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The Church of England's Bishops and the Pilling Report
By Phil Ashey
December 4, 2013
The Pilling Report (PR) recently released in the Church of England, authorized by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, is no surprise. Despite assurances in advance from leading CofE spokesmen that the PR would contain no liturgies for blessing same sex civil partnerships, and that reports leaked to the contrary were sheer speculation, Recommendation 16 of the PR states clearly: "Recommendation 16.
We believe that there can be circumstances where a priest, with the agreement of the relevant PCC, should be free to mark the formation of a permanent same sex relationship in a public service (emphasis added) but should be under no obligation to do so. Some of us do not believe that this can be extended to same sex marriage. (Paragraphs 120, 380-3) [Pilling Report Page 151]"
A Statement from Archbishop Duncan on the Pilling Report
The Church must not waiver from its received teaching
December 4th, 2013
The Pilling Report, a document presented to the Church of England by its "Working Group on Human Sexuality," is reflective of the season in which Anglicanism in the West finds itself. There are certainly elements of the report that are to be commended:
In a day when the temptation is to partisanship and easy answers, there is a balance of views and perspectives within the report that is commendable.
The report rightly emphasizes that fear and hatred have no place in the Church's response to any persons, and calls upon Christians to show Christ's love to those living with same-sex attraction.
A Hindu Monk and a Baptist Preacher got married...
by Jeff Gissing
November 29, 2013
Rev. J. Dana Trent and husband Fred Eaker (photo credit: Saffron Cross)
About one in four Americans (27%) is intentionally sharing their married life with someone whose religious belief system is different from their own. If difference within traditions like Protestantism is included, the number jumps to 37%. This emerging trend is consistent with the generally agreed-upon trajectory of our culture. We are moving into a period of intense plurality. Difference-in all its forms-is pushing its way into the lives, churches, schools, and neighborhoods of Americans.
As people face these new experiences they often look for resources to help them navigate their new reality. This has produced what the Huffington Post calls a "mini-boom of guides to interfaith marriage and family." A case in point is J. Dana Trent's recently released book, Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk.
On Conversion and New Birth
By Bruce Atkinson PhD
Special to Virtueonline
December 4, 2013
This article was written partly at the suggestion of David Virtue and partly as a result of an extended conversation with my daughter Amanda Catherine, whose writing skills are more advanced than my own, and whose Master's thesis for her MA in Religious Studies at the University of Georgia in 2012 was entitled: "Pauline Conversion and the Resurrection Narrative: A Psychological Case Study."
I know of two kinds of Christians and both of these show evidence of great commitment to Christ and of growth in spiritual maturity and fruits of the Spirit. One type of Christian has never experienced a "Damascus Road moment" or similar conversion experience but their lives show a gradual growth in spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Then there are those who can point to a particular past moment in their lives of deep repentance and "born again" experience, with God showing up in a merciful and life-changing way. They will never forget this time and it has proved to be a powerful springboard for personal healing and growth.
REAL IDENTITY: Where Bible and Life Meet
Sixty Days of Deeper Devotion in Genesis
(A Crossroads Deeper Devotion book)
By Thaddeus Barnum
Wesleyan Publishing House, 352pp, Kindle $7.99
Available at Amazon.com here: http://tinyurl.com/ladnx98
Reviewed by David W. Virtue DD
December 3, 2013
Few theologians have the ability to adequately link the Bible with life. Too often what theologians have to say seems disconnected from the real everyday world where most of us live. Often the Bible is used as a sledge hammer or tool to win arguments or to state or restate profound truths about what it is we believe. Of course, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with declaring and restating "the faith once for all delivered to the saints", but there are times when we want to hear how God's Word relates to our everyday lives.
When Biblical Truths Collide on TV
Truth and falsity about PTSD
By Harry M. Covert
Special to Virtueonline
December 3, 2013
Word has arrived, not ex cathedra mind you, but from denizens of self-appointed ecclesiastical heights who have found money-changers in the temples perfectly proper and accountable to no one, heavenly or otherwise.
Latest from these lofty ones is mere bunk. Anyone with a half-grain of sense knows the proclamations emanating from Fort Worth, Texas are more than skeptical and do harm to Christian ministry.
Okay. Here's the latest:
Sydney Archbishop Absents Himself from Consecration of Heterodox Woman Bishop
New Grafton Bishop holds unorthodox views on human sexuality and the atonement; unacceptable to Archbishop Glenn Davies
By David W. Virtue
December 3, 2013
Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies will not preside over the ordination of the first female bishop of an Anglican diocese in Australia because she is a woman.
Archbishop Davies phoned Dr. Sarah Macneil when she was elected the new Bishop of Grafton diocese in NSW, Australia. He offered her his congratulations and welcomed her as a bishop in the province. They had a "good conversation" in which he explained that, "for reasons of conscience, I would not be able to participate in your consecration."
Embracing A True Identity
By Josh Glaser
November 20, 2013
When we have a faulty view of our identity, it breeds anxiety, depression, sin, and hiding. These disguise themselves as our friends while we struggle to stay afloat. And the cycle of sin, remorse, shame, depression, more sin, more darkness is wearying. Take heart. God's desire for us isn't that we'd stay stuck and without hope. Freedom doesn't have to be a dream. The work on the cross makes it a reality.
