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Diocese of SC Loses Appeal * Ft. Worth Bishop in Impaired Communion with ACNA * Continuers at Crossroads * Christian Leaders Disappointed in Australia backing Same-Sex Marriage * Zimbabwe will rise again * Former Bishop-Elect of Caledonia fired

Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. --- Charles Spurgeon

It´s not our business to make the message acceptable, but to make it available. We are not to see that they like it, but that they get it. --- Vance Havner

The first duty of the gospel preacher is to declare God´s law and to show the nature of sin. - Martin Luther

The Jesus that men want to see is not the Jesus they need to see. - G. Campbell Morgan

"Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say "My tooth is aching" than to say "My heart is broken." -- C.S. Lewis

Three kinds of tolerance. How then are we to think of other religions? The word that immediately springs to most people's minds is 'tolerance', but they do not always stop to define what they mean by it. It may help if we distinguish between three kinds. The first may be called *legal* tolerance, which ensures that every minority's religious and political rights (usually summarized as the freedom to 'profess, practice and propagate') are adequately protected in law. This is obviously right. Another kind is *social* tolerance, which encourages respect for all persons, whatever views they may hold, and seeks to understand and appreciate their position. This too is a virtue which Christians wish to cultivate; it arises naturally from our recognition that all human beings are God's creation and bear his image, and that we are meant to live together in amity. But what about *intellectual* tolerance, which is the third kind? To cultivate a mind so broad that it can tolerate every opinion, without ever detecting anything in it to reject, is not a virtue; it is the vice of the feeble-minded. It can degenerate into an unprincipled confusion of truth with error and goodness with evil. Christians, who believe that truth and goodness have been revealed in Christ, cannot possibly come to terms with it. --- John R.W. Stott

Dear Brothers and sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
November 17, 2017

The ruling came down Saturday evening. The Diocese of South Carolina (ACNA) was informed by mail that the South Carolina Supreme Court had denied its motions filed for Rehearing and Recusal in its ruling in the Appellate court. In doing so, it finalized a sharply divided ruling that could deprive at least 28 parish churches of their right to properties some have held for over 300 years.

"We are deeply disappointed the Court did not see fit to recuse Justice Hearn. Her personal interest in the outcome of this litigation, beyond the normal matters of law, has clearly influenced its outcome. That is unfortunate not only for the Diocese but for all the citizens of this State with concerns for a fair and impartial judiciary. We also find it disturbing that the weight of the Constitutional concerns raised was not given further opportunity to be addressed. Church property ownership in South Carolina is now gravely complicated," said the Rev. Canon Jim Lewis.

The diocese said it will now give serious consideration to seeking review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, an attorney familiar with property issues, told VOL that he doubted the Supreme Court grants cert on an issue involving property rights. "Cert is rarely granted and even rarer on state law issues."

The deeper truth here is why did the diocese of Bishop Mark Lawrence wait so long in going after the Episcopal-biased Justice Hearn. Early on I asked why did Lawrence's attorneys and attorneys for all 28 churches not ask the justice to recuse herself. I was told that the attorneys did not want to risk their careers in Charleston by challenging a sitting judge. If true, then the diocese screwed itself. When they did finally challenge the Episcopal judge, it was too little too late.

A local orthodox Episcopalian said he called an attorney for one of the local parishes on the day of the Supreme Court hearing just to make sure they were going to challenge her. "I went high and to the right when told they essentially thought that cure was worse than the disease.

"My own evaluation is that having experienced unprecedented success they thought Hearn would grandstand for her constituencies but play nice. I cannot find anyone who knows her professionally who believes that to be the case. She has a reputation for vindictiveness."

It is a mess and I suspect the quote from Lafayette to George Washington after the news of Yorktown to be descriptive, Sir, the play is over.

*****

In his address to convention last weekend, the Rt. Rev Jack L. Iker of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, said he was in a state of "impaired communion" with the Anglican Church in North America over the issue of women's ordination.

"So where are we? Most ACNA bishops and dioceses are opposed to women priests, but as it presently stands, the ACNA Constitution says each diocese can decide if it will ordain women priests or not. We now need to work with other dioceses to amend the Constitution to remove this provision. As you know, women bishops are not permitted in any diocese, and no bishop wants to change that prohibition.

