Friday, November 25, 2016

Trump is just another swamp dweller

Yes. Back to Trump. But sometimes Anglicanism takes back place to the future of the world.

So, just before you start writing your comment, there is some good news about Trump!

He is walking back a few positions and he is finding some reasonably good folk to fill his cabinet. Likely he will be a better president than some of us fear.

But this is what makes me mad about Trump.

It turns out that he is just another swamp dweller, i.e. politician doing what politicians do.

Read this verbatim interview in the New York Times. Put it together with the folk he is reaching out to (such as Governor Haley and Mitt Romney). Essentially Trump is admitting he said one thing on the campaign trail and now he is saying another thing after winning.

That is two-faced. That is lying in order to gain the prize.

He was very, very rude about Haley and Romney.

Yes, Romney was rude about Trump. But Romney is not claiming to be an "anti-politician."

Note also in that interview that Trump is claiming that as President he is beyond conflict of interest over his continuing business dealings.

If that is not swamp dwelling it is troughing.

Trump is just another politician and we should have expectations of him that are consistent with that.

The good news is that politicians do some good and we can expect that of Trump.

But let us not delude ourselves that everything is going to be just as he campaigned for.


Andrei said...

"If that is not swamp dwelling it is troughing."

No - President elect Trump has announced he will forego his salary and that he will hand the running of his business over to his children

We know how President elect Trump made his money, we might not approve of all his business endevours, I don't, I dislike casinos in particular with a passion but we know how he made his fortune

How a "lifetime of public service" can make people like the Clintons billionaires is a bit more mysterious

In particular when I look at the ruins of Libya, the peoples of which enjoyed the highest standard of living a few years ago and see how people close to the Clintons have profited greatly from this - not to mention the money that came to the Clinton foundation from Libya's enemies the casinos seem a positively benign way of making money

What happened to Libya, Syria, Sudan and Yemen under Hillary Clinton's watch at the State Department ranks among the great crimes in human history

Had Hillary Clinton been elected we would have seen WW3

You remain blissfully unaware that the death toll from neo Liberalism and its "humanitarian interventions" over the past 25 years by far exceeds that of communism in the seventy years of its existence - you close your eyes to this evil that has been unleashed upon the poor of the world and evil it is - don't kid yourself that because the main perpetrators speak English that their actions and motives are benign

Will Donald Trump step back from the brink? Let us pray so

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; anything a politician says should be written in the sand before high tide, but failing a Damascus experience, President Elect Trump (PET) cannot change his personality. That's why progressives are worried. They know PET isn't interested in supremely critical issues like transgender toilets, triggers and safe spaces. Their sun has set, even if PET tones down by 50%, which would seem optimistic. So, I agree that the wall will not be built (praise God), but progressives know it's nearly dusk and they haven't got any heating.


Father Ron said...

One of the biggest casualties, Peter, of El Trumpo's election, is that of even the semblance of 'truth'. It does remind one, rather, of Pontius Pilate's question of Jesus: "What is Truth". Seemingly, for The Donald, it is "That which comes our of my mouth at any one time - for that time". not a good recipe for peace and justice in the USA, or anywhere for that matter.

Andrei said...

"One of the biggest casualties, Peter, of El Trumpo's election, is that of even the semblance of 'truth'."

That statement Fr Ron, is positively Clintonian!

Former President Clinton is infamous for his ability to lie with a straight face. "I did not have sex with that woman!" etc. He got away with it because of his personal charm it is said

His wife too is infamous for her whoppers as well

But a great opportunity was squandered in President Clinton's time. He surrounded himself with evil advisors who created havoc while he played "hide the cigar" with impressionable interns young enough to be his daughter while the bombs rained down upon innocent Serbian Christians in their own homes.

But what are dead Slavic and Arab Christians with their destroyed churches, homes and livelihoods when compared to the imagined injustices "gays" face in today's Western society?

No - let's continue fret about nonsense as the world goes up in flames

Ask yourself this Fr Ron - if the welfare of gays is such an important issue to you why aren't you appalled that the biggest arms sale in history to Saudi Arabia was signed off by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, after the Clinton Foundation received $5 million from the Saudi Government, given the plight of gays in Saudi Arabia?

And we know how those arms are being used, they are burning innocent Yemeni children alive in their own beds as we speak

Glen Young said...

"But let us not delude ourselves that everything is going to be just as he campaigned for." Peter.