The articles below, excerpts from Josh's blog, examine these ideas and more.
Gold to Stones
Irish woman becomes first female bishop in UK and Ireland
Pat Storey consecrated Bishop of Meath and Kildare
The Rt. Rev. Pat Storey after her ordination and consecration as Bishop of Meath & Kildare at Christ Church in Dublin today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/Irish Times
November 30, 2013
The first woman bishop in the UK and Ireland has been consecrated by the Church of Ireland. Right Rev Pat Storey (53), former rector of St Augustine's in Derry, made history when she was chosen by the Church of Ireland as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare last September.
The married mother of two was consecrated at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin in a two-hour service this afternoon led by the Archbishop of Dublin, The Most Rev Dr. Michael Jackson.
In a homily the Rev Nigel Parker, guest preacher, paid tribute to her. "Pat, it has been our privilege over the years to see you respond to our Father's love with love, trust and obedience," he said.
The Pilling Report: what it says, what it means, what we should do
by Andrew Symes
November 30th, 2013
The last time I wrote about the Pilling Report I speculated that it was in a locked vault waiting for the Bishops to discuss it before it was released. But suddenly, we were told that its publication was "imminent", and then there it was, out in the open for us all to discuss. We can speculate about the timing of the release, but its best to look at the document in front of us and ask: what does it say? What does it mean? And what should we do, especially those of us who disagree profoundly with the report's conclusions?
Rev. Melissa Skelton elected bishop of Vancouver-area Anglican diocese
Seattle parish head known to be progressive on moral and religious issues
BY DOUGLAS TODD,
DECEMBER 1, 2013
Rev. Melissa Skelton elected bishop of Vancouver-area Anglican diocese.
The female American priest chosen as the new bishop for the Vancouver-area Anglican diocese says she attracts people to her church who have been "wounded" by other Christian traditions.
Rev. Melissa Skelton, who leads St. John's Episcopal parish in Seattle, Washington, was elected a bishop in Canada on the third ballot at a vote held Saturday at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in downtown Vancouver.
Skelton will replace retired Anglican bishop Michael Ingham, who was at the centre of a storm within the 60-million-member worldwide Anglican communion when he became the first Anglican bishop to formally support the blessing of same-sex couples.
The Episcopal Church's Failed HIV/AIDS Policy
Britain's public health chief lays blame for the epidemic on anal intercourse and promiscuity
Unprotected gay sex on rise in US
Global gay HIV reaches epidemic proportions
By David W. Virtue
November 30, 2103
It is now increasingly apparent that the Episcopal Church's policy on HIV/AIDS with its focus on "stigma", "classism", "discrimination", "message of welcome", "being shunned by family, peers and the wider community, "poor treatment in healthcare and education settings", "erosion of rights", "psychological damage and negative effect on the success of HIV testing and treatment," has failed to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS. The church has failed to address the one issue that could end the spread of HIV/AIDS - sexual behavior.
A joint statement by Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for World AIDS Day 2013 augured that the "this nation's first comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy, aimed at reducing new infections, increasing access to care, and eliminating HIV-related health disparities, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), though challenging in ways worthy of continued government attention, offers new opportunities for access to health care and prevention and treatment services for millions of Americans, especially those most at-risk for HIV transmission.
Karen Armstrong's 9/11 British Empire Blowback Thesis
by Andrew Harrod
November 28, 2013
"We did this," popular British religion writer Karen Armstrong said in a November 21, 2013, keynote address at Georgetown University in reference to her country's imperial history and Al Qaeda's September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Speaking to Georgetown's Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) Armstrong clearly showed with bizarre, anti-Western self-accusatory explanations for jihadist violence how "I like to turn the finger against myself first."
"We have all done terrible things," Armstrong stated at ACMCU's 20th anniversary conference on "Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century: Challenges & Opportunities." Armstrong in particular was "very conscious as a person of the British Empire" about how "we are all implicated" in problems afflicting Muslims globally. Armstrong referenced Anglo-French involvement during World War I in determining Middle Eastern borders and Pakistan's "almost impossible" borders derived from Indian partition in 1947. Armstrong also considered "our Palestinian mess" as a British sin inciting Muslim violence today.
CEEC stands with dissenting report of the Bishop of Birkenhead
Statement of the Executive Committee of the Church of England Evangelical Council
November 29th, 2013
The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) acknowledges the hard work of those who have contributed to the production of the Pilling Report and notes that the Archbishops are clear that "it is not a new policy statement from the Church of England".
More time will be needed to consider the Report before giving a detailed response and we are very aware that, in relation to its recommendations, "how they were arrived at is as important as their content" (paragraph 490).
'A crucifix is now just a fashion statement and has lost religious meaning'
Justin Welby says the purpose of wearing a cross has been lost
Archbishop of Canterbury says the sign has been trivialised
He said it was once a 'badge of shame' which is now popular
Christian leader made claims in a foreword of a new book
By EMILY DAVIES
November 29, 2013
The Most Rev Justin Welby claimed the cross has been trivialised and is now a sign of beauty as well as faith
Wearing the Crucifix is now a fashion statement with no religious meaning, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said the Cross has been trivialised and ceases to shock or challenge people.
Archbishop Welby wrote that the symbol should represent the 'deepest encounter and radical change' for Christians.
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