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FACEBOOK denies promotion of VOL Transgender Story * Presentment Charges filed against Bishop of Long Island * Funerals outpace all other stats in TEC * Heather Cook seeks early get out of jail card * Women dominate in new diocesan bishop searches

FACEBOOK denies promotion of VOL Transgender Story * Presentment Charges filed against Bishop of Long Island * Funerals outpace all other stats in TEC * Heather Cook seeks early get out of jail card * Women dominate in new diocesan bishop searches * Evangelical CofE Bishops urge no change in Marriage Doctrine * Scottish Anglican Network ramp up evangelism * Cultural Marxism hits churches

"[W]hat the Church holds to be true about human sexuality is not a stumbling block. It is the only real path to joy and wholeness. There is no such thing as an 'LGBTQ Catholic' or a 'transgender Catholic' or a 'heterosexual Catholic,' as if our sexual appetites defined who we are; as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ. This has never been true in the life of the Church and is not true now. It follows that 'LGBTQ' and similar language should not be used in Church documents, because using it suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the Church simply doesn't categorize people that way." --- Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia

To have sexual contact--to put it simply, let us characterize this as any sort of physical interaction whose intent and generally realized effect is to stimulate the parties to sexual climax--outside of marriage (and the Church understands this to be possible only between a man and a woman) is sinful. Therefore, all homosexual activity is sinful. The Church, which is a sacrament of God's love and holiness, cannot "build a bridge" to a community defined by sin. If there is an LGBT community, then by its nature it is a structure of sin. What she must do is to invite and encourage those who identify as LGBT to leave this "community" and receive her embrace, which is the embrace of Christ --- Adrian Reimers, CRISIS magazine

Biblical authority. Christ's view must become ours. The disciple is not above his teacher. It is inconceivable that a Christian who looks to Jesus as his Teacher and Lord should have a lower view of the Old Testament than he had. What is the sense in calling Jesus 'Teacher' and 'Lord'. and then disagreeing with him? We have no liberty to disagree with him. His view of Scripture must become ours. --- John R.W. Stott

October 10, 1821: Law student Charles Finney, 29, goes into the woods near his home to settle the question of his soul's salvation. That night, he experienced a dramatic conversion, full of what seemed "waves of liquid love throughout his body." Finney later became American history's greatest revivalist and purportedly converted of 500,000 people. -- Christianity Today, October 10, 2018

Telling me that my cross of same-sex attraction is too heavy for me to love as Christ calls me to is not just degrading; it is also a lie. God did not abandon me when man first sinned in the beginning, and he will not abandon me now. --- Avera Maria Santo

"If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."--George Washington

The word of power. There is no saving power in the words of men. The devil does not relinquish his grasp upon his prisoners at the bidding of mere mortals. No word has authority for him but the Word of God. --- John R.W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
October 19, 2018

FACEBOOK lashed out at VOL this week and censored a story I wrote on the conversion of a transgendered person, a story that has garnered thousands of hits. But FACEBOOK does not want to see the article promoted. We are appealing that decision and will keep you posted. The heavy hand of FACEBOOK is typical of the Cultural Marxism that has now infiltrated the media, culture, the universities and, of course, the churches. I had the privilege of meeting G this week and to see the transformation of a man who became a woman and then transitioned back to being a man again. I found him to be a man of firm Christian conviction, sure of what he had done, very conscious of sin, and who confessed to me that in the midst of all this he experienced being on the edge of hell (he's reading Dante's Inferno) and having looked into the abyss and what could have been his hell, turned and went back to the way God originally made him. His story is one of grace and forgiveness. He lives a wholly celibate life, takes care of his aging mother and spends more time in prayer than most men I know. If you have not read my interview with G, you can read it here: https://www.virtueonline.org/guess-whos-coming-lunchagain

*****

In the crazy, turbulent, theologically free flowing world of The Episcopal Church, nothing should really surprise us anymore. New lows are reached almost every week.

Many now ask, has the bottom been reached or could TEC sink even lower.

We believe that a transgender bishop might be the final straw, but who knows, perhaps there is a drag queen waiting in the wings to don a miter and mince up the aisle of Washington National Cathedral to the cheers of dozens of LGBTQI persons along with a small coterie of homosexual and lesbian bishops waiting to hear a sermon from a gender-free prayer book announcing the good news of God's glorious inclusivity which, of course, knows no ecclesial or moral boundaries. A sermon from a redacted bible will be preached by international celebrity and pop super star, presiding bishop Michael Curry, who will be so ecstatic on this occasion he might actually fly right out of the pulpit in an exuberant moment as he preaches a sermon on God's limitless love and diversity.