And let us not delude ourselves that everything in the Western Anglican Communion is/or is going to be, as the Bishops and Archbishops promised to uphold, when taking their Election Vows. Have they faithfully upheld and proclaimed the Pure Doctrine of CHRIST. In the case of the ACANZP ,have they upheld the CONSTITUTION 1857????

If Trump had collected money for one purpose, and used it for another; there would be cries for his blood, for committing FRAUD. But is that not exactly what the ACANZP has done? How much of Her assets were gifted under the belief that She was/and would remain true to DOCTRINE as defined in the FUNDAMENTAL PROVISIONS of the Constitution 1857.

So before we cast any more insinuations about Trump being a SWAMP DWELLER,
a number of people in the Anglican Communion should look at how wet their own feet are. Luke 6 :42

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters
The Clintons are history. We now have President-elect Trump and he is the one whom I am scrutinising. He will do some good; my scrutiny does not deny that. But I deny that he is anything other than a swamp-standard politician when it comes to telling lies.

ACANZP has always been a church of a wide variety of opinions and allegiances. Anyone who has bequeathed funds to our church thinking otherwise has paid no attention to our history.

And, Ron, Andrei is right: there are some very unsavoury relationships between Western liberal democracies and Saudi Arabia/Sunni Islam.

BrianR said...

Speaking (and writing) as one who reads and studies Spanish every day, I find that referring to Trump as "El Trumpo" has a peculiar anti-Hispanic tone to it and rather odd, given Trump's lack of enthusiasm for Mexican immigration (although he did poll more "Hispanic" votes - mainly Cuban-American - than Romney). Just say 'Trump', Ron - or if you wish to be ethnicist, you can mock his Scottish heritage - 'MacTrumpie'? - since we generous-hearted sons of Alba have a long history of forgiving the colonialist Sassenachs (and their Piskie lackeys). A richt guid St Andrew's Day tae ye a'.

As for Trump - he is certainly rewriting the book of politics. Jeb Bush famously told him 'You can't insult your way to the White House', but that is just what he did. If he seeks to include talented people like Haley and Romney - whom he most unjustly slandered - there is more hope than first appeared. But all of us Christians should know not to put our faith in princes (or barons).

Glen Young said...

"ACANZP has always been a church of a wide variety of opinions and allegiances.Anyone who has bequeathed funds to our Church thinking otherwise has paid no attention to our history". Peter.

The ACANZP has a legal CONSTITUTION 1857 and is bound by law to adhere to it.If that wide variety of opinions and allegiances contravened any of the FUNDAMENTAL PROVISIONS of the the CONSTITUTION 1857; it was the duty of the BISHOPS to correct the situation;(I refer you to Bishop Selwyn's address to the 1859 General Synod.) That they have not done so, makes them a culpable as any of the 'political swamp dwellers' you are attacking.

I deny that they are anything other than 'swamp dwelling BISHOPS when it comes to telling lies. I would respectfully suggest that you clean up your own swamp before you start smelling any odours from across Pacific.

Anonymous said...

Peter, the President-Elect ran for the nomination of the Republican party (not the Democratic one) and the votes of its natural constituency (not the whole electorate). Both his party and its constituency view campaigns, not as tests of policy competence (eg the Clinton-Sanders debates), but as tests of loyalty to its fragile coalition of interests (cf *outrageous* comments that gored precisely the right oxen for his purposes). He may possibly attempt to implement some policy prescriptions from his campaign statements, but this does not matter as much to his people as fidelity to the interests of the myriad embattled minorities that make up the contemporary GOP.

Can he actually do the job? Nobody really knows. His party prefers a model of the office in which the incumbent sets some broad principles and his appointees work out and apply their policy implications under the watchful eyes of the White House chief of staff and the President's political advisor. For Republicans, this model has the advantage of keeping their internal conflicts far from the President in the twigs and leaves of the executive branch. Thus far, the President-Elect is following that model, but no model is adequate to the whole of reality.

Bowman Walton

Glen Young said...

Hi Bowman, just checking on the politics of Cockaigne these days.Last I heard, it was a bit chaotic with monks beating up on Bishops and raping nuns.

Father Ron said...

Dear Glen, the indiscriminate use of CAPITAL LETTERS does not necessarily make any of your many points more clear on a blog.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Peter

I suspect that in every way an underachieving Trump would be preferable to an overachieving Clinton.

All candidates tend to walk back from the more extreme positions they stake out on the campaign trail in order to motivate the base. Does that make them liars - maybe, maybe not.

For example it's a good thing he is not going to pursue Clinton over her email server. It would have seemed vindictive and unnecessary for someone who has won the Presidency. It is appropriate to move on from 'lock her up' don't you think?

