Anders Breivik’s "Christianity"

In his own words:

If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.

European Christendom isn’t just about having a personal relationship with Jesus or God. It is so much more. Christendom is identity, moral, laws and codexes which has produced the greatest civilisation the world has ever witnessed.

I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person as that would be a lie. I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment.

As a cultural Christian, I believe Christendom is essential for cultural reasons. After all, Christianity is the ONLY cultural platform that can unite all Europeans, which will be needed in the coming period during the third expulsion of the Muslims.

As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus. Being a Christian can mean many things: – That you believe in and want to protect Europe’s Christian cultural heritage. The European cultural heritage, our norms (moral codes and social structures included), our traditions and our modern political systems are based on Christianity – Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the legacy of the European enlightenment (reason is the primary source and legitimacy for authority). It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. In many ways, our modern societies and European secularism is a result of European Christendom and the enlightenment. It is therefore essential to understand the difference between a “Christian fundamentalist theocracy” (everything we do not want) and a secular European society based on our Christian cultural heritage (what we do want). So no, you don’t need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)). The PCCTS, Knights Templar is therefore not a religious organisation but rather a Christian “culturalist” military order.

There’s lots more in the same vein.

I’m about to go away on holiday. I might have more to say about all this when I return, but it will be on my other more political blog – Gandalf’s Hope.


If it turns out that he’s “a right-wing Christian fundamentalist” and those doctrines provided a motive for his behaviour then such doctrines need to be denounced and combatted. In just the same way that the doctrines that give rise to terrorists shouting ‘Allahu Ackbar’ also need to be denounced and combatted. Of course, that would expose a contradiction at the heart of our society – or, perhaps more accurately, a self-hatred. Muslims etc are victims of the oppressive West, therefore they are on the side of the angels. This Norwegian nutter is an expression of the oppressive West, therefore he is on the side of the devils.

Perhaps there are all sorts of mitigating circumstances and doubtless we will come up with all sorts of explanations but in the end evil is as evil does and he is responsible to the Almighty for what he has done.

Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts of the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.
In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
he is haughty and your laws are far from him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, Nothing will shake me;
I’ll always be happy and never have trouble.
His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent, watching in secret for his victims.
He lies in wait like a lion in cover;
he lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
He says to himself, God has forgotten;
he covers his face and never sees.
Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself, He won’t call me to account?
But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked and evil man;
call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out.
The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.
You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Psalm 10, NIV

(NB for a flavour of what I’m guessing is part of his motivation, do some research on Fjordman and read his writings. They are very interesting and have been very influential.)

A dinner party meme

Haven’t seen any memes for a while, so I thought I’d start one: have a dinner party!

Rules: you have to have 12 people, including yourself. Of those there need to be at least four men, at least four women, at least four known to you personally and at least four who are “famous”. You’re not allowed anyone who has passed on to the great hereafter – that would be a rather different sort of party. It needs to be one that might plausibly ‘work’ (ie don’t just pile people together). You also need to choose a place/ style of food.

Here’s my starter (in a manner of speaking)

My wife
My best man
His wife

Liz Burrows

Rowan Williams
Jane Williams
Jonathan Ross
Jane Goldman
Neil Gaiman
Catherine Tate

And we’d eat at Rules, and we’d have some stonkingly wonderful Burgundy.

And I tag – anyone who wants to join in. Which, given the state of the blogosphere at the moment, is likely to be a very small number….

The sin of grumbling

So having resolved to stop complaining, I confess to regressing in recent days.

Complaining is a sin. Perhaps not a major one like pride or greed but it is probably worse than lust which is what much of our Anglican Communion kerfuffles revolve around. It’s born ultimately from two things: a frustrated sense of entitlement, and a lack of faith.

The frustrated sense of entitlement is triggered when reality and expectation start to diverge in a significant manner. It is ‘My God My God why have you forsaken me?’ Yet we are not promised an easy life, we are in fact promised the opposite: “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.” Christians have no grounds for a sense of entitlement. It’s all grace, it’s all gift, and the appropriate response is thanksgiving and the counting of blessings. I resolve to improve, and my penance is to say the General Thanksgiving every morning until my heart is turned.

The lack of faith is even deeper. Faith and doubt are not opposites, faith and fear are opposites, and grumbling and complaining are centred in a fear of not achieving our heart’s desires, a lack of trust in God’s goodness and provision for us. It is the desire to achieve our own ends, and not surrender to God’s intentions for us. It is the Israelites running from the Egyptians and not listening to Moses saying ‘The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace’. I resolve to improve, and my penance is to sing this hymn each morning until my heart is turned:

Forth in thy Name, O Lord, I go,
my daily labor to pursue;
thee, only thee, resolved to know
in all I think or speak or do.

The task thy wisdom hath assigned,
O let me cheerfully fulfill;
in all my works thy presence find,
and prove thy good and perfect will.

Thee may I set at my right hand,
whose eyes mine inmost substance see,
and labor on at thy command,
and offer all my works to thee.

Give me to bear thy easy yoke,
and every moment watch and pray,
and still to things eternal look,
and hasten to thy glorious day.

For thee delightfully employ
whate’er thy bounteous grace hath given;
and run my course with even joy,
and closely walk with thee to heav’n.

