"Jesus is the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5) and the Lamb of God (Rev. 5:6) - He was lionhearted and lamblike, strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and brokenhearted. He sets the pattern for manhood." --- John Piper
"He [Jesus] has a right to interrupt your life. He is Lord. When you accepted Him as Lord, you gave Him the right to help Himself to your life anytime He wants." --- Henry Blackaby
"If you don´t see the greatness of God then all the things that money can buy become very exciting. If you can´t see the sun you will be impressed with a street light. If you´ve never felt thunder and lightning you´ll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God you´ll
fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures." --- John Piper
"A man can no more diminish God´s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling 'darkness' on the wall of his cell." --- C.S. Lewis
liberals may have won in the courts -- but the court of public opinion is another story. ---- Nancy Pelosi
Serving and waiting. 'Serving' and 'waiting' go together in the experience of converting people. Indeed, this is at first sight surprising, since 'serving' is active, while 'waiting' is passive. In Christian terms, 'serving' is getting busy for Christ on earth, while 'waiting' is looking for Christ to come from heaven. Yet these two are not incompatible. In combination, they will deliver us both from the presumption which thinks we can do everything and from the pessimism which thinks we can do nothing.
L.G.B.T. activism is the tip of the spear at our throats in the culture war. The struggle over gay rights is what is threatening religious liberty, putting Christian merchants out of business, threatening the tax-exempt status and accreditation of Christian schools and colleges. --- Rod Dreher
A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. No man can ever partake in the mystery of feminine identity --- Diane Mariechild
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
March 17, 2017
You have to ask yourself how is it possible that the deep thinkers in the Church of England cannot see what they are doing to their church that has not been done by the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada and the consequences that have followed from that.
By repeating the theological and moral errors of TEC and the ACoC, the CofE hopes and believes in a different outcome?
What utter foolishness.
TEC and the ACoC have imbibed heavily of the waters of pansexuality and they have paid the ultimate price of schism, fleeing congregations, lawsuits and new Anglican jurisdictions being birthed on their soil.
Now it would seem the Church of England is going down the same rocky road over women bishops and same sex marriage which will only end with the same results of fleeing congregations. The CofE will find GAFCON-UK now firmly planted on its shores and growing, even as the CofE sinks slowly into the sunset. I am in England for a week and there is much talk about the formation of a Third Province to draw together Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics, especially over the debacle of the Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, who withdrew his nomination as Bishop of Sheffield under pressure from some women and the revisionist Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Professor Martyn Percy, because of his traditionalist views on the ordination of women to the priesthood.
It has not been a pretty movie to watch. Satan has taken over a once proud orthodox Church which sent out missionaries to the four corners of the earth, and is now turning inward as sodomy becomes the prevailing issue, even as 95% of the English view the Church as irrelevant and parishes close.
The Diocese of South Carolina joined the Anglican Church in North America this week. The vote was overwhelming.
"I cast my vote to affiliate with the ACNA with eager and expectant faith," said the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, 14th Bishop of South Carolina, in his address to the convention. "I believe God has called us to this and I believe we will find a deeper richness in our vocation; fuller fellowship in the Spirit; a more zealous thrust in mission. But most of all, I believe a door will be opened, the fresh winds of the Spirit will blow, and a caged eagle will soar."
Affiliation with the ACNA brings the Diocese into full communion with an organization of 112,000 members in nearly 1,000 churches and 32 dioceses spread across Canada, the United States and Mexico.
The Diocese of South Carolina will add an additional 53 active churches, 22,149 Baptized Members and an ASA of 9,085. It will become the largest diocese in ACNA.
The only outstanding group that needs to come in out of the cold is the Anglican Mission in America. They were the first group of evangelical Episcopalians to break away from The Episcopal Church in 1999/2000, but a schism in 2012 saw it split, with most of its bishops leaving then Bishop Chuck Murphy and joining Bishop Bob Duncan to give birth to the ACNA.
Bishop Phil Jones and Archbishop Foley Beach are old seminary buds, so, hopefully, the AMIA can put its past behind, eat a little humble pie and join with the ACNA. They have nothing to lose by joining and they will never achieve any glory by standing alone. It is time to bury the hatchet and for the sake of gospel unity add their names to the ACNA growing list of dioceses. The Diocese of South Carolina just showed them the way.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach is the Archbishop of the ACNA and you will not find a more godly non-political figure. He is the perfect segue from Duncan to a new world order of young millennials, new church plants with calls to evangelism and discipleship.
By contrast, The Episcopal Church has not added any significant churches, though it is now laying out tens of thousands of dollars trying to jump start itself.
Recently, the Executive Council awarded $821,000 in grants for church planting and Mission Enterprise Zones to fund the start of 20 new ministries throughout the Church.
The grants for church planting and Mission Enterprise Zones, which are evangelistic ministries with populations that are under-represented in the church, are funded through General Convention 2015 Resolution D005, approved as part of the Jesus Movement priority to build a capacity for church planting in the Episcopal Church.
