"It is possible to be a very successful church leader, and, at the same time, be a false teacher. It is very hard for pastors to challenge their congregation with the truth of God when it is a truth their listeners do not want to hear. Many clergy have lost their positions when they have preached unpopular messages. They have to endure suffering and criticism. We all want our prejudices confirmed and our egos stroked. But we do so at the peril of denying Jesus Christ". Extract from "Inward Light" by Ted Schroder, Amelia Island Publishing.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This week the Anglican Church in Canada pushed the whole communion closer to the precipice of schism.
The council of the General Synod, meeting in Mississauga, Ontario crafted and passed two motions on same-sex blessings that the church's chief governing body will be asked to affirm at General Synod when it meets at the end of May. General Synod is made up of delegates from each of the church's 30 dioceses. It is the church's main legislative and governing body. It meets every three years.
The council has argued that the blessing of same-sex unions is within the authority of a diocesan synod and that any Canadian Anglican diocese, if the bishop agrees, has the authority to perform such blessings.
The blessing of same-sex unions has torn apart the Diocese of New Westminster and agreed to rites, after the bishop, Michael Ingham asked three times by the diocesan synod, to authorize such blessings.
The action by this revisionist diocese and its bishop has reverberated around the Anglican Communion with some 21 provinces declaring themselves out of communion with the renegade bishop.
The action of the Anglican Church in Canada will totally pre-empt the work of the Eames Commission, and should the church, in May, officially bless such unions it will declare, by its actions, that the Eames Commission decision, whatever it is, will not be worth the paper it is printed on.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will be forced to make a unilateral decision, if he is not totally blind to the shenanigans of ACC general secretary John Peterson, to go with the Global South bishops who are champing at the bit, most of whom have already declared themselves out of communion with New Westminster.
The Day of Reckoning for the Anglican Communion may be closer at hand than we all think. (See more stories in today's digest).
SARASOTA PRIEST JIM MURPHY RESIGNS. Fr. Jim Murphy of Church of the Nativity has given his resignation to Bishop Lipscomb and the Episcopal Church and is joining the AMiA. According to one report, "Jim was the boldest witness we had in the Diocese and it will be a sad loss for us but will be an incredible gain for our Lord and AMiA."
According to sources, traditional and conservative priests and laity are divided over the actions and decision of Bishop Lipscomb. "He is walking down the middle of the road. In doing so, he is putting a tremendous onus upon the faithful. I believe this will back fire and will break the back's of the faithful and he will lose their support in time," said one priest.
The Rev. Dr. Kevin Donlon, another priest who fled ECUSA for the AMIA wrote Virtuosity to say that "nowhere in public statements or writings has Murphy said he was resigning because the Episcopal Church has "denied Jesus the Christ" for elevating a non-celibate gay priest as the bishop of New Hampshire. The fact of the matter is that the spokesperson for the Diocese does not accurately portray Fr. Murphy's letter. Fr. Murphy states very clearly the reason on page three of his letter, which is that he is going to take Bishop Lipscomb's invitation to find another bishop. "I can no longer exercise my priestly vocation in the current context with a clear conscience - be that to our Lord or to my ordination vows. As surely as if they were in attendance at Jesus' crucifixion, a majority of the General Convention of ECUSA has once again begun to torture, insult, humiliate and kill our Savior. Even with the surpassing knowledge of the end of the story, of Jesus' saving grace, ECUSA has denied Jesus the Christ. This is not "the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ" as received by Christendom. The majority of ECUSA's ruling council therefore stands guilty of apostasy, of denying the faith of the Christian Church."
Now what is truly tragic about ECUSA's adoption of pansexuality is not that it has pitted revisionist bishops against orthodox priests and vise versa, it has done something more evil - it has pitted orthodox bishops against orthodox priests bringing discredit to the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What evil glee Satan must experience watching Bishops Chuck Murphy (SC) and Ed Salmon (SC) going at it over a piece of property regardless of who is right. Satan wins, (at least in the short term) and the church's credibility is once more called into question and its character stained.
The truth is, godly believers are being forced into confronting one another by ECUSA's revisionists and its Presiding Bishop because he and they have no doctrine or morals to sustain them, and brother is being pitted against brother in an unholy war that must break the heart of God.
