Rev John Bell of the Iona Community

Sometimes, occasionally, now and then, from time to time, a few, rare, unusual, rather exceptional religious communities have minor disagreements with other religious communities who believe something slightly different.

Jesus would have us believe there is such a thing as a good Samaritan. Yeah, right.

5 thoughts on “Rev John Bell of the Iona Community

  1. Where to start in this tedious hotch-potch of apologetics?

    (a) Dodgy history. The ‘English’ did not colonise Ireland in 1169. Britain had not long been invaded and colonised by the French (or, more accurately, the Normans); and it was the Norman regime that expanded into what was not yet an ‘Irish’ state.

    (b) Take a visit to the Outer Isles, and in tiny hamlets on the West coast of Lewis, count the church buildings. There are usually at least two, often three or more. These accommodate the several nuanced variations on Protestantism that exist there; all created because there is no consensus on how to follow Jesus, even in a community of fewer than a couple of hundred people (if that) – and this after 2,000 years of haggling.

    (c) Sectarianism (as surely Bell must know) is about far more than religion; catlicks and proddy dogs. It’s about politics and power, about autonomy and foreign interference, and (too) about significant doctrinal differences still unsettled after 2,000 years. If you can’t talk sensibly about these things, then bash the hell out of each other – as it is clearly suggested in the BBOMS.

    Yes, it’s unusual to see sectarian unrest in the middle of Glasgow today, but in the general scale of things, what’s 30 years (probably the last time it would have been unremarkable) compared to 2,000?


  2. Religions set pretty low standards for themselves – and still fail to reach them.
    JC, we’re told, hand-picked some idiots who thought JC should magically destroy an entire community for a perceived insult. Only after that does JC think of explaining that even Samaritans can be good people.
    This all seems to ignore the more pressing problem of his followers’ bloodlust. Where would friends of gentle JC get such ideas? Oh yeah, their BBoMS promises a warrior-like messiah – so can we blame the idiots?
    As for sectarian divisions today, ‘idiots’ still seem exist – and too often they behave like JC’s chosen dozen – it’s as if 2,000 years of Christian teaching hasn’t made much of a positive impression.


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