It will be a sight never seen before, and probably never be seen again. You can read my satirical essay on the PB's search for Episcopal racists here: https://tinyurl.com/y8rf2gad

It will be an ecumenical occasion, of course, with a number of celebrity religious leaders from the Church of England's growing pansexual lists who have waited for this day and can't wait to emulate the same thing back in the mother church. The Deans of Ely, Southwark and St. Paul's cathedrals will be present, draped in LGBT donated miters. They will represent the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will be sitting in Lambeth Palace, wringing his hands, unsure if TEC is making the right move and wondering how it will play out with 80 percent of Anglicans worldwide who now violently disagree with him.

GAFCON primates, archbishops, bishops and clergy led by the newly anointed ACNA chairman, Foley Beach, will issue a statement condemning this controversial action, sealing the deal by saying that the fabric of the Anglican Communion is irretrievably torn; the book, To Mend the Net would now be permanently archived.

Oddly missing will be any representative from the Roman Catholic Church, having learned the lesson that sodomy not only doesn't pay, it has cost the church millions of dollars in payouts to survivors of sexual abuse who will never be the same again.

It will be the triumph of Identity politics over free speech. If you doubt me, wait and see what happens to Albany Bishop Bill Love when the first revisionist (progressive) priest in his diocese wants to perform a homoerotic marriage and defies his bishop in doing so by inviting another bishop to give oversight. Can you see a Title IV charge in Bishop Love's future? Don't be surprised if you do.

*****

Talking of presentments, an activist layman in the Diocese of Long Island filed a Title IV complaint against Bishop Lawrence C. Provenzano on charges that he exceeded his authority in declaring St. James' in Elmhurst, Queens, a mission church of the Diocese, and transferred its real and personal property to the Trustees of the Estate belonging to the Diocese of Long Island. It is further alleged that Bishop Provenzano used predatory practices to obtain control of the real and personal property to extend the Garden City campus, the Diocese's administrative and spiritual seat, and is surreptitiously converting St. James into a training and learning center for the international Anglican community.

Charles Martellaro, a former member of the LI Diocesan Council, filed the complaint, saying the bishop violated a specific court order protecting St. James from his action and in doing so, he violated NYS Religious Corporation Law.

The complaint was filed with Bishop Todd Ousley, bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development, according to Martellaro, but nothing has happened and Provenzano refused to respond to an email sent to him by VOL. Episcopal courtiers will undoubtedly give him cover as Roman Catholic courtiers gave Cardinal McCarrick cover.

Based on past history, nothing will happen and the whole thing will be tossed out by Ousley because Provenzano is a progressive bishop. But you can be sure that will not be the case if and when charges are filed against Bishop Love for spiritual insubordination, namely upholding marriage as between a man and a woman. The long knives will be out, led by TEC's "love" presiding bishop.

*****

Political correctness reared its ugly head this week when the Washington National Cathedral became an unlikely symbol of homosexual activism following the news that it will be the final resting place of murdered University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.

The family of Shepard, a 21-year-old homosexual man brutally beaten to death in 1998, has decided to have his ashes interred in the crypt of the iconic Episcopal cathedral, the Washington Post reported. His parents had previously kept his ashes for fear of drawing unwanted attention to a public grave but have now settled on the cathedral ahead of his murder's 20th anniversary on Friday.

In a public service on October 26, Matthew's ashes will be placed in the private, off-limits crypt columbarium. One of just 200 to receive such a distinction, Shepard's remains will join those of distinguished historical figures such as President Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller, and Navy Adm. George Dewey. The Daily Caller noted that the cathedral's dean, the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, is responsible for selecting figures of national significance to inter.

But is it true?

In 2004, it was revealed by Bill Fancher of Agape Press, that Shepard's death was no hate crime at all. The beating death of Matthew Shepard was thought to be -- and was portrayed in the media as -- simply the result of the fact that he was homosexual. However, it was later revealed that Shepard was killed for refusing to pay drug dealers for his drugs.