He has his opportunity, he now has to perform. Let's give him a chance to do so.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; Happy Advent and year "A" for our common scripture readings. I know that Catholics and Anglicans follow the ABC format. Who else does it? Just us?


Peter Carrell said...

Hi Nick
Thank you, and returned, as we enter a year of interesting times for Catholic and Anglican churches (as my friend the Pope might say ...!)

Yes, for simply chaps like me, that ABC format is a simple map to help me negotiate lectionary intricacies :)

I do not know of other churches which have adopted it (Lutherans?) but I believe it is widely used among churches such as Presbyterians and Methodists.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ray
Your comment above re our bishops is borderline rejectionable.
I am publishing it because it expresses what you feel strongly about being let down by our bishops.
It is not my view of their honourable and sincere attempt to lead out church through difficult shoals of controversy.

Glen Young said...

And who created the controversy? They could have laid it to rest, at several General Synods, by voting against it; on the basis that they were required by the Constitution 1857,to uphold the Doctrine, as defined in that Constitution, which they had vowed to uphold.The Bishops could also have reminded General Synod of their Constitutional obligation to uphold that Doctrine as well.

I have sufficient paper work here to validate my opinion of them and I stick to it. I have tried to express my views as civilly as possible because you would not print my truly held opinions of a majority of the ACANZP leadership. BTW,I did not raise the issue of people being "swamp dwellers"; just located more swamps.

Father Ron said...

"And let us not delude ourselves that everything in the Western Anglican Communion is/or is going to be, as the Bishops and Archbishops promised to uphold, when taking their Election Vows. Have they faithfully upheld and proclaimed the Pure Doctrine of CHRIST. In the case of the ACANZP ,have they upheld the CONSTITUTION 1857????" - Glen Young -

Just noticed this howler!

What you, Glen, call 'the Pure Doctrine of Christ' has been theologically argued over since Christ's Resurrection and Ascension. No-one can predict what the Holy Spirit might yet have to teach us about the amazing Mystery of Christ Incarnate, Crucified, risen and Glorified.

The Jews, before us, thought they had 'signed up' to "All The Truth about their God YAHWEH before Jesus came onto the scene, and He altered the ground rules for the human 'understanding' of God in Trinity.

Even the Early Church Fathers and Mothers didn't always come up with The Truth of what is, essentially, the eternal Mystery of God in Christ. The Church of Rome and Constantinople have both issued their own definitive edicts on matters of The Faith - despite the fact that we have even more to learn about the Christ Who has redeemed us.

This all goes to show that, if we were all committed to the Churches' written Constitutions - about the Mystery of Christ - we might miss out on any further revelation that Almighty God has yet to open up for us. I am always mindful of the statement of Jesus that "When the Spirit comes, S/He will LEAD YOU INTO all The Truth. The work of Theology is not yet finished!

Glen Young said...

The Doctrine of the ACANZP as legally defined in the Fundamental Provision of the Constitution 1857: "This Branch.....(ACANZP) doth hold and maintain the Doctrine and Sacraments of CHRIST as the LORD hath commanded in His Holy Word and as the...(ACANZP) hath received and explained the same in the BOCP,The Ordinances,and the 39 Articles of Faith. Nowhere in them, have I seen the Holy Spirit referred to in the feminine.Nowhere in them have I seen any indication,that the Holy Spirit would lead the Church to accept homosexual practice as the equivalent of Holy Matrimony.As Bishop Selwyn told those gathered for the 1859 General Synod: "If you don't like the Doctrine of the Constitution,you are free to move on." El Trumpo would call it "draining the SWAMP".

Father Ron said...

"S/He who has ears to hear: let THEM hear what The Spirit is saying to the Church". There will always be those who want to regulate revelation - confining any understanding of the Spirit's work to past generations. The Incarnation put that understanding to flight.

Once the task of revelation is done - that may herald the Parousia. We still celebrate the ongoing experience of ADVENT in the orthodox Churches. We, in the Church, are still being led by the Holy Spirit, whatever the 'World' has to say about that. This is where Christ's Kingdom is not 'of this World'.

Glen Young said...

Ron, So are you saying that the ACANZP can function outside and above and is not bound by the Legislation of New Zealand. Jesus said:"Render unto Caesar those things which are Caesar's and unto God those things which are God's." Luke 20:24/25. The Constitution 1857 and The Church of England Empowering Act 1928 belong to Caesar's administration; and the Church is duty bound to abide by them.

