The Koran reading in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow #pisky #anglican

I made this statement yesterday:

“The Scottish Episcopal Church has had a long commitment to the development of interfaith work. Over many years, we have sought to develop friendship, understanding and mutual respect between our Christian faith and the other great world religions. This work, like all works of reconciliation, must be founded on truth. We approach others with open hearts but we stand in the truth of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
“Those who seek to work in the area of interfaith relationships must weigh carefully whether the choices which they make are appropriate or otherwise. In today’s world, those judgements must give careful consideration to good relationships which have been carefully nurtured over many years in a local context. They must also weigh carefully the way in which national and international issues shape perceptions of what is appropriate or inappropriate

“The decisions which have led to the situation in St Mary’s Cathedral are a matter for the Provost and the Cathedral community but the Scottish Episcopal Church is deeply distressed at the widespread offence which has been caused. We also deeply regret the widespread abuse which has been received by the Cathedral community.

“In response to what has happened at the Cathedral, the Scottish Episcopal Church will bring together all those who are involved in the development of interfaith relations. Our intention will be as a Church to explore how, particularly in the area of worship, this work can be carried forward in ways which will command respect. Our desire is that this should be a worthy expression of the reconciliation to which all Christians are called.”

142 comments

  1. I totally agree with Mark Allen.

    In professional life we have to watch every work and try to adhere to political correctness and caring for others’ sensitivities. This is exactly what Chillingworth failed to do. Hence he ought to be terminated forthwith.

  2. What a stushie there has been – world service news on Saturday night and R4 & RScotland news all Sunday morning. Various news publications all week. Vicious, threatening language used online by trolls surfacing from the sewers, stoked up by self righteous pronouncements from many who should know better than to feed racist and homophobic hatred.

    So heartened to hear that there has also been support, kindness and appreciation of what he and St Mary’s stand for.

    I attend services at the cathedral regularly and was present that evening – the recitation was a moment of beauty and harmony between faiths and I am proud to be associated with a church that reaches out in this way.

    Friendship and understanding, not theological ‘purity,’ promote peace – as has been proven this past week.

    I have huge admiration & respect for Kelvin Holdsworth and his colleagues at St Mary’s.

  3. What should he apologise for? Perhaps the reading of The Koran in an allegedly Christian Church?Or perhaps that the passage read denied the Divinity of Christ? Indeed on the feast of the
    Epiphany. A day which underlines the Humanity and Divinity of Christ ? One could go on. It is so sad to see the
    Episcopal Church in such a state.

  4. I remember when the Episcopal Church was Christian. That was sometime ago. So sad to see my former Church where anything seems to go, imploding.

  5. Just what kind of senior Christian leader allows this on Epiphany – the very day that Christians celebrate the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ?
    The insensitivity of this to Christians is simply staggering! The man would be fired immediately if he showed this level of insensitivity and disrespect in any other organization, and the church must do the same!

  6. Succinctly put, John.
    The real issue here is that these ministers and their misled adherents have bought into the falsehood that all religions are essentially equal and everyone can just believe what they want – the important thing is “let’s just all get along together”.
    This is the very antithesis of what Christ taught!

  7. Yes all those Muslims dying at the hands of terrorist Christians.
    Oh wait….it is the Christians being killed by Muslims. No Christian is killing any Muslim. My mistake……sorry.

  8. Why are you even here? If you don’t have a horse in the race, stay home and watch television.

  9. Inviting a Muslim guest to participate in a service, and not ensuring that the guest does not proclaim anti-Christian sentiment, such as that the birth of Christ was not divine, that Mary was ashamed of the birth, and so forth. As in, the guest coming into the church and denying the reason for the church’s existence.

  10. At the hands of the Christian’s what? The plural of Christian is Christians. And perhaps you could explain what we are doing to them exactly?

  11. Kevin @January 15, 2017 at 16:39

    If you are shocked at the intolerance of the comments on this blog, then I really do think you should move to the Middle East, and get to work, because there is far, far, far, far more intolerance there then there is on this blog.

  12. “Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.”
    https://quran.com/2/62

    Do you sheeple know what Hamza Khan just did? He lied by omission. In Islam is it called Taqiyya. It is halal to deceive for ‘Allah who is the greatest of deceivers.’

    This sura states that all you post-Muhammadan Christians – will go to Hell.

    You were insulted, given a direct warning, and didn’t even know it was being done to you. Simply because your church has made you liberal, sexual and dull. And it now makes Islamic ‘radicals’ have no guilt whatsoever. For first, the True Faith must be proclaimed before the unsubmitted can be justly dealt with. The soft front brings forth the hard front. Who knew the Brotherhood was connected?

    In Yathrib (Medina), Muhammad had a number of people killed. One of them was `Asma’ bint Marwan. Her crime was that she spoke out against Muhammad for having another man murdered named Abu Afak. In his displeasure towards her, Muhammad asked his followers to murder her as well. She was killed while she slept.

    The Religion of Peace brought into the church where the truth of its Trinity was dispelled. That building was marked for the community. “Allah is Greater.”

  13. To Abraham

    Why do leftist/atheists always cherry pick verses from the bible and criticise them, but never form the Koran?

    I guess you are too scared to do this, aren’t you for fear of the consequences, cowards the lot of you.

  14. Churches were built for the sole purpose of sharing beliefs and celebration of community in love and the faith that my neighbor will accept me like a brother or sister.

