iBlog: Loving sinners and the Norwich Cathederal


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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Loving sinners and the Norwich Cathederal

In my endless persuit of picking faults in the most pointless of places with modern Christians and the 21st century church, the great dollop of genius that is Carl bought ponderation to the table about the idiom of Christian idioms that is: ``love the sinner, hate the sin``. This makes for interesting reading, also, take note of La's comment.

Further to my growing unease with the modern church, my daily trips to the Catheral are growing steadily more holyful. I'm working late shifts this week which means 11-8 with an hour lunch at 430 at which time I leave to the cloisters with the sandwiches made for me by that La I know. Staring up at the building in it's ostentatious grandeour, I'm reminded of the reservations I once had about such frivolities and the waste of time and money that supposed Christians could have put to better use elsewhere. However, I now find myself endeared to the place. Aside from the obvious fact that it's growing on me, looking down the cloisters and imagining monks praying for the city for their provision and just praying for the sake of God's holiness kind of makes the building a little more real. Also, walking down the nave with the amazing ceiling and three tiers of balcony, I realised today that when Thorpey (another lump of intellect) once said it was built as an act of worship, it wasn't to reflect God's glory, but to show people that God is worthy of the most amazing thing we can make.

I'm sure to have built even the simpler parts of the building would have been a feat and half in them days, but to still impose the wow factor now (to a society who has to spend £500 quid on an xbox 360 to get its kicks); to still inspire the mind of God a thousand years after it was first built; to build a living thriving morseleum that literally encapsulates a millunium of God's people and works is an amazing thing to have down the road.

It's cool to spend an hour or less with this in mind in the midst of my day at work. It's cool to find the still sanctuary in the cloisters with La's sandwiches and God's peace, and then wonder inside and see how many people have loved God so far to martyr themselves and/or become benefactors. Many people take exception to the amount of people who have bought their legacy into the stonework, but on the whole, it pleases me to see how many men and women of God on whose shoulders I stand must have thought the same thougts as me.

I couldn't find a google picture that reflects the mood of the cathederal, but here are two pictures I took about a year ago which I think captures what I'm talking about.


  • At 2:03 PM, Blogger monty said…

    Hey mate

    I dunno howcome I have started reading your blog but I have.

    Anyway, one question - why have you got an "endless pursuit of picking faults" of modern church?

    I dunno, but I can see many faults in every denomination whether it is very very old, or relatively new. My question is why bother at all to find points - is this what the God calls us to do - I really don't think so. I think he would rather we got on taking the gospel to people in the best way we see fit, and let others do the same.


  • At 10:07 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    tehe, I praise God he's blessed our ancestors with the insight into things like praying to Mary is herecy or infant baptism means as much to God as walking into a lamp post.

    I don't have a problem with the modern church at all, like i said earlier I feel like I'm `standing on the shoulder of giants` with regard to the church, such as Aquinas, Francis of Assissi (Sp?), Spurgeoun (Sp?), even smith Wigglesworth. all great people who have contributed to moulding the thinking of the modern church.

    As such, I think (without meaning to sound arrogant). I love the modern church, I really do, and as such I don't think it's much more than cosmetic banter in a sense.

    21st century Christians diss `Shine Jesus Shine` quite severely, but all realise music in the church wouldn't be where it was if it wasn't for the milestone it made.

    In short, I don't mean it :)

    that and I have an authority problem of course

    love benvolio, x

  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger monty said…


    I accept that, but its somewhat confusing from an outsiders perspective who doesn't know you to understand that.

    Its like me saying "I hate drinking alcohol" on my blog which means you think I am against drinking alcohol. My friends, the people that know me would know that was not true and not accept it - but someone who doesn't me would read my blog and get a different impression.

    Not trying to critique your blog, I see little sense in saying something you don't mean because it hides what you really mean or who you really are, which is a shame.

    And to be fair - I never said you had a problem with authority.

  • At 9:51 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    lol, I would get what you meant if you said `alcohol is the downfall of soceity and i never drink it`, that would be satire.

    perhaps it's a comuniucation problem

  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger monty said…

    Im sorry

    Do you not understand my comments or is it in your nature to be particularly difficult in replies to people.

    Honest question, no malice - you never addressed the points I made.

    Never mind


  • At 12:16 AM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…


    Could you bullet point what you want me to answer? I'm not quite sure what I've missed

  • At 8:32 AM, Blogger Laura said…

    Anyway, one question - why have you got an "endless pursuit of picking faults" of modern church?

    I think the one modern church Ben talks about is a particularly dangerous place - it is like a cult and it's quite frightening to observe.

    As for Ben's 'endless persuit', I think he's worded it in a negative way - it's more an endless pursuit to find something of integrity in the modern church. I think some people find it easier to accept church how it us but others find the whole atmosphere of modern churches not conducive to worship or good fellowship. (That's certainly what we're finding as we slowly hunt for somewhere to settle). This is where the whole point about the cathedral comes in, because it's an awe inspiring place to be and represents a totally different atmosphere, where we're comfortable to be.

  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger monty said…


    Its not clear what church you mean though. There are modern aspects of many churches. I go to Norwich Vineyard - we are not the most modern vineyard, neither the most older and certainly not the most modern.

    Do you refer to a "type of church" or a particular denomination or actual church?

    Clearly its obvious that like cars, many people choose their car for differing reasons. However in my view, as long as the end goal is clear and explicit its all about the journey.

    But if you don't find modern churches condusive to worship and good fellowship, thats great, and I mean this sincerely go and find that church were you belong and feel comfortable.

    The words used were "endless pursuit at picking faults". The problem could be is you start to pick faults at the church of which God can be doing stuff in. God would rather you let them get on I am sure than try and have an "endless pursuit to find faults". Just seems fairly fruitless whatever style of fellowship and engagement you feel at home with.


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