This writer makes no claim to knowing who is more right in all these battles, I simply report the news, but my heart breaks too, when I see godly men fight and scrap over properties, while souls go unsaved. The evil that revisionist Episcopal bishops have wrought and visited on this church only the Last Judgement will reveal on 'that day' …and it can't come soon enough.
NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS. A week after Robinson's consecration, Fr. Don Wilson acting minister of the Church of the Redeemer in Rochester was fired for refusing to accept Robinson's authority as bishop. He had been a priest for 47 years.
"I've never been in trouble before," says Wilson. "My oath was the authority of scripture. The second part of the oath was to teach it. And the third part of the oath was to protect the people from strange and erroneous doctrines. Then way down the list it says, 'Be subject to the bishops, their godly judgments and godly admonitions.' And I didn't find any in him."
And the advice he offers other congregations around the country who don' t agree with the Robinson's consecration is to stand. "Just don't accept it. Take a stand against it. Do not cooperate with it. Do not support it. Do not recognize it," says Wilson.
The Durham Evangelical Church (DEC) is no longer a voting site for local elections because of complaints from Durham residents. This came in the wake of DEC hosting the alternative service for pastoral care during the Robinson consecration. (Titusone BLOG)
A married couple in the Diocese of New Hampshire has been prohibited from receiving communion because they will not recognize Robinson as their bishop. Until recently, they would receive communion from a LEM when they would visit the wife’s elderly mother at a nearby nursing home. Their vicar caught wind of it and said that if they were not willing to receive in the church, they could not receive from the LEM. In a letter to the couple the vicar wrote, that because they were receiving from the LEM, “It saddens me that you are now breaking communion, that is common union, with us and do not recognize Bishop Robinson as our duly elected bishop.” So much for meeting people where they are. (Titusone BLOG)
GRISWOLD GRACIOUS SPEAK
From his latest word in Episcopal Life comes this. "Probably because I attended an Episcopal Church, I used to dread this time of year. Because I knew that the sermons or writings of Episcopal ministers would become especially difficult to listen to or to read. With each season of the church year we are given a particular lens for looking at the patterns of our lives. Wilderness is a theme of the Lenten season, and a symbol of the in-between place in which we find ourselves from time to time: a place between endings and beginnings, between the shift in consciousness which shatters an old pattern and the emergence of a new way of perceiving and being. Lent can take us to the wilderness and remind us that our lives are made up of multiple moments of leaving and arriving, of yearning and fulfillment, of losing and finding, of dying and rising."
The key words are "the shift in consciousness which shatters an old pattern and the emergence of a new way of perceiving and being." Here Griswold elevates his mystic paganism and vaguely Jungian notions and carries us to his plain with Sufi Rumi. Is the "new way of perceiving and being" an oblique reference to ECUSA's ongoing 'discovery' of pansexualism and panentheism? If so, it is shattering the church with more 'losing than finding', more 'dying than rising' more departing than joining.
SCHISM WORSE THAN HERESY. A second bishop has dropped out of the sky to announce that schism is worse than heresy. The Bishop of Atlanta, J. Neil Alexander wrote in a letter published in DioLog the diocese's semi-monthly newsletter that "schism breeds schism. It always has. I hold in mind the great wisdom of the ancient church: if you have to choose between heresy and schism, choose heresy. For heresy is, in the end, just an opinion and opinions come and go. Schism tears the fabric of the Body of Christ and is irreparable. For those deeply committed to the body of Christ, breaking fellowship is never a faithful option."
Alexander follows in the footsteps of the Bishop of Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee who told his diocese's annual meeting that it's better to live with heresy than split the denomination over homosexuality
It is interesting to note that both men ADMIT that there is heresy in the Episcopal Church, they are not even bothering to deny it.
INTEGRITY RIPPED OFF IN UGANDA
Integrity USA, ECUSA's official pansexual organization for sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman, announced, at its website, that the Rev. Erich Kasirye, one of the founders of Integrity Uganda in 2000 had been enriching himself at the expense of the poor and downtrodden and those suffering with AIDS. He was involved in a number of scams in order to raise money for himself personally using his connection with Integrity Uganda, said a joint statement.
"He solicited funds from a number of organizations and individuals claiming to have been imprisoned because of his connection to Integrity Uganda, a claim which has turned out not to have been true," wrote Michael Hopkins, ECUSA queer priest and Integrity leader.
