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Welby Criticizes Trump * Oregon Bishop off the Hook over Assault Allegations * Apb. Privett Fails to explain Worley firing * Welby accused of Bait and Switch * Splits emerge in Scottish Episcopal Church * Sewanee still has not rescinded Rose's Doctorate

The biblical concept. 'Authority' in biblical usage is not a synonym for 'tyranny'. All those who occupy positions of authority in society are responsible both to the God who has entrusted it to them and to the person or persons for whose benefit they have been given it. In a word, the biblical concept of authority spells not tyranny but responsibility. --- John R.W. Stott

Dozens of Anglican churches have closed in Ontario, Canada, because of a lack of new members. Most Anglican churches have not had a new member in years, Sunday schools and children are really lacking in participants. It is said and predicted that the Anglican Church of Canada will not exist in three to five years if the direction that the church is now taking continues. --- ACoC observer and activist layman

There is a lot of evidence that marriage protects your health and makes you wealthier. Some studies show that it also tends to keep your mind in good working order, and that has now been confirmed by a review of 15 studies from Europe, North and South America, and Asia, involving more than 800,000 people. --- Carolyn Moynihan at Mercatornet.com

Evaluating culture. Culture may be likened to a tapestry, intricate and often beautiful, which is woven by a given society to express its corporate identity. The colours and patterns of the tapestry are the community's common beliefs and common customs, inherited from the past, enriched by contemporary art and binding the community together. Each of us, without exception, has been born and bred in a particular culture. Being part of our upbringing and environment, it is also part of ourselves, and we find it very difficult to stand outside it and evaluate it Christianly. Yet this we must learn to do. For if Jesus Christ is to be Lord of all, our cultural heritage cannot be excluded from his lordship. And this applies to churches as well as individuals. --- John R. W. Stott

Dear Brothers and sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
December 1, 2017

In a rare political intervention, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, explicitly criticized US President Donald Trump for retweeting anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right extremist group. Welby said "it is deeply disturbing that the President of the United States has chosen to amplify the voice of far-right extremists," ENS reported.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May also criticized the US President, but was slapped down by Mr. Trump, who told her to "focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism."

The original tweets were posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a minority political party with virtually no support in Britain outside its estimated 1,000 followers. She is currently awaiting trial in Belfast on charges of using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior" and in Kent for inciting racial hatred.

She and her followers have stormed mosques and carried out what they call "Christian Patrols" -- marching in paramilitary-style uniforms, carrying a large cross in areas of the UK populated by people who -- either themselves or through their ancestors -- have roots in south-Asian countries.

A spokesman for Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May said: "Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values this country represents, decency, tolerance and respect."

President Trump used Twitter to respond to the criticism from the British Prime Minister, telling her: "don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom."

Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd, was summoned to the UK Parliament to answer an Urgent Question on the matter. "This House should be clear that this government will not tolerate any groups who spread hate by demonizing those of other faiths or ethnicities and who deliberately raise community fears and tensions," she said, adding: "We have been clear: President Donald Trump was wrong to retweet videos posted by far-right group Britain First."

Earlier in the week, Welby appeared on a British talk show and said that he was baffled by Christians (fundamentalists) who supported Donald Trump. "I am really genuinely and can't comprehend why fundamentalists have provided such a strong base for Trump. No, I don't understand it. I really genuinely do not understand where that is coming from." You can read the full interview here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/london-archbishop-canterbury-baffled-christians-who-back-trump

*****

YOU will recall a story I wrote on the Bishop of Oregon, Michael J. Hanley, being accused of wrongdoing in a lawsuit. A fired employee, Mary Macy, accused Hanley of assaulting a female priest and misusing money and then suing the bishop for $845,000 plus sex and age discrimination. According to the lawsuit, the foundation managed more than $10 million of her assets. You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/ybg4dubz

Well, the diocese has responded and in a Facebook statement, the bishop said Mary Macy was an employee of the Diocese of Oregon. The Diocese (or any employer for that matter) will not comment on confidential personnel matters, so we are unable to comment on the circumstances of her leaving the Diocese. We can confirm that there have been multiple independent investigations by the Diocese into the allegations made by Ms. Macy.