• $510,000: six new church starts
• $85,000: one renewing ministry (started in the last triennium)
• $100,000: two Hybrid/Mission Enterprise Zone grants
• $100,000: five new Mission Enterprise Zones
• $26,000: six discernment grants
The deeper question is, will it change anything? Time will tell.
A number of former Episcopal bishops now with the Anglican Church in North America, have come out blasting the decision by Bishop Philip North to resign, following claims he was bullied and intimidated by Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, who told him to decline his nomination to the See because of his opposition to women's ordination. A post-modern liberal, Percy published his views on the website of Modern Church, a society promoting liberal Christianity, of which Percy is a Vice President.
Bishop Keith Ackerman (formerly Quincy) said in a statement on Philip North's withdrawal, "This is one the saddest stories. As long as a Bishop believes that the "ordination" of women is a matter of Doctrinal Truth and that other Biblical principles are also irrelevant - and subject to a vote - this is what happens.
Coming out strongly on this action of the UK bishop, was Bishop William Wantland (Formerly Eau Claire, Wisc.) He wrote to VOL; "In 1976, the Episcopal Church authorized the ordination of women to all orders of ministry. In 1977, the House of Bishops made it very clear that this was "permissive only", and not mandatory. Those who opposed the ordination of women were and remained "loyal Episcopalians".
"In 1980, I was elected Bishop of Eau Claire, an Anglo-Catholic diocese opposed to the ordination of women. In spite of what had been said, my election was vigorously opposed by liberal Bishops and dioceses. Nevertheless, my election was confirmed.
"Thereafter, more and more pressure was brought to bear against those who held to the Catholic view of ordination, and, in 1997, the ordination of women was made mandatory. Since then, every Anglo-Catholic diocese has either been driven out of the Episcopal Church, or has been subverted to accept the new order. You can read the full story in today's digest.
The Anglican Communion has announced that Sudan will, in a few months from now, become a separate Province is its own right. Currently, Sudan is an internal province within the Anglican Church of South Sudan and Sudan.
The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, described it as a "welcome development" that will help connect Christians there with Anglicans in the worldwide Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will travel to Sudan for the inauguration of the new Province on July 30th. You can read the full story in today's digest.
A glimmer of hope in Canada this week. A new church plant has opened in Sarnia, Ontario. It is an Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) church.
A blogger wrote VOL to say; "Interesting, isn't it, that while the ACoC can't close down churches fast enough, the ANiC is starting new ones. Although losing our buildings to the ACoC was, I think, grossly unjust and vindictive on the ACoC's part, I'm coming around to the idea that in the end, it might be God's provision for us. Very few congregations can afford to maintain buildings these days; ANiC congregations, no matter how humble and small their beginnings don't have that millstone dragging them down." Amen to that.
Forward in Faith North America (FiFNA) will hold its 2017 Annual Assembly, July 26-28, at the Hurst Convention Center in Hurst, TX. This year's Assembly theme will be God's Design for Marriage, Family and the Single Life. FiFNA Executive Director, Dr. Michael Howell, stated, "Christianity continues to be influenced by secular constructs, and the very foundations of our faith and society are increasingly being undermined. More than ever, we need to return to God's design for our families and how we live our lives."
Assembly plenary speaker will be Dr. Kenneth Howell, a Roman Catholic layman with an extensive background in this area. Dr. Howell is currently the President and Director of Academic Research for the Eucharist Project, an international movement promoting the supreme sacrament of the church. Dr. Howell also taught in higher education, including being a Professor of Religion at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
The Assembly will also feature workshops on church planting and re-energizing parishes, as wellas an interactive forum on the future of Anglo-Catholicism in North America. Registration and lodging information can be found at http://www.fifna.org/2017-assembly/ or by calling the FiFNA Office at (800) 225-3661.
The Bishop of Singapore, Rennis Ponniah, has issued a warning about the new Disney movie version of Beauty and the Beast because, he says, it has "homosexual content".
He wrote this note to his Clergy & Deaconesses,
"It is needful that you alert your congregation about the homosexual content in Disney's re-make of Beauty and the Beast -- a film scheduled for screening during the March school holidays.
"Disney films for children's entertainment are usually associated with wholesome, mainstream values. But times are changing at a foundational level. In this new, live-action remake of the classic film , the character LeFou is portrayed as gay and a 'gay moment' is included in the movie by way of a sub-plot.
"Parents are therefore strongly advised to provide guidance to their children about this re-make of 'Beauty & the Beast' , and indeed to their children's entertainment choices in a rapidly changing age. Let us pursue Prov. 22:6 " Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
The Diocese and the National Council of Churches are working on a fuller advisory to our members in the coming week.
Joseph Nicolosi, a leading psychologist in reparative therapy, died unexpectedly this past week. His wife Linda sent me this note: "Joe was a threat to gay-activist ideology because, after 40 years of working with homosexually oriented men and hearing their stories and understanding their traumas, he simply "knew too much." He was brave enough -- one could say, reckless enough -- to let the world know what he knew.....regardless of the consequences," his wife Linda wrote to me.
