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Okoh says CofE Sexual Innovations Could Lead to Communion Split * DC Diocese Eliminates Male Language * Sudan Ordains First Woman Bishop * 3,000 Sex abuse Cases Reported in CofE * Jerusalem Anglicans ordered to pay $2 Million to City in taxes

Spokesmen of God. In the primary sense in which the Bible uses the word, a prophet was a person who 'stood in the council of God', who heard and even 'saw' his word, and who in consequence 'spoke from the mouth of the Lord' and spoke his word 'faithfully' (cf. Je. 23:16-32). In other words, a prophet was a mouthpiece or spokesman of God, a vehicle of his direct revelation. *In this sense* we must insist that there are no prophets today. Nobody can presume to claim an inspiration comparable to that of the canonical prophets, or use their introductory formula 'Thus says the Lord'. If this were possible, we would have to add their words to Scripture, and the whole church would need to listen and obey. --- John R. W. Stott

To those who walk through the valley of the shadow of suds, I say fear not the bristle brush. Laugh to scorn the directors of sanitation, for like a certain other famous potentate, they cannot bear to be laughed at. What they think but a smudge on your face to be removed by their ministrations is the rubicund glow of hope itself. Who ever knew red cheeks to grow pale by being scrubbed? --- Professor J. Budziszewski

Life expectancy decrease is about more than just drugs. Anne Casae, an economist at Princeton University who has published and researched so-called "Deaths of Despair", notes, it's also about suicide and alcohol, especially among white people. She says "we think of it all being signs that something is really wrong and whatever it is that's really wrong is happening nationwide". She points to the decline of well-paying jobs with annual increases, job security and good benefits. This means that people feel less financially secure and this is contributing to fewer people getting married and having children within those marriages. "They have a much more fragile existence than they would have had a generation ago." --- Marcus Roberts in Mercatornet.net

The Judge of history. The God who is Lord of history is also the Judge of history. It is naive to hail all revolutionary movements as signs of divine renewal. After the revolution the new status quo sometimes enshrines more injustice and oppression than the one it has displaced. --- John R.W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
February 9, 2018

It was another bad week for Welby. Month after month he gets beaten about the head and chest by Nigerian Anglican Primate Nicholas Okoh over the dangerous road he is leading the Church of England down.

In his monthly letter to GAFCON followers, Okoh ratcheted up his attack on the CofE calling on CEEC evangelicals to act on threats to leave if Welby and his Synod liberalize its doctrine of marriage and sexuality.

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) issued the document Gospel, Church & Marriage: Preserving Apostolic Faith and Life, which said the doctrine that sexual relations were only for heterosexual marriage was not an "optional extra" on which Christians could disagree and that a departure from apostolic teaching "regrettably requires in response some degree of visible differentiation."

Quoth Primate Okoh, "At a time when the Church of England's senior leadership seems unable to resist the pressure to compromise with a highly secular culture, it is a sign of hope that evangelical leaders are able to come together in this way."

"The question I humbly wish to ask my brothers and sisters in England is this: will you take courage and act on these words? As members of the Mother Church of our beloved Communion you have a great responsibility. We will pray for you and stand with you, but we cannot stand for you.

"If you do not act, sexual practices and gender identities which represent a radical rejection of God's will and purpose will become entrenched and lead to a tragic separation from the great majority of the Communion." You can read his full statement here: https://tinyurl.com/ycv7krh5


The Primate of South Sudan and Sudan, Deng Bul laid hands on Elizabeth Awut Ngor, making her the first female bishop in the Diocese of Rumbek, and the first woman bishop of the Sudan. This brought blow back from Dr. Peter Jensen General Secretary of GAFCON who said the action posed a threat to unity, and violated an agreement made by the Primates agreed upon in 2014 to affect a voluntary moratorium on the consecration of women to the episcopate.