    I was raised in St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran in my hometown. Through the years, my church has evolved, reconciled, in bringing the faith into the church by inviting other churches if the same faith as well as that of different faiths. It’s through reaching out side to pull inside that and vice versa that faith is grown, built, and maintained through spiritual work.

    Religion is a hollow shell with out the spirit.

  15. It is obvious to all that David Chillingworth is an atheist and does not care for those Christians that are suffering in the Middle East, and for Christianity.

    To Abdul Naeem Waleed Bin

    I have travelled the world many times and have seen first hand the suffering that your religion causes to the non believer, isn’t it about time you took at little critical thought as to why this is happening?

    If you are capable of doing this then just maybe, maybe you might be able to improve your religion’s profile around the world and stop the suffering your religion brings to millions of other human beings.

    To Hamza Khan

    Thank you for your quote of the Koran, I’m wondering what you, and our wilfully ignorant clergymen think of just a few verses I have posted below? If the clergymen are unable to spot patterns then I can post some more verses.

    Koran:
    2:191-193
    2:244
    2:216
    3:56
    3:151
    4:74
    4:76
    4:89
    4:95
    4:104
    5:33
    8:12
    8:15
    8:57
    8:59-60
    8:56
    9:5
    9:14
    9:30
    9:38-39
    9:41
    9:73
    9:88
    9:123
    17:1
    18:65-61
    21:44
    25:52
    30:60-62
    47:3-4

  16. What is happening to Muslims at the hands of Christians? Are you mad?! Seriously!? Look at Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Libya, and the list goes on and one. Genocide of Christians at the hands of Muslims. Watch your words. More and more people are educating themselves on what Islam actually is and it is NOT a religion of peace. Islam is a violent, misogynistic, totalitarian ideology. Period!

  17. change churches? what’s the matter? your faith is that weak?

    Newsflash: you don’t have faith in your heart, only hate.

    You’ll go the way the wind blows, “brother”.

    REV 2.9.

  18. Dom,

    Hav you read the Talmud, the Old (and NEW) Testament recently?

    Or do you love to stoke hatred. My goodness, you’ll be armed and screaming “Britain First” from a roof top – with a pillow case on your head – soon!

    Have a lie-down son.

  19. The Irony of quoting an Atheist (which is an extreme “faith” of sorts), to attack religion, whilst attempting to “defend” another religion.

    What a fake!

    REV 2:9 Brother, REV 2:9.

  20. Mike Earles.

    You’ve just done it! You’ve Beared False Witness!

    Muslims don’t believe that Jesus is the son of God. Yes. However, they LOVE and REVERE Him to be a Pure Messenger of God. One who will defeat the anti-christ at the end of Days. This honour bestowed on Jesus wasn’t given to Mohammed or Moses or Abraham even, testifying for the love and reverence Muslims have for Jesus.

    Consider this for a moment, Muslims have only Positive and Highest regards to Jesus (NOT his REAL name by the way – the name was invented by a Pope in the middle ages, but I digress!)

    Now, once again, Mike “False Witness” Earles – I challenge you to show me where Islam speak ill of Jesus, and compare that to the faith you’re defending cryptically.

    Why don’t you Mike, tell me what the Talmud says about Jesus and Christians.

    And whilst you’re at it, Mike, tell us about REV 2:9.

  21. Simply disgraceful. The Anglican leaders in Scotland have lot the plot and, quite frankly, are just a bunch of agnostic leftists.

    This interfaith rubbish doesn’t amount to anything. When did these feel-good-activities save Christians persecuted in Islamic societies? When did mosques allow Christians to preach the Gospel?

    The numbers don’t lie: Anglicans in Scotland are in extinction while atheists and Muslims are on the rise. Shameful acts like these and much more will be taking place as the coward Anglican leadership bows down to their new masters….

  22. I am appalled by the venom and hatred in so many of these comments, and disturbed that these seem to be fed by, and in turn feed into, political or media-inspired issues, far removed from Christianity or the church, as I know it.
    Jesus said (John’s Gospel chapter 13:34), “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I would appeal to those who profess the name of Christian to take heed of this command in their words and actions, so that Christ can be recognised by others in our love for each other.
    James (3:6ff) talks of the danger that poisonous words can cause, like a forest fire started by a spark – “the tongue is a fire… full of deadly poison… With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness…. this should not be.”
    We are also told by Jesus to “Love your neighbour as yourself”, a command that is echoed in all the world’s major religions.
    Perhaps if we all tried to follow these teachings, hard as it is to love those we feel we cannot understand, then there would be more light and less heat in these conversations.

  23. I just have two questions.

    1) Were there any muslims present to hear the readings?

    2) Will the muslim community reciprocate the gesture of interfaith friendship by reading out a passage from the bible in a Glasgow mosque?

  24. Assuming for the sake of argument that folk’s interpretation of those controversial verses is correct, what on earth is the problem with them being read out in a Cathedral? If Jesus is the only way to the Father, will these words – evidently false in that case – make the least bit of difference, or touch the truth of Jesus even slightly? Of course they won’t – the only thing that is offended here is the weak faith of people who cannot abide any contradiction of their prescribed world-view. This is not about truth at all: it’s about lack of real faith. Many of the comments here have ascribed to Kelvin a dearth of belief, to allow such a thing to be read in his church. I can say from experience that not only is this completely erroneous, it’s a mark of his faith that he allows a view which contradicts his own to be shared, seeking understanding by so doing. It is no accident that his church is a remarkably vibrant one, thriving and full of spirit.