"Ms. Macy's claims for whistle-blowing and employment discrimination were, as her complaint acknowledges, investigated by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry and dismissed. Ms. Macy's further allegations were investigated by The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Oregon and were dismissed."

"The Diocese believes that Ms. Macy's allegations are unfounded and will defend the lawsuit vigorously."

It would appear that the national church is not going to intervene even on the charge of alleged assault, even to inhibit Bishop Hanley until that, at least, can be cleared up.

*****

Will the University of the South in Sewanee rescind a doctorate given to sexual harasser Charlie Rose? Not to date, and university vice-chancellor John McCardell did not respond to an email asking if he would.

Two Journalism Schools, however, did rescind their awards to Rose. The only Episcopal University awarded the honorary degree in 2016. The now outed sexual harasser of women had a lot of advice to offer the class of 2016, including "being humble, dreaming big, and being crazy." Apparently, he wasn't taking much of his own advice.

The question now is why hasn't McCardell withdrawn the degree honor to Rose. Inquiring minds want to know. You can read the full story here: http://www.virtueonline.org/will-university-south-sewanee-rescind-doctorate-sexual-harasser-charlie-rose

*****

The following is a vignette of an Episcopal parish in transition. At Holy Comforter, an Anglo-Catholic parish in Drexel Hill outside Philadelphia, the priest, a certain Fr. Jonathan, decided he had had enough of TECs apostasies and so absconded to Rome via the Ordinariate, where he has been received with open arms in Texas.

This left a vacuum in the church not easy to fill, as there are few Anglo-Catholics left in TEC to fill such pulpits. So, the diocese suggested a woman priest as an interim. So along comes along a lesbian who promptly announced from the pulpit that Jesus was a misogynist. This was a bridge too far the parish and she was shown the door that week. The following week a male priest appeared, where it was later disclosed that he was a homosexual, but at the moment unpartnered. No one knows how long that will last, but with much of Anglo Catholicism and sodomy in a seemingly endless dance with each other, it is hard to know how long he will last. Apparently, as Fr. Jonathan left the parish, a parish with a healthy endowment, he said that unless things turn around, the parish will close in ten years. VOL believes that's an optimistic evaluation and its fate will be decided long before then.

*****

The saga of Fr. Jacob Worley continues. Archbishop and Metropolitan of BC, John Privett, failed to explain himself over his firing of the Rev. Jacob Worley, an orthodox (read evangelical) Anglican priest who was touted to be the next Bishop of Caledonia, but because of a previous dalliance with the Anglican Mission in America (AMIA), he was forced to withdraw and it was then that Privett fired him.

Stung by criticism of his actions, Privett fired back with a non-statement about the specifics of his termination and said that Mr. Worley's termination was not based on any particular theological point of view. "Our church and this Diocese will always welcome clergy and parishioners from a wide range of faith perspectives and theological views that fall within the breadth of our Anglican tradition. Our unity always rests in our love for Christ and Christ's love for us."

Privett goes on to say that "Mr. Worley's" yes Mr. not Rev. or Fr. position was terminated "Without Cause" on November 20. He said this is a legal phrase which means that rather than a termination without pay, the Diocese is providing Mr. Worley with a severance payment which includes paid leave, accommodation and an additional money payment which will provide a severance package equivalent to remuneration through February 28, 2018. His total severance package will be the equivalent of stipend, benefits, pension contribution, car allowance and housing allowance.

Privett just gave new meaning to the word disingenuous. Anyone with half a brain knows that progressivists and revisionists would sooner watch the Church die than make space for orthodox priests. Sodomy and same-sex marriage are their priority. The great "sin" of the Western church is never to offend a sodomite, for to do so will bring weeping and wailing and much gnashing of teeth. Privett dumped Worley because he actually believes the gospel of change and redemption.

"I know Anglican bishops regard obfuscation as a vocational calling, but surely even the most inept specimen in the area of rational thought would not try to pass off a claim that something was not done for a particular reason as an explanation for why it was done," writes Anglican blogger David of Samizdat. So, no explanation at all.