The GAFCON Primates called it an anomaly and said it would not derail the course followed since 2014. You can read the full account of the Sudanese archbishop's actions and Dr. Jensen's response here: https://tinyurl.com/y7jq6ofm


The ultra-liberal Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., which has a woman as a bishop, passed a resolution at its diocesan convention saying they would stop using masculine pronouns for God in future updates to its Book of Common Prayer.

The resolution to stop using "gendered language for God" was passed quickly by delegates to the Diocese's 123rd Convention.

"If revision of the Book of Common Prayer is authorized, to utilize expansive language for God from the rich sources of feminine, masculine, and non-binary imagery for God found in Scripture and tradition and, when possible, to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God," the resolution stated.

"Over the centuries our language and our understanding of God has continued to change and adapt," the drafters of the resolution stated. The drafters said that referring to God using masculine pronouns is to "limit our understanding of God."

"By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God," they stated.

But Clergy delegate, The Rev. Linda R. Calkins from St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Laytonsville, Maryland, challenged the delegates to go further.

Calkins read from Genesis Chapter 17, in which God tells Abraham "I am El Shaddai." She said that if Episcopalians "are going to be true to what El Shaddai means, it means God with breasts."

But Christians, following the teachings of Jesus Christ, have prayed to God as "Our Father" from the very beginning. Theologians explain that the masculine word "Father" indicates a relationship.

"Jesus did not call God 'Imma' (Mother), but always and exclusively 'Abba' (Father)," Dr. Paul Tarazi of St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary explained. Indeed, "Father" is the only way Jesus ever referred to God, and the only way He taught His followers to do so.

The Church Fathers attest to this. St. Gregory the Theologian explained the name "Father" is proper to God, not a figurative concession to humanity. St. Athanasius the Great stated that only the specific names "Father," "Son," and "Holy Spirit" belong "to God's own essence and being." St. Gregory of Nyssa taught that deviation from the names "Father," "Son," and "Holy Spirit" causes deviations from the one true faith. Any other names, St. Gregory wrote, "serve as a starting point for the deflection of sound doctrine."

Delegates to the Episcopalian convention also passed a resolution without debate or discussion to include "transgender people" in all aspects of "congregational life."

The resolution called on the diocese to "encourage all parishes to remove all obstacles to full participation in congregational life by making all gender-specific facilities and activities fully accessible, regardless of gender identity and expression."

This theology was shredded from a number of sources including a satirical essay which you can read here: https://tinyurl.com/yc49hbq8

You can read Mary Ann Mueller's fine analysis piece here: https://tinyurl.com/y9w7graz


While Western Anglican provinces shrivel and die, the Anglican Province of Nigeria continues to grow and thrive. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, formally dedicated a new church and diocesan offices in the diocese of Kwara, recently. The new Church of the Ascension and the diocesan secretariat buildings were built in the diocesan bishop's court in Ilorin, the state capital of Kwara, in western Nigeria. The Bishop of Kwara Diocese, Olusegun Adeyemi, includes six other dioceses.


The Church of England is facing more than 3,000 abuse complaints, the vast majority of which relate to children or vulnerable adults. The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock, the lead bishop on safeguarding, will reveal the full extent of the scandal the Church faces when he answers questions from the ruling general synod. The revelation comes as the CofE's general synod, or parliament, meets in Westminster for three days that are set to be dominated by questions around abuse.


The Primates of the Anglican Communion should have a greater say in the appointments of future Archbishops of Canterbury, the current Archbishop, Justin Welby, has said. Archbishop Welby made his comments during a debate at the Church of England's General Synod on the working of the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) -- the body that recommends appointments to diocesan bishoprics. Appointments of bishops in the Church of England are made by the Queen, as Supreme Governor of the Church, who acts on the advice of the CNC.

The CNC is usually chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury or York, dependent upon the province of the vacancy. Its membership includes central members nominated by the General Synod, and diocesan members, nominated by the diocese in which the vacancy occurs. In the case of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the CNC is chaired by an independent lay member of the Church of England, appointed by the British Prime Minister. And a Primate of the Anglican Communion is selected to join the Commission.

