Archive for category Reform

William Tyndale on the trade of the clergy

William Tyndale  © 2013 Simon Peter Sutherland

William Tyndale
© 2013 Simon Peter Sutherland

“What a trade is that of the priests. They want money for every thing: money for baptism, money for churchings, for weddings, for buryings, for images, brotherhoods, penances, soul-masses, bells, organs, chalices, copes, surplices, ewers, censors, and all manner of ornaments. Poor sheep! The parson shears, the vicar shaves, the parish priest polls, the friar scrapes, the indulgence seller pares ….. all that you want is a butcher to flay you and take away your skin”

William Tyndale
(Obedience of a Christian Man)

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The “Wicked Bible” is the one without all the words

DSC02077A while ago I viewed an ancient Bible known as “The Wicked Bible”.

It was published and printed by Robert Barker, the official printer of the King James Bible in 1631. However, a massive error was made in the print and one word was missed out from the 7th commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20: 14)

The word in question which was missed out was the word “Not“. Thus the text read, “Thou shalt commit adultery” for which the printer was fined £300 and the run of prints were destroyed and the printers license was taken from him.

Only a few of these Bibles exist today, since they were destroyed. But as I stood looking at this surviving witness to such a massive error, it came to me of how valuable every word of scripture truly is. That if “one dot or tittle” be removed, then it will have devastating eternal effects.

I prayed for the church in England and America while thinking of how far she has fallen today, when the Bibles that so many Christians hold and regard as worthy of being called a Bible, actually have edits and large numbers of texts and words missing from them. And thus so much of today’s church has gotten into bed with a harlot and has committed adultery with her, by embracing many ‘wicked Bibles’.

Seems to me that we not only have individual leaders within the Christian church who are likewise guilty of this sin by accepting edited Bibles, but she is also guilty of adultery too. It is she who so often accepts sins and re-interprets the Bible to comply with modern blasts of wind and thus so often makes herself look like a people pleasing coward in the eyes the world and an adulterous bride through the eyes of her Husband.

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The Queen’s Christmas Speech 2011 and her prayer

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.” 1 Timothy 2: 1-3. KJV

Today on Christmas day 2011 we heard the Queen of England make her 59th broadcast to the nations, and one which I am thrilled contained a very prominent statement for the Gospel of Jesus Christ for England.

God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love. In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.”

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David Cameron: “Revival of Christian Values”

John WycliffeDavid Cameron while giving a speech at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford has attacked the moral decline of Britain and has openly called for a revival of Christian values in England and stated that people should openly proclaim explicit values of Christianity.

He also presented critique of the ideas that claim that by standing up for Christian values, we do somehow put down other “faiths”.

He also hailed the King James Bible.

Despite the distinctive observation that the word “faiths” is a historical fallacy concocted by political minds, the word ‘Religions’ is a better description, Cameron rightly spoke against Islamic extremism and claimed that an “almost fearful, passive tolerance of religious extremism” has resulted in Islamic Extremism to remain unchallenged.

One of the things which stands out regarding Cameron’s speech is that he spoke of a “revival” of Christian values and England certainly needs reform and a Christian awakening.

England is forgetting her own history.

Reform is certainly in the air and would involve a new Reformation and a restoration of Truth. But before a reformation of this nature could begin, the Church must get her own house in order first. And since Cameron said this to the Church of England, that is the context and this would call for reform within the Church of England, who has neglected the Bible in favour of passing trends, cultural pursuasions and theological windrushes.

It would be hypocrisy and a burying of ones head in the sand to imagine that the Church of England is in a good way, but there is always hope of reform.

Likewise there is always hope of a Christian awakening within the hearts of the people, but the Church and Parliament must get their own house in order first and remove the plank of wood that is in their own eye, before they can attempt to even suggest that their are splinters within anothers eye. In other words, you cannot expect the people to respect or embrace Christianity and Parliament, if much of Christianity and Parliament has become a harlot. People will not listen to anyone if they do not practice what they preach and the Church and the houses of Parliament of today have not presented themselves without fault.

However there is hope that things can change and it is out of hope that charity is born for without love and charity, ministers and politicians can give speeches all day long, but if they have not charity, they “become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13: 1

And as Paul says, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8

Will Parliament be willing to seek a restoration of Christian values within England while at the same time feeding the poor of England? Or will it offer a restoration of certain morals only? Is Cameron being genuine at all, or is he just playing a voting game, using Christianity to gain popularity?

If he is being genuine in then I humbly suggest that we must go all the way with this or not at all.

However, regarding Camerons speech, it is interesting to note that in this very same Cathedral that he gave this speech, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was publicly “degraded” in 1556 and in the 1720’s John and Charles Wesley were ordained as Priests in the Church of England.

Thus, just as great awakenings and reform did come in times past through the church, they can also do so once again in the future.

Thus, these three remain, “Faith, hope and charity” 1 Corinthians 13: 13.

Simon Peter Sutherland
17th December 2011

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