  25. What have you learned from Jesus if you oppose the forging of friendly ties between community groups?

    Unless you applaud the attempt to bring faiths together, you have entirely missed the point of all religions, and misunderstood whichever prophet you hypocritically claim to follow.

    No atheist would miss that point.

  26. I don’t know which Qur’aan you’ve picked up. It’s very different to mine. Unless you’re reading it through hate filled
    glasses of course. And these terrorists you’re talking about…do they include babies, children, pregnant women and the elderly who have been massacred by these…Israel Democrats? Go to a refugee camp and learn something instead of embarrassing yourself on here. You’ll only be applauded by the predictable Mr Earles.

  27. Kevin,

    Your views are more in line with what religions preach than most of the posts on here.

  28. Sorry Ian, but you are simply wrong. You said, “We all find our own way to God – and clearly He welcomes us when we find Him, irrespective of how we come to Him and what language we use.” Jesus said, I am the way..no one comes to the Father except by me. Either he is right or you are and I know who I would rather believe! There are no “different paths” – they are just dead ends and detours that take people to hell.

  29. As Muslims, we’re ‘damned if we do and dammed if we don’t’ in this common age where we are regularly told how intolerant we are of other faiths and that we don’t integrate.

    How ironic.

    At our local mosque, local Church leaders are invited in every Ramadan to observe and partake in the opening of the fast. Everything is open to discussion and indeed welcomed for community relations as well as for learning.

    I suspect this is what the honorable gentleman was trying to do in this case.

  30. Amen Mike – the episcopalians are totally astray, many other churches are heading the same way . It’s becoming a real battle I ve had to change churches recently due to error creeping in. Seems like the great apostacy is really speeding up brother

  31. The fact that this was done at all is bad enough, in Arabic in a cathedral in a high point in the church’s calendar even worse. To top it all muslims do not accept that Jesus is the Son of God. This cannot be read in a principal church. The so called bishop has lost his way

  32. If I went to a Muslim country and preached Jesus I d get beheaded . Is that a good country ! Come on wake up

  33. Abdul , you read the Koran and believe it’s from GOD . I see a book full of hate . I ll trust my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ . Look at Israel the only democracy in the Middle East and constantly under attack from Islamic terrorists . When was the last time you heard of a Methodist suicide bomber , or a baptist … Let’s try orthodox . That’s right there are none . You speak nonsense . Repent and turn to Jesus the messiah cease this foolishness

  34. Quote “Our desire is that this should be a worthy expression of the reconciliation to which all Christians are called.” Unquote. Really? Where in the Bible does it say that Christians must reconcile with other religions?

  35. Simply that they are antichrist as Quran and Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the son of God who was crucified and reseruccted. Is this enough for you?
    Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! — 2 John 1:7 NRSV (1989) Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

  36. There are Islamic bigots just as there are Christian bigots. Both are posting on this site!

  37. There are Islamic bigots just as there are Christian bigots. Both are posting on this site!

  38. Why is there a view that the church is so sacred and only to be used for Christian worship? Many are used for community meetings. Our Minster has been used for plays and opera. Christ himself didn’t have a church to preach in. Doesn’t teaching say that Christ lives in us as Christians not in a building.

  39. I congratulate Bishop David for thinking broadly.

    Listening to the discourse on this web-page reminds me of the Englishman arguing that he is holding “An apple”, while the Frenchman vehemently denies it, saying he is completely at error and that what he holds is “Une Pomme”.

    Neither can agree, and each claims that the other is completely wrong, and only THEY are right.

    Of course they are both talking about pretty much the same thing, just using culturally different words.

    When you look at the overlap between Islam and Christianity (and indeed Judaism) there is a vast amount of overlap. Sure we have different names for God, but the qualities and morals that all these faiths call for are near identical.

    One quality they certainly all despise is hatred of others. Unfortunately, that message isn’t being widely listened to…. Religion is being reinterpreted by some as “Tribalism”… and that soon leads to war.

    The more we can realise what we have in common, the better. I like the attitudes mentioned by Hussain (a few posts up from here). We need more of that…

  40. Thank you.

    The core of faith is love of god, and neighbour.

    I see greater differences between extremists and moderates in religion than between moderate members of any faith.

    Extremists see their faith as correct and thus they have to hate/fight/oppose other faiths. They need to focus on the core which is love, tolerance and that all humans are one family.

    Atheism is now a faith and its highest form is based on do unto others as you would have them do to you. If people are good and behave well to each other this is good and will make the world a better place for all faiths.

  41. It is a very appropriate text for interfaith relations.

    The start of the chapter Maryam telling how John was born to Zechariah was recited to Negris the Christian King of Abyssinia who gave sanctuary to the earliest Muslims from being oppressed in Mecca.

    It is a good summary of both the agreement on the Virgin birth and how Jesus is sacred to Muslims as someone created by the spirit of god. His mother Mary is also sacred.

    There are differences between the faiths.

    Islam has an explicit “No compulsion in religion” and explicitly recognises Jewish and Christian faiths. This is why Christians and Jews have been protected for 1,400 years in the Middle East.

    This is now falling apart because of strife within the Muslim community, where some people go against 1,400 years of tolerance and say that there should be compulsion in religion and that their view is correct. The normal Muslim view is no compulsion, that you should not make your view gods view and that Allah knows best.

    Christ’s summation of the greatest commandment. (Mark 12:28-31)
    And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

    This for me is the core of the 3 faiths.