Archbishop Welby suggested that in future, the Communion should be represented by five Primates -- one from each region.

In autumn 2015, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York asked Professor Oliver O'Donovan to lead a theological review into the working of the CNC. The review's report, Discerning in Obedience, was the subject of a "take note" debate this afternoon.

The review was primarily intended to provide the members of the CNC with "a theological framework within which to discharge their responsibilities as they nominate bishops" and "to enable the Commission to understand the nomination of diocesan bishops within the context of the wider church of God, in particular: the national responsibilities; the role of the Church of England within the Anglican Communion; and the wider Church catholic".


The Church of England has reiterated "significant concerns" about Christians becoming Freemasons amid renewed controversy about the presence of the secretive organization at the heart of the British establishment. Christopher Cocksworth, the bishop of Coventry, flagged up a 1987 report issued by the church that highlighted a "number of very fundamental reasons to question the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity".

The bishop was responding to a question tabled at the church's General Synod, meeting this week in London, which sought information on services celebrating last year's 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) held in "a number" of Anglican cathedrals.

Cocksworth said such data was not collected or monitored centrally, but added that cathedral services were required under canon law not to contravene church doctrine.

Michael Baker, UGLE's director of communications, also said the information was not "to hand", but added: "Services held in various cathedrals were normal services according to the prayer book and did not deviate from normal Anglican practice.

"The Anglican synod has never come to a conclusion on the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity."


CofE Bishops are being chosen for their management skills rather than their intellect, a Church of England report has warned.

The scathing assessment of the CofE's 42 top bishops raised several causes for 'anxiety' over the appointments system.

One was that Church politics had led to the selection of 'bland and inoffensive' bishops who offer 'false unity'.

Another was that an obsession with management skills 'encouraged a pragmatic approach to decisions that ought to be principled' and which could 'weaken the intellectual and moral authority of the House of Bishops.'


The Jerusalem municipality has issued fines of millions of dollars to properties owned by the various churches and the United Nations, amid a political dispute with the finance ministry of Israel.

The Anglican Church in Jerusalem must pay $2 million (7 million shekels).

The city's municipality cited a new legal opinion which states that the properties are not legally defined as places of worship and therefore are not entitled to exemptions from property tax.

The municipal authority said in a statement on Sunday that it has started collecting over NIS 650 million ($188 million) from some 887 properties in Jerusalem belonging to various churches and UN agencies, after notifying the prime minister's office as well as the finance, interior and foreign ministries of the plan around two weeks ago, the Times of Israel reported.


Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke's ministry, Christ for All Nations (CfaN), says 845,875 Nigerians accepted Jesus Christ during his final farewell crusade held late last year in Nigeria.

"These new converts are being ushered into the 8,000 participating churches, to be followed up and discipled into the kingdom of God," the ministry website claimed.

The 78-year-old Bonnke shared his farewell messages in Lagos in November 2017, drawing 1.7 million people to evangelistic meetings held over five days.

"We utilize a sophisticated follow-up system, with hundreds of computers for data input and tens of thousands of cell phone calls each day welcoming the new converts into the kingdom of God, introducing them to the particular church that they will attend and to the pastor as well," said Peter Vandenberg, vice president of CfaN.

According to Christ for All Nations, the effects of the crusade are still reverberating across the country months later.

"Hundreds of participating pastors reported that on the first Sunday following the crusade, they were flooded with thousands of new church members," Vandenberg said on CfaN's website.

"This phenomenon has been repeated Sunday after Sunday since then with hundreds more arriving in their churches each weekend. Glory to God!"

"That gave me faith for the rest of the world," exclaimed an enthusiastic Bonnke. "If Jesus can save a million in a meeting, it will take less than one year to get America saved!"

The renowned German-born evangelist founded Christ for All Nations in 1974, and since then over 77 million people (and counting) have accepted Christ through the ministry.

Bonnke says such staggering numbers are only possible through the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.


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