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A Church with a Future
(or, Why There's Nobody Under 30 in Your Church and What to Do About It)
By Brian Brown
Special to Virtueonline
May 22, 2013
Much has been made of the Millennial generation (today's twenty-somethings) with regard to its religious affiliation...or lack thereof. Depending on which study you consider, as many as 82% of people under 30 don't attend church regularly. One famous statistic claims that 75% of young people today lose their faith in college. Certainly, if you visit a mainline church you won't see many young adults in the pews. And the megachurches appear to have gutted Christianity in their frantic effort to make it appeal to young people.
But others dispute these apparent trends. A recent article on The Atlantic's website suggests that whatever might be "wrong" with young people, it's just because they're young-they'll grow out of it. And after all, whatever New Life and Saddleback are selling, they seem to be moving a lot of product.
Congratulations, gay marriage campaigners - you have completely destroyed the meaning of social progress
By Brendan O'Neill
May 22nd, 2013
I know the only thing you're allowed to say about gay marriage is "Yay." and that if you say anything else you're a weirdo hateful bigot. But permit to make just one non-yay-based observation about it. Which is this: gay marriage has utterly transformed, for the worse, the meaning of social progress.
Throughout modern history, big, democratic, civil rightsy leaps forward have had two things in common. First, they were demanded by very large and often very angry sections of the public; and second, it took ages and ages for the political classes to concede to them. And when they did eventually cave in and legislate for the new liberty or opportunity being demanded by the hordes, they tended to do so begrudgingly, often while wearing a sneer.
EM = 'Equal' Marriage = Delicious Doublespeak
By Lisa Severine Nolland, PhD
May 21st, 2013
This bill, which claims to be about 'equality', is actually anything but 'equal'. In fact, in a stroke of genius à la Orwell, terms are deployed to manipulate public opinion and ensure certain outcomes. The process is rushed and truncated, with those with other views ridiculed and marginalized. Winning is what counts. On closer inspection, however, the terms used mean either something rather different or the complete opposite. 'Equal' marriage is the one thing SSM is not.
THE PRE-EMINENCE OF CHRIST: Ephesians 1:20-23
By Ted Schroder,
May 26, 2013
The Sunday after Pentecost in the Christian calendar is celebrated as Trinity Sunday. The coming of the Holy Spirit in power, and the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, caused the Christian church to develop a Trinitarian understanding of the nature of God: that "there is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts or passions; of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." (Article I, Anglican Articles of Religion) This understanding was enshrined by the early Church Councils in the Apostles', Nicene and Athanasian Creeds to clarify the Apostolic Faith in the face of false teaching. Modern Unitarians do not accept this Trinitarian understanding of God, and seem to have little interest in God. Their primary interest is in social justice and human affirmation.
Anglican Leaders Sign Statement on Boy Scout Policy
By David W. Virtue
May 21, 2013
A number of leading North American Anglican leaders have signed the following letter in support of the Boy Scout policy prohibiting open homosexuality.
The following statement was released earlier today and reads:
"We strongly support the Boy Scouts of America current prohibition on open homosexuality and retaining it without revision. Nearly 70 percent of BSA troops are hosted by churches and religious institutions. Upholding traditional morality is vital for sustaining this partnership, for protecting Scout members, and for ensuring BSA has a strong future. A proposal from the BSA board to prohibit "discrimination" based on "sexual orientation or preference" for BSA members potentially would open the Scouts to a wide range of open sexual expressions. In our current culture, it is more important than ever for our churches to protect and provide moral nurture for young people and for the Scouts. We implore members of the upcoming BSA Council to affirm the BSA's present policy, which the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed, and which has served BSA well."
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Denounces Apostle Paul in Sermon in Curacao
Jefferts Schori lauds demonic possessed slave girl, says Paul failed to see her gift of "spiritual awareness"
By David W. Virtue DD
May 21, 2013
In what one blogger described as "the worst sermon ever", the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church told listeners, in a sermon she delivered in Curacao, that the Apostle Paul betrayed his understanding of the faith he had been given and was guilty of bigotry in handling a case of demonic possession found in a slave girl.
The account in Acts 16 reads thus: "Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.' And this she did for many days.
"But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities." Acts 16:16-19 (KJV)
Justification: Anglican Alignment With the Apostle James
Parts 2 and 3
By Roger Salter
Special to Virtueonline
May 21, 2013
James Buchanan (1804 - 1870) was a Scottish pastor and theologian. Renowned for his powerful preaching he eventually went on to succeed Dr. Thomas Chalmers as Professor of Systematic Theology in New College, Edinburgh. Among his many titles the most enduring are The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit and, the subject for his "Cunningham Lectures" (1866), Justification which, in his Introductory Essay in 1961, Dr. J.I. Packer described as "still the best text-book on its subject, from the standpoint of the classic covenant theology, that the student can find". Buchanan's invaluable treatise is now available from Solid Ground Christian Books.
James Buchanan on Anglicanism
CALIFORNIA: Turlock Anglican congregation walks to new church after closing service
By Sue Nowicki
THE MODESTO BEE
May 19, 2013
The sign outside St. Francis Anglican Church reads "think FORGIVE act." Action and forgiveness were the themes of the day, as the parishioners gathered Sunday for one last time at their church on Main Street before walking several blocks away to begin a new church in rented facilities.
