Welcome to Affirming The Faith
153 “"Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants," – attributed to William Penn.
152 “ ... everyone knows, if he stops to think about it, that no matter how disturbed the mind is, however joyous or despairing – active, in a word – there is a part of it that is always detached and unmoved; it observes quietly what is happening. Two passages in No. 10 lay bare this part of the mind, so essential to sanity ...” – musicologist/composer Robert Simpson in his sleeve-note (1973) to Havergal Brian’s Symphony No. 10, London, Unicorn Records, 1973; Unicorn-Kanachana, 1990.
151 “When you don’t love people you’re only a few steps away from manipulating them” – Bob and Debby Gass with Ruth Haliday, The Word For Today, entry for 28 February 2013 (United Christian Broadcasters).
150 “God does not want a man to be too calm, so He gives him unrest to discipline him, or rather He makes him give it to himself ...” – Abbot Gregorius in Thomas Mann’s The Holy Sinner (1951) (translation of H. T. Lowe-Porter), Penguin, 1961, p. 55.
149 “Much that passes for idealism is disguised love of power” – attributed to Bertrand Russell.
148 “Homosexual Western clergy should stop behaving like teenage girls whose feelings have been hurt, grow up, muster a smidgen of humility and do the job they claim God has called them to do. Or they should quit and find a job where they don’t have to lie about their sex lives.” – David Jenkins (in his blog Anglican Samizdat, entry for 7 January 2013, ‘Homosexual priests advised to lie about their celibacy’,) commenting on the recent Church of England decision concerning bishops in civil partnerships, and subsequent advice to lie about their celibacy.
147 “Policy makers beware: unless you are ready to admit that you are facing an essentially theological problem in the Middle East, do not go about prescribing solutions, for you may actually make matters worse – particularly by creating the false impression that economic, sociological or political programs can fix what is, in fact, a delusion of faith. They cannot.” – Roger Scruton in the Foreword to Robert R. Reilly’s The Closing Of The Muslim Mind. How Intellectual Suicide Created The Modern Islamist Crisis, Wilmington, Delaware, ISI Books, 2010, p. xii.
146 “True courage is not so much about self-glorification as it is about self-emptying: being willing to be the bridge over which others may cross to safety. It does not rest on anything so flimsy or ephemeral as “self-esteem,” but proceeds instead out of an inner integrity that knows who it is – and where it is going – and can therefore fix its gaze outward rather than inward.” – Louis Markos, On The Shoulders of Hobbits. The Road To Virtue With Tolkien And Lewis, Chicago, Moody Publishers, 2012, p. 68.
145 “Every man has a creed, but in his soul he knows that that creed has another side, possibly not less logical, which it does not suit him to produce. Our most honest convictions are not the children of pure reason, but of temperament, environment, necessity, and interest. Most of us take sides in life and forget the one we reject. But our conscience tells us it is there, and we can on occasion state it with a fairness and fullness which proves that it is not wholly repellent to our reason.” – the (unnamed) narrator in John Buchan’s story ‘A Lucid Interval’ (1912), The Best Short Stories of John Buchan Volume 2 (ed. David Daniell), London, Panther (Granada Books), 1984, p. 54.
144 “People are of course entitled to their opinions. But, until they have learned how to support them with sound thinking, they should not be entitled to an audience.” – Alexander Boot referring to Stephen Fry’s support of “homomarriage”, ‘Stephen Fry needs two chairs to contain his giant intellect’, 15 October 2012, http://alexanderboot.com/content/stephen-fry-needs-two-chairs-contain-his-giant-intellect
“All sensible people know that vanity is the most devastating, the most universal and the most ineradicable of the passions that afflict the soul of man, and it is only vanity that makes him deny its power. It is more consuming than love. With advancing years, mercifully, you can snap your fingers at the terror and the servitude of love, but age cannot free you from the thraldom of vanity. Time can assuage the pangs of love, but only death can still the anguish of wounded vanity. Love is simple and seeks no subterfuge, but vanity cozens you with a hundred disguises. It is part and parcel of every virtue; it is the mainspring of courage and the strength of ambition; it gives constancy to the lover and endurance to the stoic; it adds fuel to the fire of the artist’s desire for fame and it is at once the support and the compensation of the honest man’s integrity; it leers even cynically in the humility of the saint. You cannot escape it, and should you take pains to guard against it, it will make use of those very pains to trip you up. You are defenceless against its onslaught because you do not know on what unprotected side it will attack you. Sincerity cannot protect you from its snare nor humour from its mockery”. – Somerset Maugham’s character Willie Ashenden, haranguing the ambassador, in his story ‘His Excellency’, W. Somerset Maugham, The Complete Short Stories, Volume Two, London, Heinemann, 1951 etc., pp. 841-2.
“Each man and woman makes a choice to seek light or to serve self. Apart from the choice of an individual to seek the grace of God, our prayers cannot and will not wrench someone free from the grip of sin and the power of Satan”. – Tom White, The Believer’s Guide To Spiritual Warfare, Ventura (California), Regal, 2nd. Ed., 2011, p. 170.