According to a new ABC "20/20" investigation, which confirms a previously published MassNews exclusive, Shepard's murder was, in fact, a bungled burglary, motivated not by hate or homophobic rage, but by money and drugs. Shepard's killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, detailed their actions and motives to "20/20's" Elizabeth Vargas. Their disclosures sparked new controversy over the activist outcry and mainstream media coverage that many feel contributed to Shepard's murder being characterized as a hate crime.

Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families says homosexual advocates were rocked by this new information. "The Matthew Shepherd crime has been used by the gay rights movement as a battering ram to try to prove that America is awash with anti-homosexual hate crimes, so these new revelations that this was a run-of-the-mill crime by a couple of thugs is certainly an eye-opener."

No matter, The Episcopal Church needs to prop up its pro-homosexual stance by making a hero out of an alleged homo hatred murder, when, in fact, it was not. It is one more instance that the Episcopal Church evades the truth for identity politics.

*****

But the big news of the week was the discovery that the number of funerals outpace all other Episcopal Church Statistics in 2017. In one Episcopal diocese after another, the raw truth can no longer be ignored. There are now more funerals taking place in most Episcopal dioceses, even supposedly orthodox ones, than any other single statistic, outpacing new confirmations, baptized or those received into the Episcopal Church.

In 2017, the Episcopal Church buried over 27,000 Episcopalians, and there is not a shred of evidence that now or in the foreseeable future, that trend will change, or that they will be replaced by new, younger generations of Americans ready to fill Episcopal pews. Over time that figure will only increase as churches now build columbariums to house the dead.

The average age of an Episcopalian is in the mid-sixties; the average age of an Episcopal priest is in the low sixties. Within a generation, the vast majority of priests will be forced to retire, with no one to fill their shoes except non-stipendiary priests, who will do little more than open and close doors on a Sunday morning. The number of priests under the age of 44 is less than 10 percent. You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/yd8w425r

*****

Heather Cook, the deposed former Suffragan Bishop of Maryland who was convicted of fatally killing a bicyclist with her car in Baltimore in 2014 while drunk, has applied for work release. Now this is the second time she has tried to get out of jail. She failed the first time because the wife of the man she killed said Cook "took no responsibility" and displayed a "lack of remorse" for her actions. Nothing apparently has changed except that she is now attending a Bible class in jail, probably the first time she has ever cracked the book.

The former Episcopal bishop is serving a seven-year prison sentence for fatally striking the bicyclist. She could be released as early as next month if a Baltimore judge approves her request to modify her five-year sentence she is now serving. Perhaps the Bible reading is effective! You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y98fulcs

*****

BISHOP CHANGES. In a first for the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Kansas will select the 10th bishop of the diocese from a slate of women candidates. The three people are:

The Rev. Cathleen Chittenden Bascom, assistant professor of religion at Waldorf University, Waldorf, Iowa; The Rev. Martha N. Macgill, rector, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Cumberland, Maryland; and
The Rev. Helen Svoboda-Barber, rector of Luke's Episcopal Church, Durham, North Carolina.
The Presiding Bishop's Office of Pastoral Development confirmed that this will be the first time that a diocesan bishop is elected from an all-women slate of candidates.

The first woman bishop in the Episcopal Church (and in the worldwide Anglican Communion) was the Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, who was elected bishop suffragan of Massachusetts in 1988.

The first woman to serve as diocesan bishop was the Rt. Rev. Mary Adelia McLeod of Vermont, who was elected in 1993.

Women first were ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church in 1974, in irregular ordinations that were recognized by the Episcopal Church in 1976. The first woman to be ordained as deacon and priest in the Diocese of Kansas was the Reverend Mary Schrom (now Breese) in 1982.

For the first time, the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee is slated to have a woman serve as its bishop. Three candidates have been named as options to succeed the Rt. Rev. Don Johnson, who plans to resign next year.

They are the Rev. Marian Dulaney Fortner, rector of a church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi; the Rev. Sarah D. Hollar, rector of a church in Huntersville, North Carolina; and the Rev. Phoebe A. Roaf, rector of a church in Richmond, Virginia.

The Rev. Gary Meade, president of the standing committee that oversees the process of selecting a new bishop, said there was no goal to have three women candidates, but that he is "delighted" it ended up that way.

One of the candidates, Roaf, is also African-American. If she were elected, she would become the first African-American to lead the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee. Johnson has led the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee since 2001.

