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out of the question

13 December 2006

Christian anti-family traditions

Your answers

A review of the book Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family (SCM-Canterbury Press) refers to “the anti-family traditions of the Gospels and early Christianity”. What are the “anti-family traditions”?

Here are some Gospel and early Christian examples of “anti-family” traditions:

“For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10.35-37).

“Someone told him, ‘Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And pointing to his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! And whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother’” (Matthew 12.47-50).

“But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed”’” (Luke 23.28-29).

“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. . . Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. . . He who marries his fiancée does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (1 Corinthians 7.8, 27, 32-34, 38). Christopher Haffner (Reader)
East Molesey, Surrey

Your questions
Is it possible to buy clerical shirts made out of fairly traded organic cotton? F. H.

Recently I attended a Prayer Book full sung evensong, except that the Lord’s Prayer following the absolution was omitted. Why would this have been done? D. W.

I found the cross in the photo (below) in a junk shop in Nottingham in the 1960s. It is made of some kind of black stone enclosed in silver, and there are no assay marks. Around the edge of the circle are the words Stat Crux dum volvitur orbis. The lettering is in a Gothic style. What might its origins be? R. E.-W.


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