the Church about using the internet and the diocesan offices cannot even keep a vacancy page up to date.

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