    The message of Adam is that we are all brothers and sisters and should love and help each other. Modern science and DNA agrees that we are all related. This is explicit in Mohammed’s teaching and that we should respect each others faiths, since god knows best.

  42. The reading of Qu’ran texts in Service is a gross error of judgement, on which Bishop David must reflect. I also urge him to also stop politicizing. If this BBC News quote attributed to Bishop David is accurate -“(I) cannot believe that moderate churches in the West should follow a policy of appeasement towards those who are Islamophobic and particularly not towards the recently invigorated far-right media.” – I suggest that Bishop David better familiarize himself with the Qu’ran to realise that deep uneasiness with the religion of Islam (as distinct from Muslim individuals) is hardly a “phobia” (an irrational fear), but is wholly rational and derives from the Islamic Trilogy itself. Begin with Qu’ran Surah 9 24 “Give tiding of a painful doom to Christians and Jews”. Many, many more messages of hate towards “disbelievers”.

  43. There are many more things that unite Christianity & Islam than divide them.

    There are members of the Christian faith who come to Mosques and talk about beliefs which go against Islamic beliefs but no fuss is made. Instead the differences are celebrated and understanding is created!

  44. Abdul Naeem Waleed Bin: I lived and worked for years in Saudi Arabia. You might be interested in some examples of Muslim ‘pure balance’. My Saudi Muslim colleagues spent years gently telling me that Islam was determined to convert the world to Islam, whether it be by strength or stealth. I was ok it seems, as I was a quiet Christian, therefore not quite equal to a Muslim (imagine what would have happened if the conversation was reversed!). The director of the project I managed (himself a junior government official) once complained to me that there were only 500 Mosques in the London area; I asked him how many Churches there are in the whole of Saudi Arabia (a country the size of the USA)? None, he retorted; we don’t permit any other religion. So much for ‘pure balance’ hey?

  45. David,

    Most people would be behind your attempts to encourage interfaith relationships and dialogue if we could see the same effort coming back to us. I see Islam as a usurper of the Christian faith and I do not foresee a world where the two faiths can share lands side by side.

    Of course, I may be wrong in what I am saying, but that is no fault on my part. As with Brexit and Trump, the liberal left (and let us be honest here, that the inclination of the average Brit is liberal) have totally failed in their efforts to convince the man in the street of their position. Trying to picture Islam as a religion of peace simply does not mesh with the experience of thousands of people in Europe. By 2050 there is a very real possibility that huge swathes of Europe will be enslaved by Sharia, and people really should start waking up to what that means. At the very least, it means the end of Christian civilisation as we know it and possibly civil war.

    David, quite simply, I do not want to see British children being taken to mosques until I see Muslim children being taken to churches. I do not want to see intolerance towards women and gay people tolerated. I do not want to see FGM practiced in this country. I do not want to see a steady stream of Muslim girls disappear to forced marriages abroad. I do not want to see whole areas of our cities turned into no-go areas for non-Muslims.

    And I do not want to see Christian clerics reading words from a false religious book in a Christian church. You have a long way to go to convince me that I am wrong.

    By the way, lest I be called racist, I have been married twice, once to a half Pakistani woman with whom I have a daughter and two grandchildren, and once to a half gypsy woman. I think that I would be about as welcome in a group of racists as a topless choir would be in your cathedral!

  46. The way of life I follow teaches that we are all children of God. Jesus is revered as a great Teacher. I have not got a bias here then, as far as I am aware.
    I would not press the issue of whether or not Jesus is The one and only Son of God with a practising Christian over the coffee table never mind in a Christian church and during a service too. Who was daft enough and/or daft and rude enough to think those verses appropriate? What on Earth were they thinking of!

  47. And would you permit The Apolstles Creed to be recited in your holy places?

    Of course you wouldn’t. Because the faithful would react with the violence that follows and perceived or actual offence caused to Islam.

  48. There you go, from the horses mouth.
    This is what the intolerant islamist says.
    To him, you are dhimmis and infidels.

    You tolerate intolerance in the belief it makes you appear more tolerant. You, St Marys, are fools.

  49. Clearly St Mary’s is now an agnostic church. I cannot believe that you actually chose Sura 19 to be read on EPIPHANY Sunday, in a cathedral church.

    This is apostasy.

  50. Would you permit at Apostates Creed to be recited in a mosque?

  51. Again, you show your ignorance. The issue is the specific Koranic verse recited and the time and location of its recital.
    You are obviously agnostic yet ypu are happy to judge Christians as being ‘islamophobic’ because they object to a verse from the Koran which specifically denies the divinity of Jesus, on the day in the year where we acknowledge his divinity and reaffirm our faith.
    That you are so quick to judge, in ignorance, is not untypical of the double standards applied by agnostics.

  52. You show your ignorance of the importance of the Calendar to the Christians. Epiphany, is the revelation that Jesus is the son of God. The point isn’t that an Islamic text was read, the point is the specific Islamic text chosen which could not have been more offensive to a Christian on that day if they had tried.

    It might not be fashionable in the modern church to ascribe faith to liturgy but to most Christians, liturgy is central to the following of their faith. Liturgy is communion with God, he is present, we a firm our belief. At epiphany we are affirming that he is Jesus’s father. Only at St Mary’s, a Cathedral Church, no, less at this point, they allow a text which specifically denies that Jesus is the son of God.
    It is time for the Provost to apologise, to acknowledge his mistake and ignorance. All he has done is give ammunition to critics of interfaith dialogue.

