jQuery Slider

You are here

End Time Losers * Albany Bishop Nixes B012 in his Diocese * Heather Cook Fails Get out of Jail Card * Georgia Bishop Resigns * More Legal Hoops for DofSC * St. Paul's, Darien in Legal Fight * TEC & UMC Closer to Full Communion * CofE Numbers decline

"I believe B012 is misguided, heavily flawed and will ultimately do far more damage than good. As a result, I cannot in good conscience as a bishop in God's holy Church agree to what is being asked for in B012." --- Bishop William Love

Regret looks back. Fear looks around. Worry looks in. Faith looks up. --- Nicky Gumbel

You're only as healthy as the cells in your body. The same is true in churches. Your church will only be as healthy as the cells within it. And your small groups are those cells. They help build God's purposes into every heart, every group and every ministry. --- Rick Warren

"What we want, if men become Christians at all, is to keep them in the state of mind I call 'Christianity And'. You know--Christianity and the Crisis, Christianity and the New Psychology, Christianity and the New Order, Christianity and Faith Healing, Christianity and Psychical Research, Christianity and Vegetarianism, Christianity and Spelling Reform. If they must be Christians let them at least be Christians with a difference. Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian colouring." ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

"It's time to face up to the harms the Sexual Revolution has caused. Whether you're male or female, straight or gay, young or old, religious or irreligious: what kind of a world do you want to help create? A world in which every child has a legally recognized right to a relationship with both parents? Or a world in which some children have these legally recognized rights and others do not? Or more radically still, a world in which no children at all have legally recognized rights to their own parents?" --- Jennifer Roback Morse, The Sexual State, 2018

The best research suggests that around 1.5% to 2% of the population [in the UK] experienced settled attraction to those of the same sex, and the most recent statistics on same-sex marriage since the 2013 Equality in Marriage Act confirm this. But the proportion in the C of E appears to be much higher. Some have suggested that as many as 10% of Anglican clergy are gay; a friend told me that they reckoned the figure was 20% in the London area; in Southwark one clergyperson told me that in a deanery of 15, only 5 were not gay. (The C of E is in this regard in line with other institutions; the BBC recently reported that 12% of its senior management were LGBT+, as are just under 9% of MPs in Parliament.) --- Ian Paul, theologian

"Recent statistics show that The Episcopal Church is spiraling downward. I can't help but believe that God has removed His blessing from this Church. Unless something changes, The Episcopal Church is going to die." -- Bishop William Love

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
November 16, 2018

If there is one group of people I have come to loathe and despise in recent years, it is all the End Time speculators that now drift into my/our purview. They whisper that if things continue to get worse in America, then clearly the Lord must return to rescue white middle class folk who have lost their homes to earthquakes, fires and water and a nation ravaged by the culture wars.

The arrogance of such utterances can be found in a paragraph like this; "ALTHOUGH end-time events were going to be fulfilled between 2008 and 2012, this book explains why God has moved things forward by seven years. It reveals why God is now going to extend mercy to billions of people so that they can live into a new age that follows World War III."

Don't believe any of it. Most of the end timers are old white men who have seen their lives and ministries slowly evaporate and to pump themselves up, they want to tell you that they have heard the voice of God whispering in their ears; conversely, they are playing games with Scripture to predict when the Lord is going to return on their say so. One is self-proclaimed Christian numerologist David Meade, but there are a host of others, all of whom have falsely predicted when the end would come and then when it didn't come to pass, got a newer revelation.

This appalling American arrogance, (it used to be more of a British dispensational thing) has a become an industry where you can buy books on the End Times like the Left Behind series that line the pockets of speculators, just in case they need the money if the Lord should tarry beyond their self-appointed time line.

Of course, there is one group of people who hope the Lord doesn't return just yet, and that is the health and wealth prosperity preachers who would find themselves bereft of their $50 million jet planes. They cruise around the world soaking the poor to enrich themselves with fake promises of prosperity if only the gullible would line their pockets.

At the turn of the century, China barely had any Christians; today there are thought to be about 130 million Chinese Christians in a population of 1.3 billion. Might not those Chinese Christians want their more than one billion brothers and sisters to hear the gospel before the Lord returns? Or take the continent of Africa. Today there are an estimated 400 million Christians in a sea of 1.2 billion Africans who know the Lord. Would they not want the other 800 million to hear the gospel before he returns?