Privett's actions prompted a storm of blog disapproval with the former Bishop of Caledonia, Bill Anderson, announcing that it was the last straw and he was leaving the ACoC and joining the ANiC, an Anglican denomination established in recent years after significant theological disagreements between members of the Anglican Church of Canada, who believed that they could no longer walk together and left the ACoC.

"Last week, I transferred...the overturning of the Rev. Jacob Worley's election as bishop last May, followed by his firing this November, together served as "the final straw."

The bishop went on to assert what everyone suspects, but Archbishop Privett was employing Goebbels' principle - if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

"The real reason for Worley's being blocked as bishop and then being fired lay with his views. I think the issue was much more, quite frankly, the fact that he represented a conservative stream of theological thought that was offensive to the extremely liberal drift of the bishops of the provincial house," Anderson said. "The whole thing smacked of a kangaroo court."

*****

Splits are emerging in the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) after its decision to permit priests to marry gay couples earlier this year.

Two senior clergymen have resigned and a parish church has declared it will leave the official oversight of the SEC in protests linked to the vote last June that allowed priests to officiate in gay weddings if they wanted.

In a forthright rebuttal for supporting the change, worshippers at Christ Church, Harris, announced they would reject their bishop's authority and choose instead to come under the oversight of GAFCON bishop, Andy Lines.

The Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Rt. Rev Kevin Pearson, said the Rev. Daniel Davies, along with his small congregation would forfeit their building and funds if they left the SEC.

In a strongly worded rebuff, Davies accused his bishop of being "in denial of what you have done, which is to reject the authority of Christ your King, in favor of your own".

*****

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has been accused of a "bait and switch" tactic by U.S. Anglican theologian, The Rev. Dr. Stephen Noll.

The recent announcement of Welby's visit to Kenya is a classic case of bait and switch, he writes. The bait was Welby's recent visit to Kenya in the aftermath of the contentious presidential election there. He met with the re-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta and his opponent Raila Odinga, and preached a sermon in their presence on the importance of reconciliation.

There is a long history of religious leaders seeking to follow Jesus' blessing of the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) in the church and wider society and mediation which may have a positive effect on the tense political climate in Kenya.

"My problem is with the reporting of this visit and particularly Welby's own further comments drawing an analogy between his role in Kenya and his role in the wider Anglican Communion. That was the switch.

In a follow-up interview, Welby claimed that his entire ministry is one of reconciliation and then applied that to the divisions within the Anglican Communion over sexuality. "Our challenge" he said, "is to work our way forward, holding on to the truths that are given to us through Jesus and in the Scriptures; and yet never sinking to the level of demonizing or hating people because they are homosexual."

So, Noll writes, what precisely are the truths given to us through Jesus and in the Scriptures? At the 1998 Lambeth Conference, 570 bishops stated that "[this Conference] in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage" and that "while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation" (Resolution I.10).

Justin Welby has refused to commend this Resolution and, so I argue, intends to relegate it to the dustbin of history. This Resolution - repeatedly affirmed by Global South churches, including the Anglican Church of Kenya, and repeatedly violated by the Episcopal Church USA and others -- notably went missing from the October 2017 Lambeth Primates' Communique. You can read Dr. Noll's full analysis here: http://www.virtueonline.org/canterbury-bait-and-switch

*****

The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, put his collar on for the first time in 10 years during an appearance on BBC Television's The Andrew Marr Show. Sentamu has called for the new government in Zimbabwe to deal with past injustices. The second-most senior cleric in the Church of England suggested that the country should follow South Africa's example and establish a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Ten years ago, Dr. Sentamu cut up his clerical collar on the program, saying he would not wear one again until Robert Mugabe had left power. Yesterday, he put a new collar on for the first time in a decade.

"Mugabe has gone but the new president has got to remember something more new than simply stitching up a thing will work." He said that his original act of cutting up the collar galvanized Christians to pray for Zimbabwe.

*****

College chaplains from King's, Trinity, and St John's are holding a series of special services in their chapels which aim to provide "inclusive spaces" for LGBT+ Christians to "encounter God". A total of six special services have or will be held across the three colleges this term, the next of which will be King's College's 'Critical Mass' service on 26 October, according to Varsity magazine.