The congregation opened its closing service with "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," which includes the words, "Thou art giving and forgiving ... teach us how to love each other."
It was especially poignant because the St. Francis facility has been in a tug-of-war since 2007, when 40 of the 47 parishes in the San Joaquin Diocese voted to leave the national Episcopal church over theological differences. The departing parishes, including St. Francis, and the diocese were sued by the Episcopal church in 2008 and 2009 in a bid to regain those properties.
TANZANIA: Three thousand attend enthronement of Tanzania's new Primate
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby honoured at his fellow Primate's installation
By Bella Zulu
May 20, 1013
Around 3,000 people from Tanzania, other parts of Africa and beyond gathered at Dodoma's Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on Saturday (18 May) for the installation of the Anglican Church of Tanzania's new Primate.
The enthronement of the Bishop of Mpwapwa Dr Jacob Erasto Chimeledya was described by one church worker as "like a dream" because of the number of dignitaries in attendance. These included the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion Archbishop Justin Welby and his wife Caroline.
Other notable guests at the service included the Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala and representatives from other Anglican Provinces including Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. As Dodoma is the country's political capital, the service was also attended by many government leaders including the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete.
Archbishop of Myanmar: "God kept me from committing suicide"
By ACNS staff
May 19, 2013
The Archbishop of Myanmar, Stephen Than Myint Oo has revealed that, during his time in prison, he planned to kill himself and that it was God's intervention that stopped him.
In the latest Anglican World magazine, Archbishop Stephen tells journalist Mark Brolly that 30 years ago, after two years imprisonment by the ruling military junta, he prepared to end his life.
Religious Group Blocks Laws that Could Stop other Kermit Gosnells
By John Lomperis
May 19, 2013
One of the individuals honored by RCRC's recent celebration of "all" abortion providers. RCRC still insists that abortion clinics must be trusted to self-regulate. (Photo credit: Dallas Morning News)
In early May, the trial of Kermit Gosnell was drawing to a close. Our nation was gripped by the revelations of how for years, this notorious abortionist had enjoyed free reign to do his bloody work in horrifically unsanitary, effectively unregulated conditions, resulting in the murder of a number of newly born-alive babies and one mother, along with the countless human beings similarly killed inside the womb.
Serious questions were being raised about what our legal regime and social culture of abortion-on-demand had unleashed, and the moral inconsistency being horrified by Gosnell's crimes while supporting pre-birth abortion.
AUSTRALIA: Anglican Bishop of Grafton quits over 'failings' in child abuse complaints
By Nick Ralston
THE SYDNEY HERALD
May 18, 2013
An Anglican bishop has resigned over his failure to properly pass on child sex abuse complaints at a children's home on the NSW north coast.
Keith Slater has stood down as the Bishop of the Diocese of Grafton, apologising for his "past failings" in the management of claims of abuse at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore.
"I apologise to those who bravely came forward to tell their story of abuse and were turned away," he said in a statement. "I acknowledge the pain and further damage that this response may have caused."
In 2006 the Anglican Diocese of Grafton received a number of claims alleging acts of "physical, psychological and sexual abuse" at the home between the 1940s and the 1980s.
Why we must Care
A letter from Bishop John Guernsey
May 19, 2013
The murder trial of the Philadelphia abortionist, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, has been of great interest and deep concern to me. I wish I could say it had captured the attention of the nation, but, as you may know, it was largely ignored by the media. (The executive editor of the Washington Post said he hadn't been aware of the story.) The trial was sickening, not because of the filth in the clinic, not because of the body parts of fetuses in jars, not because of the reprehensibly irresponsible medical care which caused the death of 41-year old Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, VA. The trial wasn't sickening because it showed something exceptional, but because it showed what abortion is and does.
Interfaith Event Teaches That U.S. Is 'Aiding' Oppression
Episcopal priest says Islamic leaders 'changed my life and thinking'
By Ryan Mauro
May 20, 2013
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) returned to All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California on May 5 to address the topic of radicalization in the wake of the Boston bombings. The church leader said there is a "crisis" of "Islamophobia" in America. MPAC denounced violence but said terrorism is a response to the U.S. "aiding and abetting oppression" at the behest of the military-industrial complex.
At the May 5 event, church leader Rev. Ed Bacon said that he "literally had my life changed and my thinking changed because of these two leaders," referring to MPAC leaders Maher Hathout and Salam al-Marayati. He went so far as to say that the Islamic Center of Southern California, where Hathout is a spokesman and Muslim Brotherhood texts are used, is "my mosque." At the event, both MPAC leaders denounced terrorism and said Muslims must provide a counter-narrative to the violent themes that radicalize. Hathout said that too many Muslims are "soft" in confronting the radical ideas and have a "gang" mentality where they automatically side with other Muslims against non-Muslims.
Sin and the Distorted Image
By Jim Tonkowich
Institute on Religion and Democracy
May 20, 2013
This week Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of three infants who were born alive in his clinic. In addition, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient and more than 200 other criminal counts.
As the Gosnell trial was going on, former employees of a Texas clinic came forward with stories even more gruesome than the testimony given in the Gosnell trial.
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