Not only was Kasirye skimming money he has now publicly renounced his connection with Integrity to Uganda church officials and turned over to them the Kitemu Community Center, which has been the base of Integrity's operation in Uganda. Kitemu Center was built largely with funds raised by Integrity USA.
This is a serious blow to Integrity's desire to gain a foothold on the African continent, and probably its last. The question is was Kasirye playing Integrity USA for suckers all along? The Anglican Church of Uganda maintains that the organization was an elaborate confidence scam since its formation. The former Primate Livingston Nkoyoyo called Integrity Uganda "a fiction and a sham".
A LOS ANGELES PRIEST WAS ARRESTED for "lewd and lascivious acts" with a 13-year old child, according to The Living Church magazine. Jaime Yong Patino, 53 was arrested as he was walking in to see LA Bishop Jon Bruno, who was a former Burbank police officer himself. Patino was deposed and arrested at the same time. Said Bruno; "it is the policy of the Episcopal Church to deal proactively and vigilantly with any and all types of sexual misconduct and to work constantly for its prevention."
It is Virtuosity's contention that this is but the tip of the pansexual iceberg. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
I AM POSTING A NUMBER OF STORIES FOR YOU TODAY INCLUDING porn advocacy revelations found in the March 2 edition of Sewanee Purple, the student paper of The University of the South at Sewanee.
There is an article, covering the entire top half of the page, on the use of condoms. This article not only urged students to "be safe" but included instructions of the most graphic and detailed nature about how they should be put on, information comparing various brands and styles, and advice about what to do if they 'failed'.
A Virtuosity reader and rector who spotted the outrage wrote saying; "I found it doubly outrageous coming from the student newspaper of a church-owned institution, which was founded, with the stated objective of fostering Christian virtue."
The University of the South at Sewanee is the Episcopal Church's only university and ostensibly a Christian institution. The rest of the newspaper is just as dismal, he wrote. "There is a section entitled 'Purple Personals' which includes ads which are downright lewd. Elsewhere there is a 'man on the street' poll with the headline "The Day the Porn Died" (followed by a sexually suggestive subtitle) and an interview entitled "Atheism on the Mountain".
You can read the full story in today's digest.
PET COMMUNION AND BARK MITZVAHS. Mary Wilkinson went to church at St. Francis Episcopal in Stamford, Ct for the first time in 10 years because she heard there would be Holy Communion for pets. She waited "in line behind three panting dogs to receive the host" and to receive a special blessing for her cat. "I like that the other parishioners are animal people." Not to be outdone by Christians, it was also reported that some Jewish temples are adding "bark mitzvahs" to there liturgical offerings. Have we reached the tail end yet?
VIRTUSOITY WEBSITE. Many of you have noticed the new Google ads on the left-hand side of our website. Clicking these ads provides a small revenue stream for Virtuosity, so please visit any sites of interest. But be advised that Virtuosity does not have direct control over the ads that appear. However we can exclude certain ads from appearing on the site. If you find an ad that is offering a service or advocating an opinion that is contrary to our philosophy, please send us an email with the URL. We will then add that link to the black list. Email should be sent to email@example.com. Thank you for your help.
CORRECTIONS. In my last digest a figure from the Diocese of Dallas vote in favor of joining the Network was in error. The final vote count in Executive Council was 14 votes in favor (not 21 as published) for provisional affiliation, 7 votes opposed. A companion resolution, which passed 4 to 1, was correct. An ACNS news release of a meeting of the CAPA bishops in Nigeria next year saying it would cost $500,000 is in error. "It's less than a quarter of that," said a knowledgeable insider. This is yet another example of liberal spin. My story on the Via Media Groups who will meet in Atlanta incorrectly stated that David Booth Beers would be present, is not true Virtuosity has been told. Correction so noted.
WELCOME TO VIRTUOSITY. By the end of next week everyone who made a donation to Virtuosity in 2003 will have received a personal receipt and thank you letter. If you have not heard from me, please drop me a personal note to dvirtue236@AOL.COM and I will rectify that.
Please know that your financial support and encouragement makes this ministry worthwhile. This is a critical year in the life of the Anglican Communion and VIRTUOSITY is pulling out all the stops to keep you informed on a daily basis.
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