    Interfaith dialogue, who’s lt important in our society, does not and should not require the prostitution if our dearest beliefs on the altar of virtue signalling politics.

  53. Do you understand what happened? Thus isn’t about allowing a Koranic verse in a Christian service, it is about allowing and inviting Sura 19 to be read, albeit in Arabic in the course of Liturgy celebrating the epiphany. Epiphany is when God recognized Jesus as his son in whom he was well pleased. This is the most important pillar of the Christian faith. Sura 19 specifically denies the divinity of Jesus and denies that he is the Christ. THAT is the problem here. And it’s obvious to all that the Provost, so eager to demo how inclusive St Mary’s is, neglected to ask for a translation of Sura 19 as he obviously is no theologist.

    Understand that Christians have their sacred beliefs and are as entitled to have them respected as any other religion.

  54. Let Christopher Hitchens help you: “we cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt.”

  55. “Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.”

    It seems Paul started with what they had in common.

  56. Absolutely, it is disingenuous to accuse 10000 Christian voices of peddling a far right agenda. The building of dialog between faiths does not require indulging the reading of Sura 19 in a Church on EPIPHANY!
    It’s quite obvious that the Provost didn’t have a clue about the content of the Koranic versus, or at least I hope he did not.
    To attempt to cover his ignorance of Islamic text and what it means by shrugging criticism off as ‘Islamophobic’ when his actions have deeply offended those of us who do understand the fundamental differences between the faiths and those of us who are angry that the very substance of our faith, that Jesus Christ is the son of God, is dismissed during liturgy.
    As an aside, I wonder if the local mosque would so readily accept the recital of Christian verses that undermine the tenets of their beliefs to be read in the course of Friday prayers?
    And police Scotland, if you consider my criticism ‘offensive’ you are more than welcome to visit me and I will educate you in Christian theology and why Sura 19 is particularly inappropriate and, offensive to a Christian.

  57. Well said! These godless ” ministers” have lost their way completely and are an offence to both man and God.

  58. It would help folk like me, who genuinely don’t see any big issue here, if you could tell me what you think Kelvin should apologise for? Genuine question.

  59. What’s really worrying is how this story was presented in the mainstream media – leading readers to believe that Muslims were offended etc….

    The truth is so simple if only people opened their eyes: Muslims both LOVE and REVERE Jesus. It’s an offensive for any muslim to utter a single negative word on a Messenger of God who muslims credit as the saviour at the end of days.

    Being a Semite, and having had the views of Rabbis (about Jesus & Chrisitans) rammed down my throat endlessly during my youth and well into adulthood, I’m forever shocked about how Evangelical so-called Christians could overlook this fact!

    I challenge any so-called Chrisitan to debate me on this; I’d love to see how they can explain what the Talmud says about Mary, as well as Jesus’ current situation in boiling in all sorts, punishment for being considered a fraud.

    Though Shall No Bear False Witness, and yet YOUR silence is deafening.

  60. I’m shocked by the intolerance shown in these comments, and it’s hard to reconcile with the warmth and love that I see in Christians around me locally.

    Although I consider myself agnostic at present, I don’t think I could be further away from the hateful bigoted ideology that’s being represented in some of the comments to this post.

    Religion should serve humanity for betterment, and I applaud any initiative that strives to bring together people who share this goal.

  61. Kamran, I wonder what your response would have been if a Christian woman had stood up in a major mosque in Saudi Arabia, at a major Muslim festival, and read “Jesus said ‘I am the way and the truth and the light. No one come to the Father except by me'”.
    Do you think she would be alive today?

  62. If, as it is, blasphemous, then Mr. Chillingsowrth must be de-frocked

  63. It is past time for being “deeply distressed”!!! No other action other than permanently removing this “minister” from his position is satisfactory! He is very obviously not competent to lead a church and any and EVERY Christian leader should know this!

  64. Beliefs are varied, dialogue is important, indeed.
    But tact and discretion are also vital in developing understanding. If the passage in question denied Jesus as the son of God, then perhaps it was not particularly tactful to read that specific text in a Christian Church on such a symbolic occasion.

    We all find our own way to God – and clearly He welcomes us when we find Him, irrespective of how we come to Him and what language we use. That much is obvious from the scale of the differences between faiths. Clearly, He is simply glad that we come to Him. So why do WE find it so difficult to accept that others find a different path?

  65. As a British Iraqi who moved from the UK to baghdad a few years ago I am shocked every time I come back to the uk & read the press or social media. I was also shocked when I went to Iraq to see how united Muslims & Christians are, that it’s completely normal for Muslims to go to church, especially on Christmas Day out of respect & vice versa for Christians to go to mosques there or religious festivals & actually partake in them. FYI there are over 75 churches in Baghdad alone with 2 new ones that opened last year. And it is actually rude there to ask one’s faith or sect.

    The passage that was read was Surah Maryam, ie Mary (the mother of Jesus), both loved in the Quran and that Surah contains nothing insulting to other religions (nor does the Quran despite what some will insist).

    It is deeply saddening that there is so much hate in the UK, mostly constructed by the likes of the Daily Mail & others.

  66. Sharing beliefs is a possibility but surely not inside a church…the parish hall yes. How much sharing was there when it was spoken in Arabic? My pint about the calendar is that it was Epiphany when Chillingsworth knew that there would still be good attendance.

  67. I could not agree more but do you think you will ever find a bishop who will repent, least of all Mr. Chillingworth. The very thought of the man is enough to chill me…a man of God? No. He just does all he can to find new ways to justify his ill gotten salary for a job poorly done. If I had performed like that on my professional career I would have been fired with loss of all benefits.