“ … since when was putting the welfare of their children ahead of parents’ own interests considered cruel and heartless? Only since society decided that children were an inconvenient obstacle to the right of parents to live lives of unfettered selfishness.” – Melanie Phillips, At last, A Judge Tells The Truth About Divorce, 30 April 2012.
“ …the gay-marriage campaign has nothing to do with liberty and equality. Rather this is a cynical campaign of opportunistic moral grandstanding on the part of the cultural elite, which will end with gays being fobbed off with a pretty meaningless form of ‘marriage’ and married couples simultaneously finding the ancient institution they have signed up to being further drained of meaning.” – Brendan O’Neil, ‘Why gay marriage is a very bad idea’, Spiked, 22 March 2012.
“Matthew 5: 6 says, ‘Blessed [are] those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.’ So many people are unsatisfied today because they are hungering and thirsting for happiness instead of righteousness. But God doesn’t say that temporal happiness will satisfy our hearts and souls. He says that only righteousness will do the trick.” – Jack Graham, Pause: Resting in God Instead of Stressing Out, Dallas, Texas, PowerPoint Ministries, 2009, pp. 18-19.
“This spiritual intercourse with God [that will take place in heaven] is the ecstasy hinted at in all earthly intercourse, physical or spiritual. It is the ultimate reason why sexual passion is so strong, so different from other passions, so heavy with suggestions of profound meanings that just elude our grasp. No mere practical needs account for it. No mere animal drive explains it.”, Peter Kreeft, ‘Application of the Principles: Sex in Heaven’, on the Culture of Life site, Taken from: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven - But Never Dreamed of Asking (Ignatius Press).
“Self-actualisation is antithetical to the Gospel. It is the realisation of the utter depravity of the self and the need for an imputation of righteousness and sanctification that is the hallmark of true religion. Theologies that reject this notion and instead elevate the individual as the divine (or a demiurge thereof) are simply spiritual manifestations of the glorification of self that so pervades our modern Western culture.” – Peter Ould, from the article ‘Three quotes - Compare and Contrast’, 12 July 2011, on his website An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy
“The BBC is now routinely subject to criticisms of anti-Christian bias in its coverage of Christianity and related issues. In the lead-up to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain last September, the BBC led what amounted to a campaign of anti-papal and anti-Catholic programming that led Edinburgh’s cardinal archbishop, Keith O’Brien, to accuse the broadcaster of being contaminated by ‘a radically secular and socially liberal mindset.’” – Hilary White, ‘BBC marks anniversary of King James Bible by claiming King David was gay’ LifeSiteNews, 19 January 2011;
“Presumably you think you have a right to live, but you obviously don't think that I have if someone who is not me decides my deformities and disabilities are such that my life would be worthless. Hitler, with his euthanasia program, was able - with the collaboration of the medical profession - to write us off as "life unworthy of life". You say you are a socialist, I say you are a national socialist. You think you have a right to live, and yet you aid and abet the process of ridding the world of "deformed" people.” – from the Open Letter to British (Labour) politician Mo Mowlam from Nabil Shaban (disabled, Left-wing actor) concerning abortion of disabled people, published in the New Statesman and Society, 9 April 1993, viewable at:reocities.com/Paris/arc/3165/New_Statesman.html
“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove” – attributed to Samuel Johnson.
“I do not deny the need for radical restatements. But I do deny the legitimacy of continuing to use the language of Christian conviction while asserting that that language does not represent objective fact, and of interpreting it in a way that deprives words of anything resembling their normal meaning. In the face of death and bereavement this kind of thing is asshabby morally as it is shoddy intellectually” – W. Jardine Grisbrooke in Gilbert Cope (ed.), Dying, Death and Disposal, London, SPCK, 1970, p. 59.
“Many people do not consciously worship God but still say they believe in him; they run the same danger of exchanging the splendour of immortal God for an idea of God which they have worked out for themselves or picked up from others; if the God they have is not the God we learn about in Jesus then it will be a God thought out by mortal man and therefore like mortal man.” – Ernest Best, The Letter of Paul to the Romans (The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1967, pp. 21-22. Emphases in the original.
“The more widely held [of two errors] is that culture can be preserved, extended and developed in the absence of religion. This error may be held by the Christian in common with the infidel, and its proper refutation would require an historical analysis of considerable refinement, because the truth is not immediately apparent … a culture may linger on, and indeed produce some of its most brilliant artistic and other successes after the religious faith has fallen into decay.” - T. S. Eliot, Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, London, Faber & Faber, 1948 etc. (1962 edition, p. 30).
“Jesus debunked the myth that love is based on feelings. It's an act of your will, and if you love God you'll keep His commandments. It's that simple” - Bob Gass and Debby Gass with Ruth Gass Halliday, The Word For Today, UCB, entry for 7 October 2010.