"I would underscore that the recent Bishops' statement declares that the ordination of women "is a recent innovation to Apostolic Tradition and Catholic Order" and that "there is insufficient warrant to accept women's ordination to the priesthood as standard practice." Needless to say, the women priests and their supporters are very unhappy about that.

"We are in a state of impaired communion because of this issue. The Task Force concluded that "both sides cannot be right." At the conclave, I informed the College of Bishops that I will no longer give consent to the election of any bishop who intends to ordain female priests, nor will I attend the consecration of any such bishop-elect in the future. I have notified the Archbishop of my resignation from all the committees to which I had been assigned to signify that it is no longer possible to have "business as usual" in the College of Bishops due to the refusal of those who are in favor of women priests to at least adopt a moratorium on this divisive practice, for the sake of unity. Bishops who continue to ordain women priests in spite of the received tradition are signs of disunity and division."

Iker was commenting on a recent Task Force report received by the ACNA House of Bishops at a closed meeting in September. At the conclusion of that meeting, Archbishop Foley Beach wrote; "This is the beginning of our formal discussion as bishops, and I sincerely doubt it will be the end of our prayerful deliberation on this important issue. We are seeking to hear God's will for us as Biblically orthodox, and faithful North American Anglicans, who are part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

Read Iker's complete address to Convention here. http://fwepiscopal.org/bishop/bishop.html

*****

Australia backs same-sex marriage. In a highly divisive campaign and a decisive result that 61.6 per cent of Australians voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, the division between religious representatives and wider secular society remains and may have even deepened in Australia.

For many, the argument moved on to whether religious small businesses would gain special protections. The conservatives' planned amendments to the bill would allow private businesses to refuse services like wedding cakes for same-sex weddings by objecting on religious grounds.

But some Christian leaders could not hide their disapproval at the overall direction the vote represented in their eyes. The Anglican Diocese of Sydney donated $1 million to the "no" campaign which lobbied Australians to oppose legalizing same-sex marriage.

Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies made the announcement in an address to the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney on Monday, but the donation was given to the Coalition for Marriage about a month ago. The Anglican Church had a significant role in the No campaign for legalizing same-sex marriage.

Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies says the church will respect the Yes vote.

He says the church won't necessarily do anything as an institution to try and shape legislation, but he says there are many individuals who will "encourage the Parliament to consider the importance of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of faith."

The Archbishop says more than one-third of Australians don't want same-sex marriage and the church "should be promoting what is best for Australia."

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, said he was 'deeply disappointed that the likely result will be legislation to further deconstruct marriage and family in Australia'.

Culture Watch evangelical theologian and journalist Bill Muehlenberg reflecting on the Homosexual Marriage vote said; "None of this should surprise us. The warnings found in Scripture concerning what happens when we reject God are perfectly clear, and we are simply seeing all this being played out before our very eyes. Australia and the West has long ago declared war on God, and God in a sense is returning the favor.

"Romans 1:18-32 tells us exactly what all this looks like in practice. God gives people over to their sin and unrighteousness, and those who cling to immorality also suppress the truth. The two always go together. Suppress the truth about God and the floodgates of unrighteousness are flung wide open.

"Paul here focuses on one sin above all to illustrate this: the sin of homosexuality. So we were warned 2000 years ago about this very thing. And had we bothered to read the Old Testament we would have seen much more of the same.

"The prophets made it crystal clear that a just and holy God must respond when his creatures turn their back on him and reject his ways. But as both the Bible and church history makes clear, the normal reaction of God's people is to reject God's prophets." Muehlenberg concluded that even God's own people will reject the sure word of God and choose to run with falsehood and deception.

*****

The Anglican Church of Canada is facing financial collapse. It is starting to look as though the ACoC, a church in denial for nearly two decades about the direction it has been going, is having to face the reality that it might face collapse as it looks to an uncertain financial future. Archbishop Fred Hiltz might well be the last Primate of the Anglican province.

It goes like this. You no longer believe the Bible is authoritative on issues like human sexuality, so you change your views to compete with the zeitgeist; you watch as your congregations age with no new young people coming along as they won't hear or read anything that is significantly different from their cell phone apps, Ipad news or twitter accounts. You watch as clergy age and retire with no heir apparent waiting in the wings to fill their pulpits. Then talk about things that are mostly irrelevant to the lives of average Canadians who are more concerned with house prices and what happens in the US. Congregations begin to shrink because of the uncertain sounds emanating from the pulpit. Parishes slowly wither and sooner or later, they close their doors. At this time of writing, the dioceses of Huron, Ontario and Quebec are most notably in free fall.