There is no legal authority for the Church to have any 'broader doctrine' than is consistent with the Doctrine as defined in the Constitution 1857 Fundamental Provision 1. I understand that Judge Harding has already advised the Church on this matter.

There will always be those who want to foist their pet hobby horses onto the Church, claiming that the Spirit has given them new REVELATION.Go back into the New Testament and see the warnings regarding this.f you are not happy with the Doctrine of the ACANZP as defined in its Doctrine,I can only point you to Bishop Selwyn's advise,(you are free to find another Church which better suits your beliefs.)

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen and Ron

Glen: there is always some dynamic in "doctrine" otherwise we would never think of revising our understanding of what is true or not (think about the Reformers determining that Purgatory was not actually unrevisable doctrine) nor would we ever engage in developing doctrine (think about the first Christians developing Jewish monotheism to incorporate the new understanding that Jesus is God and arriving (after quite a few conciliar fits and starts) at the Trinity).

Ron: our church has a constitution, we are not able to flow with what each generation thinks the Spirit is saying to the church, especially not when one generation says the Spirit is saying THIS and the next generation says the Spirit is saying THAT. The constitution anchors our understanding of doctrine into the past from when our revelation of Jesus Christ comes. It is a means of our church being part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church and not a newly invented thing as one generation succeeds another.

Glen Young said...


Completely agree with your remarks.I have never said that the Doctrine of the ACANZP, as defined in the Constitution 1857,locks us into a future without any further wisdom and understanding being shown to us.The Traffic Regulations do not claim to teach us BEST driving practice;they simply state the standard of driving which is lowest standard acceptable. The Doctrine of the Constitution is not there as some legal checklist, but as a line in the sand telling us very clearly that if we want to cross it;we need to go away and do careful study of HIS WORD and a lot of PRAYING.Blessings.

Father Ron said...

Glen, have you not heard of the Christian understanding of The Law being superseded by Grace? Or have I got that wrong, too! "A NEW Commandment give I unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you" - Boundless Grace!

Glen Young said...

Dear Ron,

No mate,you have got nothing WRONG.In my studies,I have got as far as Ezekiel and got a bit bogged down; so have not got as far as the New Testament.So will look forward to answering your question,say, in about 5 years time when I have got into the new Testament.But your blog sounds a bit like Christian Anarchy to me. Which of the 8 Greek words meaning LOVE are you referring to,any one in particular, or all 8 of them.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Ron

I’m sure we are recipients and exponents of God’s grace. I agree that we need to continually highlight the grace of God as so many Christians live under a cloud of condemnation, guilt and even confusion about how God sees them.

However, as in all things there is context.

Jesus also said: ‘follow me…’

As we know there were times for example when Peter followed Christ closely, and at other times perhaps not so much. We have all observed Christians who have ‘fallen away’ and who no longer claim to be followers of Christ. Their status before God is at best unknown.

Then there are those who still claim to follow Christ, but have embraced doctrines and teachings that contradict Scripture to varying degrees. I have friends in this situation. My question to them is, how much of Scripture can you deny, and yet still claim with any credibility to be a follower of Christ, the living Word?

I don’t personally have a satisfactory answer to that question. (and neither do they)

I can understand someone who wanders off at times to explore theological swamp lands, but what I cannot so easily understand is why they choose to pitch their tent there. Is it possible for believers to dwell in territory outside the boundaries of God’s grace? I suspect it is. As we know, even demons believe.

What if as teachers we are found to be teaching a false doctrine, does our love ‘cover a multitude of sins’ in this instance? Does God consider us to be building with ‘wood hay and stubble’ and therefore allow us to suffer loss through fire but still be saved, or does it depend on what it is we are teaching? What differentiates heresy from ‘another gospel’?

I don’t personally have a satisfactory answer to that question either.

What these questions ought to do however is cause us to examine ourselves, to see if we are holding fast to the faith that has been passed down to us through the Apostles and Prophets. My experience with being an Anglican is brief. I am encouraged by the teaching and example in my local parish Church, but I have heard public teaching that is highly questionable at best, if not borderline heretical, that was given tacit endorsement by our Bishop.

This is not a time for advocating theological novelty or camping out in theological swamp lands, but rather one of holding fast to that which has been delivered to us, and faithfully proclaiming it to the next generation. This will ensure both our salvation and theirs.

Anonymous said...

Peter; some of the comments above
require us to consider Bonhoeffer's cheap grace. We all do well to understand that grace cost God everything: God's Riches At Christ's Expense. Grace was not cheap. Grace was not a special offer from God's tacky discount warehouse with alternative lerve and mercy candy floss add-ons. Grace was and is freedom to jump the higher bar than the law; not to confirm us in sin and death.