The Lord has bigger concerns than how a few million American evangelical and fundamentalist Christians are suffering and want His return. We are to be about the business of making disciples of all nations, preaching and teaching and we should stop all the nonsense speculating how, when and where Jesus returns.

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 24:36: "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Thankfully, Anglican theology and ecclesiology never fell into this trap, but a lot of people think that because everything is falling apart (and it might be) that this is a signal that Jesus is returning. The Father will let us know.

*****

The big news of the week was the announcement by Albany Bishop Bill Love that he would not allow rites for same sex marriage to be performed by any priest in his diocese; not now nor ever, while he is bishop would he permit such a blessing.

He sent a letter to his people telling them in no uncertain terms that no priest may perform such a "marriage" as Scripture, history and tradition forbade it. He is bound by the Word of God he said.

He went on to berate the actions of last year's General Convention and said this:

"While I don't question the sincerity or the well intentions of many in the Episcopal Church who believe the best way to love and minister to our Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters in Christ is to embrace them in their sexuality and make provisions for their same-sex attractions through same-sex marriage rites, I do believe they have been deceived into believing a lie that has been planted in the Church by the "great deceiver" -- Satan. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul states: "...stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:11-13).

"Recent statistics show that The Episcopal Church is spiraling downward. I can't help but believe that God has removed His blessing from this Church. Unless something changes, The Episcopal Church is going to die," said Love.

The Episcopal Church and Western Society have been hijacked by the "Gay Rights Agenda" which is very well organized, very strategic, very well financed, and very powerful. Satan is having a heyday bringing division into the Church over these issues and is trying to use the Church to hurt and destroy the very ones we love and care about by deceiving the leadership of the Church into creating ways for our gay and lesbians brothers and sister to embrace their sexual desires rather than to repent and seek God's love and healing grace. B012 plays right into this."

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry fired back that while he respected the consciences of those who disagreed with the Church's decision, it is a done deal and "The Episcopal Church must act in ways that reflect and uphold the discernment and decisions of the General Convention of the Church."

This is code for Love's last stand. His expulsion now is almost certain. You can read three articles on all this here, including two I have written.

https://tinyurl.com/y7uhfdsd
https://www.virtueonline.org/albany-bishop-loves-last-stand
https://tinyurl.com/y9w9jxly

VOL is highly critical of the Communion Partner bishops of which Bishop Love is one. To date, they have shown no support for their fellow bishop. They have washed their hands of him. He can swing alone in the wind.

Double downing on this is the Episcopal Bishop of Dallas, the Rt. Rev. George Sumner. He has invited Bishop George Wayne Smith of the Diocese of Missouri to come to three Dallas-area parishes that wish to celebrate weddings for same-sex couples:

Sumner wrote, "I am confident that we will be working collegially for the sake of the thriving of all the parishes in the Diocese of Dallas. I have provided Ascension, Transfiguration, and St. Thomas with a protocol for Bishop Smith's work with them. Both he and I share the hope that the three parishes will continue to invite me annually to come to preach, teach, and share in worship."

A true Pilate moment; "I am innocent of this action; see you to it George."

The bishop who oversees the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York reaffirmed her support of homosexual marriage after her fellow bishop in Albany voiced his opposition. The local diocese, since 2015, has had a policy to be "open and affirm all marriages between adults, regardless of gender identity or orientation," Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe told Syracuse.com | The Post-Standard. "We are called by God to love one another with honor, dignity and integrity, seeking the best of the other person." No theology, of course, no talk of sexual sin, just "we dare not offend" homosexuals; all touchy, personalist, feely stuff.

*****

Heather Cook, the former Maryland Episcopal bishop serving a seven-year prison term for fatally striking a bicyclist while driving drunk in 2014, was denied a request recently for a sentence modification that would have made her eligible for imminent release.

In issuing his ruling at the conclusion of a sometimes contentious 75-minute hearing, Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy Doory said he believed Cook has demonstrated "substantial rehabilitation" during her three years behind bars, but that was not the sole criteria to be considered.

He said if he granted the terms Cook requested -- that two of her four sentences be changed from consecutive to concurrent status -- it would amount to ruling that she spend no time behind bars on one of those counts: the crime of leaving the scene of a collision.

Present, to support the bishop in her attempted release was the Assistant Bishop Chilton Knudsen, Cook's successor as second-in-command to Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton of the Diocese of Maryland. One stands amazed that the diocese shows no support for the wife of the man Cook killed! Where are the vaunted calls for justice for those injured so loudly proclaimed from TEC pulpits? This is one more occasion when the Church circles the wagons and to hell with those whom it hurts.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y783o7km

*****

The Bishop of Georgia, Scott Anson Benhase, 61, is resigning as bishop of his diocese, citing unspecified "significant health setbacks". He is calling for an election Nov. 15-16, 2019, with the consecration and installation to take place May 30, 2020.

