Disruption in Gloucester Cathedral

Claim: Obama described as “the Anti-Christ’s John the Baptist” by speaker in cathedral

This is Gloucestershire reports:

A Curate claims he was bundled into the cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral and arrested after protesting against a controversial speaker.

Reverend Keith Hebden walked to the front of the nave to try to interrupt Messianic Jewish preacher David Silver.

But he claims he was escorted out into the cloisters by five members of the congregation – leaving him with bruising on his left arm.

…Mr Silver’s visit attracted controversy after Nailsworth mayor Norman Kay asked the Dean of Gloucester, the Very Reverend Nick Bury, to call off the talk because he feared it could inflame cultural and religious relations in the county.

The talk went ahead after the Dean asked the [Gloucestershire] Prayer Walkers for assurances that Mr Silver would not say anything inflammatory.

Hebden maintains he was asking a question.

Details about the event are scarce, although here it is billed as:

David Silver Gloucester Cathedral Event – “THE ONE NEW MAN” explained – “CLASH OF THE KINGDOMS” 14th Sept 2009… in association with “The Gloucester – Prayer Walkers UK”…

That detail was posted by a certain “Ozz”, who is the only person I could find who is one of these “Prayer Walkers”. On another page, he shows an interest in conspiracy theories, commending Texe Marrs*  and the late Barry Smith, plus a site which “covers the UFO cover-up in greater detail”.

Silver was orginally from New Zealand, and is now based in Haifa, where he runs “Out of Zion” ministries. His theology is as one would expect: the work of Yeshua (Jesus) was about God “grafting” together Jews and believing non-Jews, and believers should adopt Jewish religious practices, such as the celebration of Jewish festivals. Very soon, there will be a “rapture”, and the Israel-Palestinian conflict should be seen in spritual warfare terms; as he explains in his book A Slow Train Coming:

The truth of the matter is that Satan wants Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount, because he knows that is the only place Yeshua can return to.

This is apocalyptic Christian Zionism, although he prefers not to use the term to describe himself.

Hebden alleges that Silver wants Palestinians expelled from areas under Israeli control; Silver, however, denies this.

In the comments section under the This is Glocestershire article, various people give their perspectives on what happened. According to one witness (“Mary”):

I was present at part of the midday forum which hosted Mr Silver’s two-fold event. In my view the concerns about Mr Silver’s views were probably justified.

Mr Silver offered to answer questions on matters “spiritual, political and military.” When one of the forum audience/guests asked for Mr Silver’s views on President Obama’s policy and initial measures in the politics of Israel, Mr Silver replied – and I quote –

“Everything that Hitler did, he is doing.” Mr Silver opined that even if Obama is not actually the anti-Christ, he is the “John the Baptist” for the anti-Christ.

Other political comment was that both Blair and Thatcher bear “the mark of the Beast.” When a member of the Forum made a sweeping condemnation of past leaders of our nation, Mr Silver smiled and said “We all agree, don’t we?” to a general murmur of assent, though at least three participants responded “No.”

From the outset of his session Mr Silver made no distinction between the biblical “Israel” (which is a very complex theological entity) and the modern state which bears the self-chosen name of Israel. These are two distinct and different entities; to conflate them invalidates the propositions of those who see them as but one reality.

I went to the Forum prepared to listen to a point of view. I had expected Mr Silver to give an outline of his beliefs and thought before inviting questions. Unfortunately, from the beginning he chose to invite questions from an audience that was in no way representative of the clergy and religious leaders of the county. I was present for 75 minutes of the scheduled 2 hours and in that time Mr Silver reeled off a number of text references that he felt supported (proved?) his stance. But his explication could not be described as an example of Christian faith, hope or charity.

The cathedral was a surprising venue for such ¿ministry¿ and the group clearly felt that securing such a prestigious venue (“our getting into the Cathedral”) was a pre-eminent sign of God’s favour, a preliminary to Dramatic consequences. In view of the reported refusal to allow the expression of a question which they deemed unacceptable, regrettably they betray both the Jewish and the Christian legitimate viewpoints.

May we know what question Rev Hebden was going to ask? Thank you

Another (“Christine”), however, tells us that:

I was at this event and only afew feet from Hedben as he disrupted the gathering. One of the leaders of the event spoke kindly to him and put an arm around him and was asking him to kindly stop what he was doing. So he was dealt with very respectfully, however, when he refused to move, finally afew other men stepped in to help and when he refused to move they had to escort him to the back. The conference was called ‘THE CLASH OF KINGDOMS’ and we certainly saw a manifestation of that before our eyes as the Light invaded the darkness and the Prince of Peace clashed with anger which rose up in this gentleman. I pray he cries out for Gods mercy which is available for him. God loves Hedben and longs for the deception he is under to be lifted off him. Lets not judge him but pray that he allows God to set him free.

“Ian M” concurs:

Rev Hebden interrupted the gathering by leaving his seat and speaking from the central aisle at the front of the cathedral. He was completely out of order to do so as he was not part of the programme and questions or comments from the congregation had not been invited. He was asked to stop, and was only ejected when he continued to speak.

Hebden and Silver have also both left comments; Hebden was apparently going to raise the Muhammad Nayif incident. Hebden has a blog here; he holds anarchist political views.