Anonymous said...

"We still celebrate the ongoing experience of ADVENT in the orthodox Churches. We, in the Church, are still being led by the Holy Spirit, whatever the 'World' has to say about that. This is where Christ's Kingdom is not 'of this World'."

Amen, Brother Ron! I could not have said it better myself.

Joseph Smith,
Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, USA

Peter Carrell said...

I had never thought of Joe Smith as a comedian but my horizons are being stretched ...

Peter Carrell said...

That is a very fine summary of Bonhoeffer, Nick!

Anonymous said...

"Grace was and is freedom to jump a higher bar than the law, not to confirm us in sin and death."

Brendan, Nick, Peter, and Ron:

Nick's sentence reminds me of a certain Eastern reading of Genesis.

When Eve and Adam ate the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were corrupted by knowledge that they had never been enabled to bear. Their corruption posed a dilemma to their Creator. On one hand, leaving them in Paradise ran the risk that they would also eat the fruit of the Tree of Life and become, not just corrupt, but eternally corrupt. But on the other hand, driving them from Paradise into the world meant that beings already corrupt would further corrupt themselves in the struggle against mortality. And any evasion of the horns of this dilemma would undo the creation of man itself.

The Creator chose the hard mercy of driving Eve and Adam out of Paradise. (Some indeed say that the mysterious one with the flaming sword was the Angel of the Lord, an appearance of the *Logos asarkos*. But I digress.) And there, no longer living carefree lives in the garden where the Lord walked in the cool of the evening, they were anxious about death and struggled against selves originally meant for life in Paradise.

Death-- or rather the anxiety of mortality-- hardened every inclination of Eve and Adam into a further corrupting passion. Desire enabled reproduction, but also passionate lust. Hunger enabled nutrition, but also gluttony. And so on through the Eight Evil Thoughts (aka the Seven Deadly Sins). God gave their descendants some laws to channel inclinations into safer channels, but, being after all corrupt, these understood the law to be, not a merciful precaution, but the end itself.

Anonymous said...


The One who drove human nature from Paradise with a flaming sword later assumed it in a manger in Bethlehem. He did not tinker with the legal precautions themselves, except to say that they were precautions given "for the hardness of your hearts," but He did remove the conditions that had made them necessary for the people of God. In dying on the Cross, He brought human nature into perfect obedience to the Father; in rising from the dead, He exorcised the fear of death that had further corrupted human nature (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:22); in sending the Holy Spirit, He enabled his disciples to participate in His obedience, living beyond their fear in ways that did no harm and even some godly good. Those in this world who participate in his life after death know from their baptism and communion that they participate in Him.

So inspired law has a place in the story of our salvation. Without this precaution, Israel would not have had the spiritual life that prepared the way for the Lord. But God's mercy should not be played off against it.

Bowman Walton

Father Ron said...

"My experience with being an Anglican is brief. I am encouraged by the teaching and example in my local parish Church, but I have heard public teaching that is highly questionable at best, if not borderline heretical, that was given tacit endorsement by our Bishop." - Brendan McNeill -

Well,Brendan, tacit is as tacit does. Have you heard any teaching from our diocesan Bishop that you find contrary to the Gospel? If so, then you could be excused for deeming her less faithful than the pastors in your own parish - who satisfy your thirst for Gospel authenticity.

However, what your local parish obviously has not yet taught you is that the Anglican Church - especially here in New Zealand, is a broad and Inclusive Church, where the elements of the Christian Faith can be openly debated - without fear of being 'cast out from the assembly' We are taught to use our brains as well as our institutional dependency.

The very fact that there are so many versions of 'Church' in existence today - including the one you, yourself, used to foster and disciple in your own version of the Faith - should have warned you that there are different ways of understanding God in Christ. The Deposit of The Faith has still to be explored and assessed - in order to keep up with modern scientific learnings that might affect our basic premises of the Creation. The Church is not a Mausoleum for Saints, but a Hospital for Sinners, like me. The Anglican Church is a 'Broad' Church - isd the way that God's Mercy is broad and deep.

Father Ron said...

"Those in this world who participate in his life after death know from their baptism and communion that they participate in Him. - Bowman -

Precisely, Bowman! And it is purely by our participation in his Death and Resurrection, through our sacramental participation - by Baptism and Eucharist - that we receive our redemption - Pure Grace! Happy Advent!