  68. Just listen to you all. I now know why I am an atheist. The only chance for humanity in the long run is for all of you realise that there is actually no God. All religions are man-made.

    If you get comfort from the allegories and traditions of your own brand of religion, I have no problem with that. But please don’t foist it on other people, and for goodness sake, don’t keep fighting each other over whose stories are true. There’s enough difficulty in the world as it is, without making more.

  69. Perhaps I did miss the point, or perhaps you missed the point. Why should we not hear about the belief’s of Islam in Church. We may have differing views of whether or not Jesus is the son of God based on what scripture we read and believe. Where is the harm in sharing that with the community? I don’t see what the chruch’s calendar has to do with anything, I personally don’t follow a calendar, I just go to a Church a few times a week, give thanks and listen (and don’t always agree with) to what the celebrant has to say. The giving thanks, and following Jesus’ message of “Love one another as I have loved you” is my mantra.

  70. 1. Yesterday, at a talk given by a Gideon, my neighbour commented that visitors to Saudi Arabia will have even a personal, single, Bible in English confiscated on entry.
    I wonder if there is any country where Korans are confiscated – perhaps N Korea ….
    The Bible is a powerful book – and the above is one strong witness to that fact.
    2. Christianity and Islam are both exclusive and missionary faiths. Each aims to convert all unbelievers. They are bound to be in competition.
    3. It is not clear to me how the service under discussion here contributed to SEC’s own mission – except perhaps as a backfire.

  71. I worked in the muslim lands for 36 years and there is NOT one group who “reaches out a hand of dialogue”.

  72. It seems to me that you have largely missed an important point here. It is not a matter of spreading His messages but the points are that a reading was given in the Arabic language from the koran denying that Jesus is the Son of God, one of the principal tenants of Christianity. This also made all the more touching at one of the high points of the church’s calendar.

  73. An act of blasphemy indeed and further evidence how apostate the Scottish Episcopal Church has become. After all what can we expect from a church that is a psrt of the protestant movement?

  74. A very fine reply!!! All emotion and political correctness at the expense of facts and the reality and how it affected the congregation.

    Not a word of sorrow or apology. Regret only how the obvious reaction affect the cathedral staff not a word of regret that this had been allowed at all, a blatant denial of the Son of God!!!!! How?!?!

  75. So much for reconciliation, Rev Holdsworth and Archbishop. Islam does not want or seek reconciliation. The very word Islam means submission and they will not rest until we Christian and non-Christian Kafirs submit to Islam. What happened at St Mary’s was not a step towards reconciliation but a step towards submission.

  76. Be assured, Alan, my response and that of many others would be exactly the same. This isn’t an Islamophobia issue, it’s a case of truth v error. If God’s word is truth, as it is, then every other religious system – Islam, Hindu, Buddhist etc etc is wrong. Despite the post-modern view of the world, two contradictory statements can’t both be true. Jesus said, “I am the truth”. That makes everyone who disagrees with him a liar – whatever religion or none they hold to.

  77. Understanding between faiths must, by definition, include understanding what is common and what is not. The passage, with which I am very familiar, illustrates this succinctly, and therefore promotes inter-faith understanding. I wonder whether the same level of “distress” and media coverage would have been caused if a Unitarian Christian had stood in that same church and rejected the divinity of Jesus? Beliefs are varied. Dialogue is important.

  78. Reconciliation is a laudable objective, but the Bible makes it absolutely clear that it’s only possible through accepting Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God and his death on the cross as an act of substitutionary atonement. What happened at St Mary’s is an act of blasphemy and another evidence how apostate the Scottish Episcopal Church has become.

  79. In the Koran, Jews and Christians are referred to as the “worst of creatures”, and Muslims are commanded not to form any kind of friendships with them lest they become one of them. Moreover, it states that it is not possible that God should have a son. So why would any Muslim want to take part in a Christian celebration, namely the birth of that same son?

    The naivete on display here on the part of the Episcopal Church is breathtaking. There will never be any form of reconciliation between Muslims and anybody else, and if a Muslim contingent was present at this service, their motive for being there certainly wasn’t to foster interfaith understanding.

    Stand up for your own faith instead of pandering to another whose aim is to destroy you!

  80. We must always great fellow humans with total respect and dignity. However as Christians we believe that there is only one God – the great Triune God, the One who does not share His glory with another. The minister concerned has no fear of God in allowing this to take place. He will one day soon stand before the Lord and say I did this that and the other in your name, and the Lord will say depart from me, I never knew you.We have nothing in common with those who follow a false religion, of course in a free society they should be free to do whatever they want but this situation was blasphemy to the nth degree. So many parts of our national church and other significant denominations have thrown the authority of Gods Word out of the window, many are literally the blind leading the blind, they and their followers will both fall into a pit. It is time to wake up from our spiritual slumber and come back to the God of the Bible. You have your beautiful cathedrals, comfortable salary and pension but many of you have never accepted Christ as Lord and are simply fashioning God in your own image pandering to the whims of the Godless secular society in which we live. Soon its all going to end and you will be spending eternity away from God, unless you repent.

  81. Dear Dom, also for the sake of pure balance in your article, note what is happening to muslims at the hands of the Christian’s.