On the other hand, the Diocese of Nevada has decided to suspend its bishop search process. The reason: a "limited applicant pool" and new "information" that called into question the deliberations of the Standing Committee as reasons for their decision. "Since announcing the slate of candidates, more information has been brought to our attention that calls our decisions into question. We have, after much soul searching, unanimously concluded that it is in the best interest of the Diocese to postpone the election of our 11th Bishop until next year following another search under more propitious circumstances," said a press release. We at VOL certainly understand the growing limited pool of people in TEC who know how to preach the gospel, make disciples and plant churches. Putting a miter on a spiritual jelly fish might work, bearing in mind that jelly fish like bad theology, has a tendency to slip between one's fingers.

*****

Slowly awakening from their ecclesiastical and theological slumber, some 11 Church of England evangelical bishops are urging "no change" to the Church's Doctrine of Marriage. They are concerned that their Church will face schism as the American Episcopal Church has experienced if it formally recognizes homosexual marriage.

A letter from Bishop Julian Henderson, President of the Church of England Evangelical Council, (CEEC) signed by 11 bishops was sent to Bishop Christopher Cocksworth, chair of the Church of England's 'Living in Love and Faith' (LLF) project. LFF has been tasked with addressing "'tough questions and the divisions among Christians' over gender, marriage and sexuality." The group is expected to finish their work by 2020. The CEEC had its genesis with the late John R.W. Stott in 1960 "to provide a 'collective' evangelical voice".

The ten active bishops include the bishops of Blackburn, Peterborough, Durham, Willesden, Lancaster, Ludlow, Plymouth, Carlisle, Birkenhead and Maidstone. One former bishop, Mark Rylands, Shrewsbury also signed.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/yao4mokj

*****

Two key figures in the orthodox Anglican movement will take part in a conference on evangelism to be held in Edinburgh on Saturday 20 October 2018.

'Proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations' is hosted by the Scottish Anglican Network, an alliance of current and former members of the Scottish Episcopal Church dismayed by the false teaching underlying the SEC's adoption of same-sex marriage in 2018.

Two congregations -- Christ Church in Harris and St Thomas' in Edinburgh's Corstorphine area-- have since left the SEC.

The October conference will discuss what the Church is for, why the world needs to hear the Gospel, and how the Church can be better equipped to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus.

The agenda marks a shift by the Network beyond dissatisfaction with Scottish Episcopalianism and into action as an evangelical force in its own right.

Among those participating will be Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, and GAFCON Bishop Andy Lines, who was consecrated Missionary Bishop for Europe within weeks of the Episcopalians' same-sex marriage decision.

Both serve under the auspices of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), founded in Jerusalem in 2008 and now encompassing Christians from 53 countries. Archbishop Foley will next year succeed Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, as Chair of GAFCON's Primates' Council of leading archbishops.

The conference takes place from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday 20 October at St Thomas' Church, 75-79 Glasgow Road, Edinburgh EH12 8LJ. For more details email admin@scottishanglican.net.

*****

Across the globe, the lines are being drawn over homosexual marriage in the Anglican Communion. Now the issue has hit Christchurch, NZ, where Vicar Jay Behan is part of a group leaving the Anglican church over same-sex blessings. "We're Not Bigots", screamed a headline in a local newspaper. In a scene typical of what you have seen in the US, his flock is starting again in a partially boarded-up house in suburban Christchurch, where Jay is hoping to start a new church.

He doesn't know what it will be called yet, but some estimate he will have a congregation of about 1000 people. The worshippers will mainly come from four Christchurch parishes that have split from the Anglican church, along with eight ministers who have resigned their positions.

The drastic decision to form a new breakaway church was made in reaction to a move by Anglicans in May to allow same-sex blessings. The Anglican's ruling body, the general synod, voted to allow the blessings if they are authorized by the local bishop. The motion only allowed blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples who were married elsewhere and gave each diocese's bishop and clergy immunity from complaint if they refused to conduct blessings of same-sex couples. It was an attempt to reach compromise on a divisive issue, but it failed.

