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Shoplift advice sermon priest criticised
Priest defends shoplifting sermon
Full transcript of the sermon
The comments were made in a sermon to his congregation on Sunday past where he said stealing from large national chains was sometimes the best option for many vulnerable people. He said:
Instead, I would rather that they shoplift. My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift.
I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither. I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices. I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need. And I would offer this advice with a heavy heart, wishing that our society recognized that bureaucratic ineptitude and systemic delay constitutes a dreadful invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope at the very bottom of our social order.
Mr Richard Dobbs, from the British Retail Consortium said shoplifting was wrong no matter what the circumstances. He said:
I would have hoped that a vicar of all people would understand that there's a plain principal difference between right and wrong and stealing is wrong and it's wrong in all circumstances. The effect is of course to pile on costs to retailers which ultimately filter through to the prices that are paid by honest customers. There's often a big human cost in retail crime which is that staff are often abused or even attacked when they intervene to try and stop it.
It says much about the terminal decline of the Church of England that comments like this come from the mouth of a 'minister'. This minister is a clear example of the blind leading the blind: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch, Matt 15:14. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a hireling.
How ill served is any person or congregation who have a minister like this to give them spiritual instruction.
You just wonder how much rational thinking goes on in a person's mind to come out with comments like this.
It is never right to do wrong on any occasion or in any circumstances. The eighth commandment can hardly be clearer: Thou shalt not steal, Exodus 20:15.
The New Testament clearly states that thieves shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, 1 Cor 6:9,10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
It wasn't out of love for the souls of his congregation that he announced this advice. He was encouraging them to follow a path that leads down to destruction.