(Wesley. Of course)

Alive and kicking

Yes, I know, there is more to a good blog that just continually posting YouTube videos but in the words of a good book recommended to me by my dear departed friend F**k it

You lift me up to the crucial top, so I can see
Oh you lead me on, till the feelings come
And the lights that shine on
But if that don’t mean nothing
Like if someday it should fall through
You’ll take me home where the magic’s from
And I’ll be with you

Pray for the Church of England

I’m feeling a bit sad this afternoon.

A fellow priest, close to me, and very important to me, dropped dead of a heart attack last Thursday. I discovered this a few minutes before taking a 9.30 Communion service this morning. In God’s strange provision I had material on hand for offering up an intention for the mass, which I found tremendously helpful

Everlasting God, our maker and redeemer,
grant us, with all the faithful departed,
the sure benefits of your Son’s saving passion and glorious resurrection,
that, in the last day, when you gather up all things in Christ,
we may with them enjoy the fullness of your promises;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen

Life is so short and so precious, and poised to end at any moment. It really is a frightening waste and blasphemy to spend our time on anything other than what God is calling us to do. And yet – doing just that is hardly straightforward.

I think it’s called carrying our cross.

It’s also called working for the church.

We are called to love the church, and I believe that completely – but it needs to be a clear-sighted love, for only such love might resource the cleansing of blemishes and the enabling of holy work. It is not ‘my country right or wrong’ – for if we are destined to judge the angels surely we can exercise some form of discrimination with regard to our own internal life?

At General Synod we hear that by 2020 the Church will be dead (good analysis of underlying trajectory here, the Synod story contains all sorts of assumptions). We have lots of schemes and ideas and we run around chasing our tails because we have lost sight of the one thing needful. We’re in a complete funk about sexuality – whether it’s homosexuality or the gender of the episcopate – a subject on which Jesus said very little. We forget this, because we’re not sat at his feet. When we do respond to promptings of the Spirit we don’t follow through on them. I believe that the Church of England is living through a period of chastisement – that we are being pruned in order that we might become more fruitful – but I am less and less confident that the established CofE is a part of the fruitful future (whereas I AM convinced that Anglican theology is part of that future).

It is the response to the pruning which is so dispiriting. We spill our blood keeping the show on the road, when God is more and more clearly asking us to change the show (not the content but the form). If we are to be the Church of England we need to recognise that England is not what it was, in so many diverse and mutually contradictory ways. I think there is a reason why I don’t know many happy incumbents, for incumbency drives out priesthood – we are the shamanic cruise directors on the proverbial sinking ship. The church – this beloved institution – has become monstrously abusive and doesn’t even realise it.

Father forgive her, for she knows not what she does.

We no longer know what we are here for. We don’t know what we are doing or why we are doing it. We have become entangled in the worship of Mammon and are choking. With you is my contention O Priest!!!

What I want is to know the gladness and sadness of the gospel and to share the conversation of God with others and for others. Please pray for the Church of England, that she might be recalled to her vocation, that she might remember her beauty in the sight of God.

And pray for me, a sinner too.

In the meantime, I shall listen to Mr Mumford:

Because I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

On the reassurance of Angelina Jolie

Ok, let’s start with a controversial thesis: Angelina Jolie is gorgeous

Next part of the argument: her father isn’t so much

But the family resemblance is clearly there.

This is something I’ve noticed – daughters can often resemble their fathers, whilst still being gorgeous.

I call this ‘the reassurance of Angelina Jolie’.


Some good stuff here (via Justin)

“Mission Priests don’t confuse faith in the Gospel with a soft assent to its social principles or moral utility. Rather, they know the veracity of the Gospel through first-hand experience. For many, faith was strengthened when they changed careers and entered seminary. Enduring the patronizing and petty atmosphere of “theological school” clarified the eyes of their soul. Facing down and even defeating parish antagonists and persecutors revealed the strength of the Gospel and cemented their conviction once and for all…
“Mission Priests are fearful. They fear losing their communion with God by being caught up in the things of this world. They worry about losing their courage in the coercion and compromise of ecclesiastical politics…

“Finally, the Mission Priest refuses to conform to false expectations of a priestly personality type imposed by others. God has called him — not the Parish Council, not a benefactor, not his boyhood parish priest, not even the Bishop. And God made us different. Each priest has a distinct role and service in the Church. In the end, only God may judge his faithfulness.”

I also liked this reminder of one of my favourite books (and the writer could have written the above): 
Most pastoral work actually erodes prayer. The reason is obvious: people are not comfortable with God in their lives’…‘And so pastors, instead of practicing prayer, which brings people into the presence of God, enter into the practice of messiah: we will do the work of God for God, fix people up, tell them what to do, conspire in finding the shortcuts by which the long journey to the Cross can be bypassed since we all have such crowded schedules right now. People love us when we do this…”

The Collar

I struck the board, and cried, “No more;
                         I will abroad!
What? shall I ever sigh and pine?
My lines and life are free, free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.
          Shall I be still in suit?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit?
          Sure there was wine
Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn
    Before my tears did drown it.
      Is the year only lost to me?
          Have I no bays to crown it,
No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?
                  All wasted?
Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,
            And thou hast hands.
Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasures: leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit and not. Forsake thy cage,
             Thy rope of sands,
Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
Good cable, to enforce and draw,
          And be thy law,
While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.
          Away! take heed;
          I will abroad.
Call in thy death’s-head there; tie up thy fears;
          He that forbears
         To suit and serve his need
          Deserves his load.”
But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild
          At every word,
Methought I heard one calling, Child!
          And I replied My Lord.

(George Herbert – found via here)