With a 1,000 joining him, one doubts Behan has much to worry about. Congregations in four Christchurch parishes -- St Stephens Shirley, St Johns Latimer Sq, the Parish of South Christchurch, and St John Woolston -- all voted to disaffiliate from the Anglican church. Three ministers -- Andy Carley of St Pauls Papanui, Mark Hood of St. Christophers, Avonhead and Al Drye in Rakaia -- also resigned over the move. You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y89e2ggq

*****

328 Episcopal Clergywomen recently criticized former senator John C. Danforth, who doubles as an Episcopal priest, over his remarks about Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas. "We, clergywomen in the Episcopal Church, object to the comments by John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri and a priest in the Episcopal Church, regarding the accusation of sexual assault made by Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

In his article, Mr. Danforth said he feels "terribly sorry for Kavanaugh" and considers Dr. Blasey's allegations against Judge Kavanaugh to be a tragic repeat of the damage to Justice Clarence Thomas's reputation after Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Thomas.

*****

Only half of pastors approve of Trump's job performance, according to a survey of US Protestant church leaders. A slim majority of pastors say they approve of the job President Donald Trump has done in the White House, but many are unsure.

A new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research of Protestant senior pastors found 51 percent approve of how Trump has handled the presidency, with 25 percent strongly approving.

"After almost two years of actions and statements from the White House, most pastors likely consider some positive and others negative," said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.

"When asked to evaluate the president's job performance with no neutral option, most pastors approve." Still, almost 3 in 10 (28%) disapprove, and another 2 in 10 (20%) say they aren't sure.

*****

This short video by Melvin Tinker on Cultural Marxism as examined in his latest book, That Hideous Strength, is a must view for VOL readers. I heard Melvin Tinker speak at GAFCON 3 and he brilliantly exposed the soft underbelly of the West's abandonment of the historic Christian Faith and its acceptance of cultural Marxism. A review of his book can be found here: https://www.virtueonline.org/spreading-cancer-cultural-marxism-west
Please watch the video here: https://youtu.be/rzdyRSV3Ago

For more on Cultural Marxism, view this video. It will put you more fully in the picture and help you in the coming months as you witness the slow denigration of truth in our universities, schools, society and the church.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7as0pFxPYc&feature=youtu.be

*****

Most embarrassing photo of the week

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, took part in a pre-election interfaith peace conference in Nigeria, recently. Giving the keynote address at the "Religious Harmony in Nigeria: Towards the 2019 General Elections" conference in Abuja, Archbishop Justin told the audience that "Peace requires justice." He said the desire for peace is universal but not unconditional. In conflict, every person's so-called truth is their own. And it is only in a place of security and hope that they can adjust their perception of truth, see their own faults and sins as well as those of the other, and learn to seek peace. To accept diversity, or disagreement -- in other words, reconciliation." There is enough irony here to refloat the Titanic.

Also present was Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh (see foto). He and Welby are at complete loggerheads over the Church of England's embrace of same-sex civil partnerships and what will inevitably be homosexual marriage, along with Welby's refusal to uphold Lambeth Resolution 1:10. Okoh has publicly excoriated Fearon and the Anglican Consultative Council and has said he is not in communion with the ACC or Welby. Fearon, in turn, has sweepingly dismissed GAFCON and blasted Africans for their alleged homophobia. A truly embarrassing moment for all concerned, but most especially for Welby who has to face the fact that the schism in Anglicanism has been caused by him while he is on Nigerian soil talking up reconciliation!

*****

A Commentary on GAFCON's "Letter to the Churches", by Dr. Stephen Noll is now available and free to readers. It is a bold call to proclaim God's Gospel, reform God's Church, and reach out to God's world. The author of The Global Anglican Communion and Convener of the GAFCON Statement Group has published and made available 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.

The Letter to the Churches has three main sections: "Proclaiming God's Gospel," "Reforming God's Church," and "Reaching Out to the God's World." Each section is rooted in Scripture and the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. Each section engages the great challenges facing Christians today from within and without the Christian community, including threats to the uniqueness of Christ, to God's creation of men and women in his image, and to the authority of the Bible. This book is offered in pdf format as a free download.

https://www.gafcon.org/news/rev-dr-stephen-nolls-commentary-on-the-letter-to-the-churches

Here is the direct link to Anglican House:

https://www.anglicanhousemedia.org/

*****

ON LANGUAGE. We need to be careful when using language that the other side uses to suppress the truth. The use of the term "marriage equality" is one such case. The language should read homosexual marriage, because there is nothing "equal" about sodomite marriage. Nothing.

All blessings,

David

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