A priest in the Diocese of Quebec recently opined from his pulpit, "that without radical change, the Anglican Diocese of Quebec could soon be extinct." His is clearly not the only diocese. You can read the full story here: http://www.virtueonline.org/anglican-church-canada-faces-financial-collapse

Former Bishop-Elect of Caledonia, the Rev. Jacob Worley, has been fired. The priest, who had once served in an AMIA parish in the US was told by Archbishop John Privett in a phone call and a letter received Friday, Nov. 10, that Worley's employment as a priest in the Diocese of Caledonia was being terminated. Worley says that when he asked what the reason was; Privett (who is Metropolitan of the Province of BC & Yukon) declined to give him one. In accordance with Immigration rules, Worley has to leave Canada for the United States within ten days of his last day of employment, which is on Sunday, Nov. 19. "I'm going to trust the Lord -- who else am I going to trust? I could say like Job, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.' I'm going to rejoice," said Worley when reached by phone.

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach told VOL that the Moderator Bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) Charlie Masters has been in touch with Worley to see if he can stay in Canada.

Anglican writer David of Samizdat said the action of Privett was "extraordinarily hypocritical" by refusing to reveal why Worley was fired, hinting that to do so would be to reveal something "personal" - a dark and shameful secret - about Worley. "I suspect it would actually reveal something personal about the bishops who made the decision, namely that there are none whose intolerance is as venomous as that of those who claim to be standard bearers of liberal tolerance."

"He goes on to note that the decision was not "precipitous", nor was it made by Privett alone. To cap this sanctimonious tripe, he declares that those making the decision were acting as "compassionately as possible". There is no compassion as heartwarming as Anglican compassion, a compassion that deprives a person and his family of his livelihood, home and country of residence and refuses to state why."

VOL believes that Worley, who was once a priest with the Anglican Mission in America (AMIA) is being punished and railroaded out of the ACoC for his defection from the Episcopal Church. The Fascist brown shirts of yesteryear are today being matched by Fascist purple shirts masquerading as men doing the Lord's work. You can read the full story here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/former-bishop-elect-caledonia-rev-jacob-worley-has-been-fired

The outgoing Bishop of Niagara, Michael Bird looks back at successful lawsuits, reports David of Samizdat. Bird, having resigned as Bishop of the Diocese of Niagara, has just completed his final bishop's charge.

In the charge, he laments the anxieties thrust upon him by dissenting Anglicans immediately following his consecration - during which he processed to the strains of the Beatles' "All You Need is Love", an inverse harbinger of things to come - congratulates himself and the diocese on "having stood our ground", including ejecting the dissenters from their buildings, seizing, and in some cases selling the buildings, and successfully prosecuting a string of lawsuits. And no one in the diocese had to pay any legal fees!

Where did the money come from? Selling St. Hilda's property and rectory for $2,650,000 probably helped.

Here is what he said in part as he is leaving:

"In the days preceding this celebration, local and national newspapers and media spoke of the conflict and division in the life of the Anglican Church. The Toronto Star had a running commentary on the status of three breakaway parishes in our diocese. On February 20, the headlines read as follows: "Breakaway Anglicans asked to hand over keys." On February 28, it was announced that "Talks with dissident Anglican parishes end," and then on March 3, the day after my installation, a picture appeared in newspapers across the country with the caption reading: "A House of worship divided."

The Toronto Star article went on to say that: "For Niagara Bishop Michael Bird, the court case opened on his first official day in office -- he spent the day in court and talking to reporters outside -- [this issue] threatens to dominate his entire time in office."

"If this were not enough, 2008 was the year that the economy crashed or at the very least took a dramatic down turn. With this loss of investment money, mounting court and legal fees and a multi-million-dollar debt we had some major and painful financial decisions to make. One of the things that I am most grateful for, as we gather here today, is that we find ourselves in a sound financial position and that having stood our ground and brought our legal proceedings to a successful conclusion, not one cent of those court costs was paid for out of the collection plates of our parishes."