In a letter to the Diocese of Georgia, the moderately liberal bishop publicly admitted that all is not well, not only in his own diocese, but in the broader Episcopal Church. Here is what he wrote:

"When bishops make an announcement such as this, the usual script they follow is to say how wonderfully healthy the diocese now is, how leaving when things are going so well is for the best, and then the bishop subtly works in all sorts of backdoor compliments for all the great things he thinks he's done. I won't insult your intelligence by doing that, nor will I subject you to what we all know to be at best half-truths. The truth is we're facing tremendous headwinds as a Church and, as of yet, we've not done what we need to do to adequately address them. We aren't evangelizing as we must and our stewardship isn't strong enough to be sustaining in the long-term."

A truthiness moment for at least one bishop, for whom the scales have fallen from his eyes.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y9vpxj52

*****

A VOL reader wrote to me the other day to say that his church in Alexandria, Virginia, recently hired an associate priest who recently graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS). She is a married lesbian. When VOL inquired of Ian Markham, the seminary's president what the situation was with respect to homosexuality in the seminary, he said that in the 1970s, we saw a higher percentage of women come through to the Seminary once the ordination of women was permitted. "It is true today that once the Episcopal Church permitted gay and lesbian students to be ordained, we have had an increase in gay and lesbian students. I sense is that there are probably 25% of the graduating class are gay and lesbian and that has continued down the years."

*****

The Diocese of South Carolina is going through another round of legal hoop jumping. A letter from Bishop Mark Lawrence this week said that on Monday, November 19 in the State Courthouse in Orangeburg, the Honorable Edgar W. Dickson will hear arguments on the various motions before him.

"Perhaps it will not escape your attention that this court date falls just a few days before Thanksgiving Day. In spite of the many challenges we have faced in recent months we have much for which to give thanks." Indeed.

*****

The Vicar of St Peter's in Lautoka on the Fijian island of Viti Levu, Fereimi Cama, has been elected Bishop of Polynesia. When he is consecrated and installed, he will also become one of the three Archbishops and Primates of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The election was announced Sunday by the Church's two existing primates, Archbishop Don Tamihere and Philip Richardson, who have responsibility for the Church's Maori and Pakeha Tikangas, or cultural streams.

*****

Things are going from bad to worse at St. Paul's, Darien, CT, where the priest, one Rev. Joseph Kovoor, was dismissed and Bishop Ian Douglas rode in on his horse, closed the church down and kicked out the more than 200 members.

"We wanted to let you all know that the parish as represented by the duly elected Vestry filed a Brief in support of our motion for injunctive relief in Connecticut Superior Court," wrote Anthony F. Miscimarra, Jr. to VOL. "George Kovoor and Bishop Ian Douglas have 5 days in which to respond to it. Assuming that the response is made on a timely basis, we would hope for a judgement on our motion for injunctive relief, or a hearing on that motion shortly thereafter."

The basis for the temporary injunction is that Kovoor's contract to serve at St. Paul's as rector was obtained by his material misrepresentations on his resume for the job and is therefore void in its formation and a nullity.

"In the meantime, the bulk of our congregation finds itself locked-out of our church, and unable to worship, nor service those individuals and groups in the surrounding our communities whom we support," said Miscimarra. "There were only five members in the church for Sunday Services," he said. Terry Fullam must be rolling over in his grave watching his flagship charismatic church bite the dust.

*****

Violence Isn't the Only Threat to Evangelism in Nigeria, says Jos Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi. The Anglican Archbishop discusses the gospel's endurance through intense persecution and casual indifference. In an interview with Alex Wilgus of Christianity Today, he said that violence Isn't the only threat to evangelism in Nigeria. Kwashi was elected as General Secretary of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). Only a few days later, his home in Jos was attacked by Fulani raiders, resulting in the death of his neighbor Adamu Dung. "He was shot through the head because he flashed his light when he heard footsteps of cattle being rustled," Kwashi wrote on Facebook. "The cows were mine." This is far from the first time Kwashi has been targeted for religiously motivated violence resulting in tragedy. He and his flock have been under attack for nearly two decades.