“Politics that does not root itself in moral values is simply a way of refereeing human selfishness” – Giles Fraser, Mail Online, 4 April 2010
“One writes such a story [Lord of The Rings] not out of the leaves of trees still to be observed, nor by means of botany and soil science; but it grows like a seed in the dark out of the leaf-mould of the mind: out of a ll that has been seen or thought or read, that has long ago been forgotten, descending into the deeps” - J. R. R. Tolkien quoted in: Humphrey Carpenter, J. R. R. Tolkien. A Biography, London, Unwin Paperbacks (Allen & Unwin), 1977, p. 131.
“If you are a white Christian man upholding traditional family values and expressing a desire to stop immigration and leave the E[uropean] U[nion], while being sceptical of man-made global warming and believing that Darwinian evolution does not explain the origin of life on earth, Britain is no longer your country.” – Melanie Phillips, ‘I think, therefore I’m guilty’ The Spectator, 17 September 2010
“Civilizations die from suicide, not from murder.” – attributed to Arnold Toynbee.
“Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.” – attributed to the late Fr. John Neuhaus, founding editor of First Things.
“You put yourself with God, empty, perhaps, but hungry and thirsty for him; and if in sincerity you cannot say that you want God you can perhaps tell him that you want to want him; and if you cannot say even that perhaps you can say that you want to want to want him! Thus you can be very near him in your naked sincerity; and he will do the rest ...” – Michael Ramsey, The Christian Priest Today, London, SPCK, 1972, 1980, pp. 14-15.
“The separation of procreation from sexual intercourse is the root cause of all sexual perversions.” – attributed to Sigmund Freud.
“O my Creator, do not pour so precious a liquid into so broken a vessel. For you have seen already how often I spill it. Do not lay up treasures like these where the longing for life’s consolations is not as dead as it should be, or they will be utterly wasted. How can you entrust this walled city and the keys of its citadel to a defender so cowardly that he will let the enemy in at the first assault?” – Teresa of Avila, Life, translated by J. M. Cohen, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1957, p. 123.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
“Once, when preparing a lecture on Cardinal Newman, I summarized his classic Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine in this fashion: Truth ripens, error rots. The homosexual rights movement is rotten to the core. It has no future. There is no life in it. Sooner or later, those who are caught up in it are going to wake up from the dream of unbridled desire or else die. It is just a matter of time. The question is: how long? How many children are going to be sacrificed to this Moloch?” - Dr. Ronald G. Lee in his essay ‘The books, the porn the truth. The truth about the homosexual rights movement’ in Gods, Gays and the Church, ed. Lisa Nolland, Chris Sugden and Sarah Finch, London, The Latimer Trust, 2008, p. 73-4.
“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, London, Collins/Fontana, 1976, Vol.2, pp.597-8.
“Non-Catholics often have an image of the Catholic Church as a ruthlessly efficient organization with a chain of command that would make the armed forces jealous. The reality for most of the 1960s to 1980s was the opposite. A priest could preach heresy, profane the Holy Mass, destroy the piety of his people and face no consequences.” - Raymond J. de Souza on the scandals that have engulfed the Roman Catholic Church, and the real reasons behind the abuses. Fr Raymond J. de Souza, “Culture Change in the Church”, The National post – Holy Post, 25 March 2010
“Why is there such a fury against religion now? Because religion is the one reliable force that stands in the way of the power of the strong over the weak. The one reliable force that forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law. The one reliable force that restrains the hand of the man of power. In an age of power-worship, the Christian religion has become the principal obstacle to the desire of earthly utopians for absolute power.” - Peter Hitchens, 'How I found God and peace with my atheist brother’, http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/ entry for 11 March 2010 1:52 PM.
“I'll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required” - Matt Redman, from his song When The Music Fades (The Heart of Worship); a Christian musician summing up the purpose of all Christian writing.
“There seem to be two life plans for Christians...the abundance/blessing plan and the death/suffering plan. I assume I am on the death and suffering plan - that God is crouching behind a corner waiting for things to go well in order to take everything away so that I can learn to trust in him alone. That's a terribly sinful and unfaithful way to think - I know that - and not at all true about God, but for some reason that's where my mind goes when things seem to be taking a turn for the worst.” – Matt Kennedy, sharing his initial feelings when TEC removed him and his young family from their parsonage, and his congregation from their church, Stand Firm site, 25 January 2010.
“… I would argue that this popular notion of hope [“vaguely positive thoughts of the future, of a time when all the things that are wrong with the world will be undone”] could be more accurately defined as optimism. It is easy to confuse optimism with hope, but optimism in the face of death is merely a form of denial. Optimism insists that it will all work out here and now, and yet the reality of everyday life demonstrates that this is not so. It will not all work out, at least not until the time of the new heavens and the new earth. For as long as sin exists in this world, people will suffer and die.” – Amy Julia Becker, “The Reality of Hope”, First Things, 17 November 2009