Linda Nicolosi, Joe's lifelong collaborator and also his wife of 39 years, is grateful for everyone's prayers and words of appreciation and has shared these words:
"Joe was certainly a larger-than-life, one-of-a-kind guy. Never worried about political correctness, he was happy to swim against the cultural tide when he was sure the culture was going in the wrong direction. That got him into trouble quite a few times. Gay-activist web sites, for example, are still fond of quoting the occasional risque jokes he made during his life in the public eye, and of showing and re-showing him tossing a mic back at a rude TV interviewer. But Joe had ardent convictions about the truth of male and female design, and because of his conviction and courage, his awareness that he would face biased reporters didn't stop him from appearing on Oprah Winfrey, Larry King Live, Hannity and Colmes, O'Reilly Factor, 20/20, Dr. Phil, BBC News, etc."
Jeremy Schwab Kelly wrote on FACEBOOK, "There was never anyone "harmed" by his work or any Reparative Therapy. Anyone who says that is lying through their teeth. Every aspect of his work was about reducing shame and bring real healing. I am alive today because of him as are thousands of others.
"I had the privilege of organizing what (turned out to be) his very last conference. We had participants from 104 countries last Sunday and he graciously spent 3 hours trying to respond to everyone he could. Everyone who knew him knows what an awesome man he was. We are all heartbroken to lose him, but I (and many others) have dedicated ourselves to ensure sure his work continues on."
Another milestone in relations between Canterbury and Rome took place in the Vatican on Monday as a traditional Anglican Choral Evensong was celebrated for the first time in St. Peter's Basilica.
Anglican and Catholic bishops and clergy -- including one female chaplain, Rev Dana English from the Anglican Church of All Saints, Rome -- gathered together at the altar below Bernini's great bronze sculpture encasing the relics of the Chair of St. Peter.
All Souls, Langham Place, was packed recently as hundreds of men and women, young and old, gathered to worship God and give thanks for the life and ministry of Mike Ovey, the dearly loved former Principal of Oak Hill College, who died on 7th January, aged 58. Hugh Palmer led the service, featuring hymns with All Souls' trademark uplifting music. Current students at Oak Hill read the opening biblical sentences; there were four outstanding tributes to Mike and a sermon based on Philippians 1:21, "for me, to live is Christ, to die is gain".
All the speakers emphasized how Mike Ovey combined robust love for truth with compassion for people. For Efrem Buckle, former student at Oak Hill and now pastor at Ecclesia Church, Lewisham, Mike used his "awesome intellectual processing power" to explain the wonders of God's love expressed, for example, in the doctrine of election, and yet he will also be remembered for being kind, patient, keen to listen and learn from those he ministered to.
Before his theological study and ordination, Mike was a highly regarded lawyer. He continued to offer support and advice to Andrea Williams and the Christian Legal Centre up to the time of his death, especially in the area of lobbying around government legislation on issues such as fertilization and embryology and same sex marriage. Andrea spoke of how Mike predicted that secularism would gradually force biblical Christianity out of the public space, and was deeply concerned about working to preserve the freedoms for sharing the Gospel that we have taken for granted for so long, but are now under threat.
Franklin Graham vs the Anglican Church of Canada. Franklin Graham's Vancouver crusade seems to have been a great success. Mission accomplished: 2,318 people made a commitment to Christ.
The Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope drew 34,406 people over three nights with 1929 people going forward to make a commitment to Christ. On top of that, 65,429 people from seventy-six countries watched the Festival of Hope online, with 389 people making a commitment to Christ online. An unexpected treat was to have the grandson of Billy Graham, Will Graham, join his dad, Franklin Graham, for the Festival. This was Will's third time there, since he helped them kick off the Festival and then led 500 young people to Christ at Vancouver Missions Fest this January.
As an antidote to Franklin Graham's blatantly promoting Christianity, Anglicans sponsored a multi-faith event to celebrate diversity. Mission accomplished: 0 people made a commitment to Christ.
"People from many faiths met twice early in March in Vancouver to show support for one another at two well-attended public meetings that celebrated diversity and took a stand against acts of hatred," said a press release.
That American political problems have spilled into Canada was suggested by a bomb threat the previous week which resulted in the evacuation of Vancouver's Jewish Community Centre (no bomb was found), and by controversy surrounding a three-day campaign in Vancouver led by Franklin Graham, an American evangelist who once called Islam "a very evil, a very wicked religion" and supported a ban on Muslim immigration in the U.S.
Anglicans were involved in sponsoring both gatherings.
You're the reason VOL is able to do all that we do. You're the reason we're able to challenge and expose the rot in the Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion. And you're the reason we're crying foul over the CofE's sneaky attempt to establish sodomite marriage in all but name into the church and then try and spin it to the wider Anglican Communion. To keep this and other issues alive and to follow it across the world we need your help. Won't you help us meet this challenge?
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