Timidity is more endemic when it comes to sharing the gospel across the globe. "There was never a time when the apostles handed over anything but a hot potato gospel, one that was sizzling with excitement and power," he said two days after the raid on his compound. "Woe unto us if we ever become lethargic."

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/ybqy3qqu

*****

The United Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church are one step closer to entering into an agreement in which they will be in full communion with each other, according to The Christian Post.

At a multiday meeting held last week, the UMC Council of Bishops voted to approve the preparation of legislation to carry out the full communion proposal, titled "A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness."

"In the fractured human community there is a great need for the realization of the unity among the followers of Christ Jesus," stated the Preamble.

"This proposal for full communion between The Episcopal Church and The United Methodist Church is an effort to bring our churches into closer partnership in the mission and witness to the love of God and thus labor together for the healing of divisions among Christians and for the well-being of all."

At present, the UMC is already in full communion with other Christian denominations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Moravian Church.

The UMC is expected to act on the proposed agreement at their 2020 General Conference and then the Episcopal Church will do likewise at their 2021 General Convention.

*****

Surprise! Well no, not really. The number of people attending the Church of England's Sunday services fell again last year, to 722,000 -- 18,000 fewer than in 2016 -- continuing a trend seen over recent decades. (For the record Britain's population is 66 million!)

However, attendance at Christmas services in 2017 was the highest in a decade, at 2.68 million, suggesting that services are increasingly seen as an element of festivities rather than regular religious worship. The figure was a marginal increase on last year's 2.6 million.

Annual statistics released on Wednesday by the C of E also showed a decline in the number of people turning to the church for key life events. The church conducted 106,000 baptisms and services of thanksgiving for a new child in 2017, compared with 120,000 the year before; 41,000 marriages compared with 45,000 in 2016; and 133,000 funerals compared with 139,000.

The statistics follow a pattern of fewer people identifying with the church, or any organized religion. Figures published by the British Social Attitudes survey in September showed that affiliation with the C of E was at a record low, at 14% -- and down to 2% among young adults. More than half the population said they had no religion.

Of course, the Church of England is following the bell curve of The Episcopal Church in faith and morals and so it should come as no surprise that this trend continues and will continue till the last Anglican dies and the last parish closes. You can read the full report here:https://tinyurl.com/y8deqchy

On a positive note, some deep thinkers in the CofE are realizing that all is not well. The Diocese of London has named 19 resource churches with a remit to drive its church-planting strategy. Each of the 19 will receive a planting curate with an expectation that these parishes will be centers of growth and resources for planting more churches.

The well-known central London churches named in the venture are All Souls Langham Place, St Martin in-the-Fields and Holy Trinity Brompton and St Helen's Bishopsgate, which are classed as National Resource Churches.

Bishop Ric Thorpe of Islington is working to expand the plan in the next few years, including in partnership with other dioceses.

"I am so excited to see churches in London that feel called to give away leaders, people and resources to bless and grow the wider church," he said. "I look forward to seeing this first stage implemented as we support churches across the diocese to multiply disciples and congregations."

*****

Evangelicals and Pope Francis pledge to work together on religious freedom despite their differences. If approved, this full communion agreement will mean that each church officially recognizes the other as a partner in the faith, the validity of each other's baptism and Eucharist, and can share clergy.

The proposed agreement clarifies that while the full communion proposal is not "a merger of our churches," it is nevertheless based on "the vision given to us by Jesus, who prayed that we may all be one (John 17:21)."

"We are blessed in that neither of our churches, or their predecessor bodies, have officially condemned one another, nor have they formally called into question the faith, the ministerial orders, or the sacraments of the other church," continued the proposal.

*****

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops meeting in Baltimore, MD, were told by the Vatican that they had to put off consideration of measures to address clerical sexual abuse. This resulted in igniting anger among Catholics over the hierarchy's handling of the abuse crisis.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo announced as president of the U.S. Bishops' Conference Monday morning that he'd received direction from the Holy See late Sunday that the USCCB was to delay voting on two measures at its annual fall meeting that would foster accountability in the sex abuse scandal in the U.S. Church.

The meeting has been the object of heightened focus, as the first time the full body of U.S. bishops would be addressing the wave of sexual abuse developments in the last several months.

The halting of the USCCB's plans, again, at the apparent hand of the Pope, is being read by some as calculated and a further example of abuse cover-up.

"Make no mistake, the Vatican squashed the USCCB statement and investigation, even with its horrible terrible optics, because they know the alternative is worse," the Creative Minority Report blog said on Twitter. "They can't let the truth come out. This is a cover-up. This is THE cover-up."

