Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Anglicans seen consorting with Buddhists on Songs of Praise

This is a guest post by Julian Mann

If you want to see what mainstream establishment religion looks like, then watch the recent edition of the BBC's Song of Praise, rather patronisingly entitled Surprising Sheffield.

Not even the BBC can suppress the Nicene credal theology expressed by the Christian hymnody Songs of Praise necessarily features. But in this edition showcasing multi-faith Sheffield the inescapable aspects of Nicene Christianity were well drowned out by politically-correct religiosity and complacent sentimentality.

Aled Jones’ cheery voiceover described an inter-faith meditation group meeting at Sheffield Cathedral. When this collaboration between the Cathedral and local Buddhists came to light around eight years ago, the then Diocesan Evangelical Network raised objections and I debated with a Cathedral cleric on BBC Radio Sheffield. Our group argued that such a meditation group in the Cathedral involving Buddhists undermined Biblical and indeed Anglican teaching regarding the supremacy and uniqueness of Christ.

But there it was, flattered and flaunted on Songs of Praise.

At least, you know where you are with Nicene Christianity. You can argue with it and if you are unpersuaded in a Christian-influenced democracy, you are free to reject it. This new politically-correct establishment religion is much more slippery.

If you criticise it, you can be accused of undermining good community relations and even public order in a multi-cultural society. But it needs to be criticised if we are to value free and rigorous intellectual enquiry in our country. Politically-correct religion is incoherent. Buddhism and Nicene Christianity cannot both be correct.

Either, to quote the Nicene Creed, there is ‘one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible’ or there is not.

Either there is ‘one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God’ or there is not.

Freedom of speech and intellectual enquiry has far more to worry about from this new PC establishment religion than from counter-cultural Christianity.

No wonder none of the pro-active evangelism and church planting being done by orthodox Christians in Sheffield received the Aled Jones' treatment.

The Heresiarch adds:

The latest issue of Private Eye reports on recent comings and goings at the BBC's religion department, including at Songs of Praise. It mentions the "2008 head-hunted recruitment of Tommy Nagra" as the programme's editor:


Nagra's staggering lack of knowledge of music, Christianity, TV and the meaning of the word "Emeritus" became such an embarrassment that [Aaqil] Ahmed [Head of Religion] had to appoint yet another executive to help him out. This new "series editor" was David Taviner, barely more knowledgeable than Nagra, but an evangelical Christian. Nagra has since been given the grand new title of Head of Religion and Ethics TV.


(The "emeritus" reference is to a notorious alleged incident in which Nagra spotted a caption reading "Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu" and supposedly exclaimed "I didn't know Desmond was his middle name".)

So it seems that the person ultimately responsible for this latest multi-faith horror is in fact an evangelical Christian. Just shows how far the rot has spread, I suppose...