  82. “Over many years, we have sought to develop friendship, understanding and mutual respect between our Christian faith and the other great world religions.” Genuinely commendable but will the SEC have the courage to say that their Christ-given mission goes beyond this. If we are not prepared to seek the conversion of people from all faiths and none then we have failed to be loyal to Christ and failed to love our neighbour, because we are unwilling to share these central New Testament truths with them:

    “This [prayer for all peoples, especially rulers] is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.” 1 Timothy 2:3-7

  83. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    So, we have a classic example where people are bending God to suit themselves, to please others, to do what is politically correct. Bottom line here is what happened in this church is is an abomination.There is only one way to the father – that is not for bending or private interpretation. People including Christian leaders such as the Pope need to get back to basics and starting bending themselves to God. Not the other way round. If they don’t then the sprits should be tested to see truly which side they are on.

    Yes we should reconcile and be graceful however Christianity is suffering so much globally no Christian leader is sticking up for us. We allow others to take the stage. The truth is where good people do nothing evil prevails. This has accelerated since 9/11. Christian leaders need to unreservedly repent from the things that they have changed the church into from what Jesus wanted it to be – look at the book of acts.

    A church leader truly blessed with the holy spirit should know there is great danger in bringing religions together – one world religion alarm bells start ringing. Europe is well down the road to a very dangerous place. We compromise to accomodate, all it results in is more evil taking root. Our country was built on judaism/Christian values which are being diluted before our very eyes and nobody is doing anything about it there is a void. We see the craziness of the UN’s bullying of Israel, 200 resolutions against vs 5 against Syria when we have half a million dead through conflict plus millions of refugees in Europe, where is the Christian leadership speaking out when the western wall and temple mount are now classed as illegally occupied by the Jews, you could not make it up its madness. Far more blood has been spilt in Syria than the whole Israel Palestinian issue.

    The approach to reconcile must be different, without compromising or changing Christianity or carrying out abominable acts on holy Christian grounds. The church does many wonderful things to help people, never forget this. Please repent and pray for forgiveness for this church and all involved.

    So let us pray,

    Father we pray for all that happened at St Marys, you said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    Through ignorance, through weakness, the pressures to conform to a modern world, to accomodate all beliefs whilst ignoring the truth, through deliberate fault an abominable act was committed in this church and all are sorry and ashamed and repent from this.

    Renew them a right spirit, clean hearts and minds, bend them back to your truth, not their truth, or what they make it. Please give them a different way to achieve reconciliation with other faiths without compromising your word, your truth

    You are our loving god, full of mercy and grace, we turn humbly to ask your forgiveness in Jesus name amen

  84. It is good that the word of Mohammad (pbuh) is being spread around the world. The Kafir will come to know him, in this life or the next. I am happy that Sharia will soon rule the UK as the native British are intelligent enough to see the truth in the Qur’an.

  85. ‘God is watching?’ and your evidence for that is? Yep that’s correct not the smallest bit of evidence for your imaginery friend or anyone else’s so the whole thing is totally stupid.

    ‘Please turn on the tv and see what is happening to Christians in Muslim lands’? Lets quietly forget The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, The Magdalene Laundries and the fact that most of the terrorist activity occurring in the United States in recent years has not come from Muslims, but from a combination of radical Christianis, white supremacists and far-right militia groups.

    P.S. Not expecting this to be published. No one making a very good living from superstition is going to want to allow dissent.

  86. I am a member of the congregation of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow. I am proud to say that I was a member of the Vestry which appointed Kelvin to the post of Rector (the joint post of Provost being in the Bishop’s gift), and have never regretted the decision we came to some eleven years ago. The current Vestry (and congregation) are entirely in support of him at this time, knowing that his prophetic ministry is exercised with much thought, care, and importantly, prayer. The inclusion of the Qu’ranic reading was, like those on previous occasions, chosen with care and consultation, beautifully sung by a young woman, and thoughtfully welcomed and discussed by those present. It is surely no coincidence that St Mary’s is a growing congregation, and Kelvin has no need, or reason, to apologise.

  87. Another most excellent reply.

    Having worked extensively in the muslim lands it is exceedingly difficult to find churches and synagogues especially in Saudi Arabia where none exist in the towns just one, a school gym which is temporally converted very Friday

  88. Well said. Is the provost a strong enough man, a man of real character to apologise? I doubt it. He would be afraid of showing his weakness by asking for forgiveness. Humility and courage are the order of the day and NOT pussy footing political correctness.

  89. Fairly well said….”poor manners” indeed when the chosen koranic passage rejected Christ as the Son of God. Far, far greater thought and examination of such proposals and text MUST be carried out or Mr. Chillingsworth will have empty seats to preach to unless, of course, he succeeds in converting all the Glaswegian muslims.

  90. I am a Muslim and I thank you for trying to promote understanding between our two great faiths.

    “Lo! Those who believe and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans – whoever believeth in God and the Last Day and doeth right – surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.” Koran 2:62

  91. I have used the Koran in Christian prayers. This involved members of different churches Catholic, Methodist, baptist etc. No issues at all. I tend to want to love my neighbours. Forget who said that lol.

  92. Does ‘If we, or an angel from heaven, come to you with a different gospel, let them be damned to hell’ count as hate speech?

    St Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 1 verses 8 and 9.

  93. I fully support that this Koran passage was read as part of the interfaith service. I certainly do not believe that any apology is required from those that organised or took part in the service. Perhaps those who look for apology should first be looking into their own hearts as to why they took offense when I believe none was given.