American Papist Thomas Peters called the move an ambush and questioned how much notice the American bishops had. "How much warning did the pope give before he ambushed the US bishops with this order?" Peters said, subsequently tweeting, "So much for empowering local bishops' conferences ... if you're trying to root out episcopal corruption."

"The Vatican does not want a serious investigation into the sex abuse scandal, Catholic World News editor and founder Phillip Lawler, posited bluntly.

"The American bishops (finally) want a serious investigation of the abuse scandal. The Vatican doesn't," he stated. "What does that tell you? More pressure needed on Rome; more assertiveness needed from US bishops."

The move by the Pope will not stop the implementation of a RICO act by the US Government, which is looking into sexual abuse across the nation in all Catholic dioceses.

You can read one serious take on all this here:
https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/11/14/how-long-lord/

Not surprisingly the Pope's approval numbers have plunged over the abuse crisis. Though Catholics in America continue to have an overall favorable opinion of Pope Francis, according to the director of the Pew Research Center, the Argentine pontiff has tripled his negative ratings for his handling of clerical sexual abuse in the most recent survey and today is ranked below Pope emeritus Benedict XVI at his worst: "Back in 2014, 54 percent of American Catholics thought he was doing a good or excellent job [handling the abuse crisis]. . . .Today it's down to just 3 in 10, 30 percent of U.S. Catholics giving him a good or excellent, dropping 24 points in four years, 14 points just from the beginning of 2018."

*****

The Episcopal and Roman Catholic Churches now intersect on pansexuality with devastating consequences. The truth can no longer be ignored or suppressed; The Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church now find themselves being destroyed by sexual behaviors that Scripture, history and church tradition have, for centuries, proscribed and condemned.

Fundamental differences and similarities should be noticed. The Episcopal Church began a long journey towards embracing homosexual acceptance over forty years ago by Dr. Louie Crew, who pushed his behavior onto the Church through the bishops and then the seminaries. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, aided by a growing and progressively sympathetic culture. You can read my full account here: https://tinyurl.com/yatc8grl

*****

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Noll, author of The Global Anglican Communion and Convener of the GAFCON Statement Group has published the complete text of the Letter to the Churches, with section-by-section commentary and insights into how it was produced, edited and approved so joyfully by the entire Assembly in Jerusalem. You can download and/or buy it here: VOL strongly urges readers to get acquainted with Dr. Noll's writings. He is a first-class theologian. https://www.anglicanhousemedia.org/

*****

The Anglican Church in North America is reaching out to those affected by the California wildfires, the worst in the state's history! The Very Rev. Victor Schreffler is the Anglican Dean of the Sacramento Valley in the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO). He sends this report:

"The situation is horrible beyond words! Prayers are very much needed for the emergency responders as well as victims and their families. It occurs to me that in some ways it's like a nuclear meltdown because repercussions will be far reaching and long lasting. Sensitive groups breathing the air will be impacted even after the smoke has cleared. Rural hospitals are already struggling and closing at an alarming rate...Restoring health care access will be a challenge."

The Anglican Relief and Development Fund and the Anglican Church in North America are partnering with C4SO to deliver aid to those who need it most. This can happen quickly - with your help. While the churches are not ready to receive your volunteer labor, they are ready to receive your prayers and your financial help!

You can donate by mailing a check (with "California Wildfires" in the memo line) to:
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund
P.O. Box 645354
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-5354

Or donate online here: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E92060&id=126

*****

THE EPISCOTAPE LETTERS. My new book, The Episcotape Letters, modeled on that of C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, will shortly be published. For a donation of $100.00 or more, I will send you an autographed copy. This is a volume of my best satirical essays compiled over the years. It catalogues the unravelling of the Episcopal Church, its apostasies and heresies. Such pathology cries out for correction and there is no better way to do so than by humor and satire. In my book I expose the foibles and self-destruct machinations of the Episcopal Church's apostasies.

You can make a $100.00 donation and I will send you an autographed copy at this link. https://tinyurl.com/yabemo37

Thank you for your support.

In Christ,

David

PS. VOL is working hard to form a bare bones budget for 2019. We urgently need your support. Funds are low. Your tax-deductible donation will truly make a difference.

Subscribe
Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
The Greatest Gift, new Christmas Carol
Letter to the Churches, text and commentary
Prayer Book Alliance
Trinity School for Ministry

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice

DrinkCoffeeDoGood.com

Go To Top