(Hat tip: Seismic Shock)


*Somewhat unfortunately, Marrs’ website currently heads up with “Rothschild’s Choice: Barack Obama and the Hidden Cabal Behind the Plot to Murder America”.

9 Responses

  1. Since you’ve quoted me, I thought I’d better drop in to say hello.

    Please bear in mind that there was two meetings on Monday. The afternoon one, which I didn’t attend, was in the Chapter House – part of the cathedral precinct, but not the actual cathedral itself. This was billed as an open forum where people could ask questions. I’m not convinced that Mary’s report of that (which is where the reference to Obama comes from) is totally accurate. In any case 200 local church leaders were invited and the organisers can hardly be blamed if those who turned up where unrepresentative.

    The evening meeting was a worship service held in the actual cathedral (the nave, to be precise) and it was this that Rev Hebden disrupted in the manner described. At the point he made his protest, David Silver hadn’t even been invited to take the platform!

    I don’t think the “Ozz” person you mention was directly involved with the events and I have major concerns about the weird views he seems to be linked with.

    David Silver is anything but an extremist and, as a Messianic Jew, has different views to many branches of the Christian Zionist movement, who distance themselves from Jewish believers in Jesus to avoid upsetting the Jewish community.

    If you have any other questions, please ask.

  2. […] Church of England, anarchism, christian anarchism, theology — seismicshock @ 12:57 pm Barthsnotes has a post providing more information about recent events at Gloucester Cathedral. As well as […]

  3. Oo! Caught a big fish! This would be so important were we still 1974. It’s amazing how people insist upon living in the past. It’s a kind of bromide, I suppose, and one which alows us to circumvent and deny unpleasant ‘religious’ realities that are simply too painful to face up to.

    Your brain is shod…..in platform shoes!

    • For those wondering why this this person is trolling, June is of the view that anyone who is not focused monomanically on the evils of Muslims is some sort of apologist for Islamic extremism.

  4. You may wish to hasten you own aneantissement, Mr Richard, but please don’t try and rush mine with your 19th century ‘do-gooder’ attitude. Radical Islam is a very real threat, and one that grows with each passing year. If you think this two-bit…um…distraction at Gloucester Cathedral has any importance, then you are living in the past. It is apparent that you only write to decieve yourself and to deny painful realities, realities that are NOT going to go away.

    • Radical Islam isnt any more dangerous than Radical Christianity or Radical Judaism. In fact, Radical Christianity is responsible for some of the worst evils of the last century: Holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Srebrenica etc etc. and now Iraq in this century. Ofcourse, you being brainwashed by Spencer will not allow you to acknowledge that.

    • Well, if it’s of no significance or interest, why are you here reading about it any complaining? Unsatisfied customers are quite welcome to go elsewhere.

  5. Well, if it’s of no significance or interest, why are you here reading about it any complaining? Unsatisfied customers are quite welcome to go elsewhere.

    As a former leftist, and as someone whose views once dovetailed with those you still express here, I take pleasure in pointing out your inconsistencies, false analogies and outright distorions, not to mention your penchant for apologising for and enabling murderous elements to operate with impunity in the country.

    The poster above named “cookies” is symptomatic of the civilisational pathologies in circulation these days, pathologies that rely almost solely on constructing false equivalences between radical Islam and Christianity in order to maintain certain comfortable and long held illusions.

    Civilisational pathologies who are no longer able to extract the salient points of fascism from individuals, groups, religions and ideologies, when those individuals, groups, religions and ideologies happen to be non-western in origin and non-white in appearance.

    An example of this idiocy: In fact, Radical Christianity is responsible for some of the worst evils of the last century: Holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki>/b>

    Hitler wasn’t a Christian and, in fact, despised Christiantiy, and much perfered Islam for its tendancies towards bloodletting. He had the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem as his perssonal house guest during WWII for god’s sakes. After the war, many Nazi war criminals fled to the Mid-East, converted to islam and continued to publish and disseminate anti-semitic hate.

    The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not accompanied by cries of “CHRIST IS GREAT!”, or “LONG LIVE THE POPE!”, and in retropsect, and seeings the no-surrender attitude of the Japanese towards the end of the war, may have actully saved far more lives than they took. The Enola Gay was not seeking converts.

    It’s hard to wake people up, to alert them to the fact an epopée has taken place, and that all of the goal posts have been moved, and that the transformation of what was once considered leftist “anti-fasicsm” into its nemesis is now nearly complete.

    • As a former leftist

      Oh, I get it. A few years ago you’d have been one of those characters who shouts “racist” whenever anyone criticises the Muslim world; now you cry “appeaser” at anyone who shows a bit of scepticism towards bandwagon-jumping demagogues. Different persepctive, same mindset.

      As for Hitler – at a personal level he was some kind of Nordic pagan, but he certainly made use of an anti-Semitic strand that can be found in Christianity and he managed to garner the support of a number of Christian leaders along with a mass of ordinary Christians. And yes, he did like the ethos of Islam, but so what? It wasn’t his inspiration, and you can condemn just about anything on the grounds that “Hitler liked it”. And after the war, some Nazis washed up in the Middle East, others in South America – in the latter case helped by dodgy elements in the Roman Catholic Church. However, please note that I refer to “strands” and “elements” – it is not sensible to blame Christianity as such or Christians in general.

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