    It is simply the case that people of the Islamic faith have this particular belief and that it differs from the Christian belief. This is a core aspect of what makes these religions different. However this very difference in understanding is also a common point of reference between the faiths – the importance of Jesus as a gateway to God.

    I cannot imagine how we can grow in our understanding and tolerance towards each other if we cannot allow ourselves to reflect with open eyes, ears and hearts at the multifold ways in which those of different faiths interpret the world.

  94. You and the church’s distress is nothing compared to the offence you have caused God and the wider Christian community. One can only hope your distress turns to repentance and a turning away from this apostasy. Friendship would be better served over a cup of tea.

  95. My instinct as a Christian is that this is a wonderful thing! I feel we should learn about Jesus through many perspectives and sources, after all the bible contains much of the Jewish books and the Gospels themselves present differing perspectives also. To take steps to try and be more inclusive and be at peace with others, even other faiths, seems to me to be a very Christian action. Finally, in such a secular world, understanding and friendship between faiths is more important than ever. I am sad to see on the news that there has been such anger an bitterness here. I just wanted to let you know I found this really inspiring and interesting and will think about this and discuss it more with my friends and family. God bless x

  96. I fear there is some serious Islamophobia going on here. Would folk react like this if the texts were Hindu or Buddhist. I suspect not although I doubt it we would get an honest answer. Given the efforts of so many Muslim communities to reach out a hand of dialogue, the negative Xn reaction is shameful.

  97. if you do not learn to live together all mankind will die together

  98. They the muslim only wishis to dominate the dhmmi the anglican. They will never except Jesus as Gods son, wasting time, they will never change, do not be deceived by them

  99. The Surah which was read in the cathedral was an anti-trinitarian polemic. This should never have happened. But given the measure of agnosticism among Episcopalian clergy it came as no surprise.

  100. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I think it’s good for inter-faith harmony within the community to interact and learn about eachother’s belief’s. To accept that we have love and respect for Jesus, and pass on His message of love, tolerance and humility.

  101. I am utterly speechless at the amount of backlash this event has caused
    anyone who is against what the church has done are part of the problem!!
    at a time where tensions between different groups of people is at it’s most lowest, this type of action should be encouraged
    Maybe those posting here that are so speechless should try opening their eyes a bit more instead of just falling for what the media is feeding them & stop following the likes of Britain’s First & the Nigel Farage circus.

    Shame on you all !!
    Well done to St Mary’s Cathedral for trying to address the problem that is engulfing our country right now

  102. With reference to Mayoral chaplains, they should choose a chaplain of their same faith, if they are agnostic then they should choose no-one. A Mayoral service should be held in a place of worship of the same religion or denomination as the Mayor and their chaplain. Those of other faiths, or none attending the service, respectfully listen to the prayers/ worship offered.
    With reference to civic services, these should be held in secular buildings or in the open air, again where those of different faiths can listen to one another’s prayer and worship.

  103. I’m afraid the whole concept of ‘interfaith relations’ is in error. The Bible is quite clear:

    Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 [ESV])

    There can be no truth in other religions, they are simply man made, nothing else. There can be no reconciling between them and Christ, for they lead men to damnation. There is no possibility of light mixing with darkness.

  104. Sounds like church leadership needs to take a step back and remind themselves of the Great Commission. What is God’s purpose for the church? I’m pretty sure it’s not to pretend that everyone can believe and do whatever they like and it’ll all be fine at the end of the day. Look at the early apostles…what was their response to other religions? They didn’t take the warm and fuzzy approach and have meetings together…they were in your face with a gospel that demands change from EVERYONE. They were not arrogant but they were bold. They were not compromising but there were compassionate. That seemed to work pretty well…

  105. Deeply distressed at the offence.
    Deeply distressed at the subsequent abuse.
    No distress at all about anything that had actually been done.
    Absolutely typical. It was exactly the same when Cliff Richard’s house was invaded. They were distressed that he felt distress, but not that they had done the thing they did (i.e. the source of all the unnecessary ‘distress’).
    Everything is emotions not facts. That is typical of the adolescent mentality.

  106. I am utterly speechless that any church would allow this to happen . What were they thinking. What possible reason would a man of God have for allowing a reading which denies Jesus Christ in the middle o the service . Remember GOD is watching . I m speechless little more to be said . Please turn on the tv and see what is happening to Christians in Muslim lands

  107. I believe that the Provost must apologies, however this shows a weakness of character. When you make a mistake you admit it and ask for forgiveness. The Provost can rescue this situation with humility and courage.

  108. This wasn’t a matter of fine judgment between “appropriate” and “inappropriate”, though, was it? It was a ghastly error. If you truly want reconciliation, you should simply apologise and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

  109. Our church is the Borough church for Harrow, which we believe is the most religiously diverse borough in the country. We host an annual Civic Service to welcome the new Mayor. A few years ago his chaplain was an Imam who chose a Koran passage to be read in the service which was provocative towards other faiths, to put it mildly, and caused considerable disquiet. At the very least it was poor manners to be invited into another faith’s holy place and metaphorically trample over their beliefs.
    The current Mayor chose not to appoint a chaplain – she appointed six! I think it’s one each of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jain (her own faith).
    Interfaith elements within worship are clearly a tricky area which needs very careful thought and preparation – though it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, and when things go awry a thoughtful and supportive criticism will go much further than some of the knee jerk responses I’ve seen online to the Glasgow service. I’m sorry that the initiative was problematic, but well done to all involved for making the effort. Lessons will undoubtedly be learned, but I hope they won’t be discouraged from trying again.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.