“It was the haggis, a brownish lump sitting unobtrusively to one side of the plate, that drew the most riveting attention. … Some people approached their haggis with extreme misgivings.” Tom Knapp, on a traditional Scottish dinner
Nick Bulbeck showing me how to eat a burger with haggis on top.
I still believe that cheese is a better topping!
- I enjoyed meeting up with Ian- a long time TWW commenter. My entire car of folks on the London Eye helped my husband and me to spot him on the ground .
- I spent a wonderful evening with Nick in a park and then in a pub in Edinburgh. He is as delightful in person as he is on the blog.
- Finally, I met with several people in Scotland who have commented on this blog but their identities will remain private. I plan a post or two in the near future. It is wonderful to meet with others who share our concern with sex abuse in the church.
After the wedding of my nephew in Sibton Park, we spent several days in London. My best experience was having a private tour of the British Museum. Viator, part of Trip Advisor, has great short trips in cities around the world. In full tourist mode, I bought Rosetta Stone salt and pepper shakers.
Then we hopped a 10 day bus tour of the UK and Ireland, complete with an Irish tour guide. I called this the *maximum castles* tour since we chose this particular tour for that reason. As we crossed into Ireland, our guide made a comment that was unexpected. As he discussed the history of that area, he said that the locals were glad to get rid of the Puritans because they were like the Taliban of that time period. Needless to say, I was jolted out of my slumber and resolved to try and understand his point of view.
When we began blogging in 2009, we became aware that many of the Calvinists had become rather enchanted by the Puritans, writing post after post about the godly people who were doctrinally pure and admirable in every way. However, Dee grew up in Salem, Massachusetts and knew things were not quite as rosy as presented. This link takes to you to a few posts we wrote in our early days.
Henry VIII gamed the Reformation for his personal benefit.
As we drove along, our guide discussed how Henry had little regard for the faith, instead using it to his advantage in order to shut down the monasteries and churches, looting the precious religious implements which he gave to his friends to buy their loyalty.
There is no question that tremendous social change was afoot. This summary from Wikipedia alludes to the fact that Reformation was both a political and a religious movement. Sounds like today, doesn’t it?
The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider process of the European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity across western and central Europe during this period. Many factors contributed to the process: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, and the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general. However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.
Henry, wishing to begat a legal male heir, attempted to annul his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, a Catholic with whom he had one female child. Turned down by the Pope, Henry started his own church. Again from Wikipedia:
The break with Rome was effected by a series of acts of Parliament passed between 1532 and 1534, among them the 1534 Act of Supremacy, which declared that Henry was the “Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England”. (This title was renounced by Mary I in 1553 in the process of restoring papal jurisdiction; when Elizabeth I reasserted the royal supremacy in 1559, her title was Supreme Governor.) Final authority in doctrinal and legal disputes now rested with the monarch, and the papacy was deprived of revenue and the final say on the appointment of bishops.
As time progressed, destruction and punishment became the *good Christian thing* to do.
The 1547 injunctions against images were a more tightly drawn version of those of 1538, but they were more fiercely enforced, at first informally, and then by instruction. All images in churches were to be dismantled. Stained glass, shrines and statues were defaced or destroyed. Roods, and often their lofts and screens, were cut down and bells were taken down. Vestments were prohibited and either burned or sold. Chalices were melted down or sold.
Here is a picture of me standing out in front of York Minster, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. I am pointing up to the niches in the outer walls of the church. These used to be filled with beautiful, colorfully painted statures of saints which were destroyed by the reformers. I’m sure that resulted in deep change in the doctrinal stance of those who disagreed with them.
The Act against Jesuits, seminary priests, and such other like disobedient persons, also known as Jesuits, etc. Act 1584
As time passed, those religious leaders who refused to take an oath to obey the Queen could be subject to severe punishment. This law caused hardships for those priests who were still serving within the Catholic Church. Swearing an oath to the Queen was, in essence, swearing fealty to the Church of England. From Wikipedia:
…was an Act of the Parliament of England during the English Reformation. The Act commanded all Roman Catholic priests to leave the country in 40 days or they would be punished for high treason, unless within the 40 days they swore an oath to obey the Queen. Those who harboured them, and all those who knew of their presence and failed to inform the authorities would be fined and imprisoned for felony, or where the authorties wished to make an example of them, they might be executed.
The execution, by pressing, of Margaret Clitherow demonstrates the unloving acts of some of the Reformers.
Margaret converted to Catholicism in 1574. Because she no longer attended church services in the Church of England, she was arrested and imprisoned for *failure to attend church.* (Reminds me of some of today’s churches.) She hid priests in her home and elsewhere. This was dangerous because harboring priests was then a capital offense. And the local reformers couldn’t wait to make her pay for her horrendous crimes of disagreeing with them and attempting to save the lives of some priests. Their doctrine apparently did not include love.
Wikipedia describes her arrest and death.
Margaret was arrested and called before the York assizes for the crime of harbouring Roman Catholic priests. She refused to plead, thereby preventing a trial that would entail her children being made to testify, and being subjected to torture. Although pregnant with her fourth child, she was executed on Lady Day, 1586, (which also happened to be Good Friday that year) in the Toll Booth at Ouse Bridge, by being crushed to death, the standard inducement to force a plea.
The two sergeants who should have carried out the execution hired four desperate beggars to do it instead. She was stripped and had a handkerchief tied across her face then laid across a sharp rock the size of a man’s fist, the door from her own house was put on top of her and loaded with an immense weight of rocks and stones so that the sharp rock would break her back. Her death occurred within fifteen minutes, but her body was left for six hours before the weight was removed.
Why did, and does, doctrine trump decency and love?
I was deeply disturbed as I learned that many folks in the UK and Ireland do not respect the Puritans. As one who believes that doctrine is important, I could not understand how godly doctrine could lead to such destruction of property and lives. Where were the leaders of that day who would discuss Scripture differences with love and dignity? Where are the writings from leaders and others who encouraged kindness instead of winning a theological dispute and killing people?
Somerimes I wonder…is our faith merely a series of strategic steps which, if played well, makes us the *winners* of the theological battle du jour? Maybe this experience was what caused me to become irritated with the “rap song” celebrating the election of JD Greear to the presidency of the SBC. Frankly, who won or lost has little relevance for me since I am now a Lutheran. But I wish, instead of a *we won* video, they could have all joined arms and spent the night at a homeless shelter serving the lost and let down.