The deeper question is why is he leaving a bishopric and taking a parish in the dying province of Ottawa!

*****

The Continuing Church movement reached a pivotal moment when four synods met recently in Atlanta. The four leaders of the main bodies of Continuers said that their churches must grow together or wither apart.

Forty years ago, at the Congress of St. Louis and the Affirmation of St. Louis that issued from that Congress, the ecclesiastical landscape of Anglicanism in North America changed forever.

It was about doctrine, involving the ordination of women, an altered Prayer Book, permissiveness on abortion -- a triumvirate of issues that dealt the first body blow to the hegemony of the Episcopal Church.

They were Anglo-Catholics, followers of Pusey and Newman, more comfortable with archbishops like Geoffrey Fisher, Michael Ramsey and a Robert Runcie, less comfortable with the Protestant Reformation and its heirs in such evangelical archbishops as Donald Coggan, George Carey and Justin Welby. To read the full story click here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/continuing-church-movement-reaches-decisive-moment

*****

Church leaders from Zimbabwe, central Africa and Europe commenting on the on-going political situation in Zimbabwe following the arrest of President Robert Mugabe who remains under house arrest and, according to the Reuters news agency, is declining mediation efforts led by his long-time Roman Catholic chaplain, the Rev'd Fidelis Mukonori.

In a pastoral letter, the Archbishop of Central Africa, Albert Chama, echoed the call for prayer and dialogue by the Heads of Christian Denominations in Zimbabwe. Archbishop Albert, who is also the chair of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (Capa), said: that "this sad situation needs more than a political solution. It also needs all people of faith to pray and all citizens to engage in dialogue for the sake of peace and stability in Zimbabwe."

He added: "This is based on the call to follow Christ the Prince of Peace and the incarnate God who, in dwelling with and among us, affirms the dignity of each one of us and our environment. We pray that no life will be lost and no property will be destroyed during this time of uncertainty."

The Rt. Rev. Chad Gandiya, Bishop of Harare, said on Premier Christian Radio that he is praying for a peaceful transition: "Everybody believes that we can recover and that the jewel will sparkle again," alluding to Zimbabwe once being called the jewel of Africa.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he had been "following events in Zimbabwe closely and praying intensely for a peaceful solution" over the past few days.

Writing in an ACNS blog and his Facebook page this afternoon, he said: "I am praying for the whole nation of Zimbabwe -- its people, its military, its political leaders -- that they may find a path forward that leads to the flourishing of this nation and all its people.

"To the Church in Zimbabwe: your brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion stand with you in prayer, solidarity and hope. Your faith, courage and persistence in the face of difficult times has long been an example to the world. May God strengthen, protect and guide you as you seek to bear witness to the love of Christ at this deeply challenging time.

*****

Recently we announced our exciting new project to overhaul VirtueOnline: we plan add many elements and features needed to bring the website to the next level, and address whatever was not working on the current site. That campaign is now live! We have called it VIRTUEONLINE 2.0
https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/help-build-virtueonline-2-0-thank-david-virtue

The Challenge

Over the last twenty years in the trenches, VirtueOnline has seen it all, and you've been there right alongside with us. With the Anglican Realignment becoming a magnificent reality, the Gospel once more has a chance of being safe; yet the forces marshaled against it are gathering and they are very mighty. It is clear that we need to do much more, do it better, and do it faster. The faithful are called to do their utmost like never before. There is much that we at VOL must be better at:
• We don't live on social media -- at all. With e-mail we reach thousands of people every week, yet we might as well not exist on much more relevant and vital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Medium.
• We write a lot, but how much of it has an impact? Some sections of VOL no longer serve a purpose, or could be done much better.
• The VOL platform is not helping us understand what you read, what you choose not to read, and how we can be more helpful to you.
• The website is outdated and a refresh is long overdue, and many of you have told me that!
In short, to make a lot more impact for global orthodox Anglicanism, VirtueOnline needs to do better, and do more.

Please help us get the word out. You can contribute here:

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VOL calls on all coffee drinkers to buy your next 2lbs of coffee from Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee because it helps small Anglican-run businesses in Rwanda and does good for them and us. It's about sustainable ministry, coffee, community and social justice. Click here: https://landofathousandhills.com/

In Christ,

David

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