Trinity College chapel hosted a Compline+ service on November 1, followed by another King's service on November 9. St John's Open Table service on November 16 concluded the series.
Critical Mass services at King's are billed as "a new kind of worship for students" which is "radically inclusive for all who have open hearts and open minds." Reverend Andrew Hammond, of King's, told Varsity that his decision to hold Critical Mass was inspired by the reaction of students to his duet with drag queen Courtney Act at King's Affair earlier this year, which he described as "extraordinary".

By contrast, another Cambridge College, Clare, refused to allow a prominent churchman with orthodox views to preach in its chapel. Anglican Mainstream learned that Bishop Michael Nazir Ali was due to speak at a conference on Pakistan in Cambridge on October 14th. One of the conference organizers, who is also a fellow of Clare, asked the Chaplain early in 2017 if Bishop Michael could be invited to preach in chapel on Sunday 15th October. The Chaplain responded, after consulting with the college Dean, that an invitation would not be issued, because Nazir-Ali's conservative views on same sex marriage might cause offence among the college students and staff.

For commentary on all this you can view this story here: http://www.virtueonline.org/uk-chaplains-coordinate-hold-radically-inclusive-services and here: http://www.virtueonline.org/special-support-needed-young-evangelicals-kings-college-cambridge

*****

CULTURE WAR SNAPSHOTS

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, faces possible censure over his conduct regarding paedophile Peter Ball, formerly Bishop of Gloucester. Ball was jailed last year for sex offences and misconduct in public office. Carey wrote to the director of public prosecutions at the time expressing concern at Ball's "fragile health". While Carey was Archbishop, Lambeth Palace received six letters after Ball was cautioned, revealing that he encouraged victims to pray naked, perform sex acts in front of him and share his bed. Lambeth Palace officials reviewing the letters in 2009, noted that had such evidence as provided by the letters been given to detectives in 1993, Ball may have been convicted of serious sexual offences as opposed to merely being cautioned. Carey's role is to be scrutinized by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

An Anglican minister has sparked outrage after questioning whether Prince George is gay and if that might force the Church of England to adopt same-sex marriage. The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St. Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, and a campaigner for LGBT rights in the Church, was accused of a "cynical" and "sinister" attempt to manipulate the royal engagement for his own ends after he suggested "the fastest way to make the C of E more inclusive [is] to pray for Prince George to be blessed one day with the love of a fine young gentleman". The comments about the four-year-old, who is third in line to the throne, were made in a blog he re-posted after the announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement.

Gavin Ashenden, a former Chaplain to the Queen and missionary bishop in the Christian Episcopal Church, accused Holdsworth of praying the "child out of the intentions of God". He told Christian Today: "To pray for Prince George to grow up in that way, particularly when part of the expectation is he will inherit is to produce a biological heir with a woman he loves, is to pray in a way that would disable and undermine his constitutional and personal role."

*****

NEW NEUTRALITY. This week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Ajit Pai, officially put the federal government's net neutrality rules on the fast track for extinction. If the move goes through as expected, that means that by the end of January, internet providers like Comcast and Verizon will be allowed to charge for websites to reach users at faster speeds, essentially slowing down access to websites that can't afford those fast-lane prices--a tiered internet that the current rules preclude.

Earlier this year, with President Trump's push, the FCC will vote to rescind the net neutrality rules on Dec. 14, with the majority of the commission expected to support the measure. After that vote, it will take a couple of weeks for the FCC's policy decision to be published in the federal register, and then it will take another 30 days before it goes into effect. During those six weeks after the vote, groups that want to challenge the FCC's decision will be able to prepare their lawsuits, sending the issue to the courts. But just because a company or an advocacy group decides to sue, doesn't mean an injunction will be granted to stop internet providers from adjusting how you're able to use the internet.

I urge VOL readers to write to your house and Senate politician to keep Net Neutrality. If this is rescinded, websites like VOL will suffer with slowdowns because we don't have the financial resources to fight and win. It's another example of the big guy trampling the small guy into the ground.

VOL is still actively crowdfunding and we hope you'll join in and lend a hand and a dollar or two to keep us afloat in 2018.

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:

https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/help-build-virtueonline-2-0-thank-david-virtue

In Christ,

David

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