jQuery Slider

You are here

Homophobia does not exist: Cardinal * Cultural Marxists are destroying the Church * GAFCON: No Break with Canterbury * ACoC dioceses in Free Fall * ACNS Spins Ugandan Martyrs * Curry's High-Profile Image Won't Stop TEC's Decline * TEC Bishop on PB changes

A spiritual conquest. The kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus is a spiritual conquest of men and women. It also has material benefits, since the King's subjects are the Father's children ... --- John R.W. Stott

Our culture is experiencing a crisis of faith which is leading to a denial of truth. Materialism reigns and breeds utilitarianism, which means that our value is determined by our usefulness. When the pursuit of pleasure becomes the highest goal, hedonism takes over and suffering and death become the great enemies that we strive futilely to eliminate, or at least impede. --- Archbishop Joseph Naumann

The central issue of Western culture today is how freedom is to be understood. People who voted for the progressive causes believe that they are increasing their own freedom and the freedom of their fellow citizens by maximizing the range of their choices. Their worldview is best expressed in an often-quoted sentence from US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." --- Michael Cook

It may seem a bit harsh to modern ears -- and to namby-pamby Christian ears -- to speak of the culture of death and the demonic. But the two go together hand in hand, and they both accurately describe the proabortion worldview and sentiment. --- Bill Muehlenberg

The Church of England is selling out to the spirit and energy of secular, sexualised politics. It is happy to leave people in their pre-Christian categories, and in their pre-Christian captivities. There is no language of journey or transformation. This is a Church that is content for the world to be the world, and for people to remain characterized by their captivity. --- Gavin Ashenden

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down state laws barring same-sex "marriage" is the culmination of a decades-long corrosive process, one that has been methodically guided by a strategic subversive plan. All moral people are rightly outraged by this official mockery of the natural law, the moral law, and the divine law. But we should not be shocked or surprised, as the unmistakable signs that this was coming have been ever more obvious with each and every concession to the "gay" lobby and "gay" culture. -- New American Editors

Abortion is the world's resounding answer to the question: 'If you had to murder in order to have an unfettered sex life, would you?' Once again, a guilty sinner is favored while the innocent are made to suffer and die. It is the same immoral and ungodly spirit of death. It is the same demonic hatred of life on display in Ireland, just as it was back in Jerusalem --- Bill Muehlenberg

"...However skilled we may be and however hard we work, we must be faithful in prayer if our Jerusalem conference and all that will follow it is to be truly fruitful..." -- Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
June 8, 2018

There are no such persons as gay Christians or straight Christians. There are only non-Christians or born-again Christians. There are believers and there are unbelievers, there is no middle ground or third category. You either believe the gospel or you don't. You either believe in transsexualism or transformation, or, in the words of Bishop Gavin Ashenden, you either believe in stagnation or salvation.

This has been the theological sleight of hand performed with great alacrity by Episcopal and Anglican pansexualists. They want to say that God has either changed his mind about sex or expanded the boundaries to include other sexualities hitherto unacceptable to the Almighty. However, there is no evidence that He has. Both the record in Genesis and the words of Jesus make it clear that "male and female" is the only sexual matrix allowable and anything else is a distortion of that truth.

A word like "homophobia" to blanket anybody who opposes homosexual behavior is designed to make one feel guilty for even suggesting that said behavior was contrary to Scripture and the church's 2,000 years of teaching. It is probably why Archbishop Justin Welby can't make up his mind about sodomy and same-sex marriage. He's conflicted and he has said so. His waffle, and failure to take a stance, is tearing the Church of England apart.

However, the former head of the Vatican's doctrinal office has no such reticence. He has denied the existence of "homophobia," asserting that it is an invention of the gay lobby.

German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller had strong words to say about the recent "International Day Against Homophobia".

"Homophobia simply does not exist, it is clearly an invention, an instrument of totalitarian domination over the minds of others. The homosexual movement lacks scientific arguments and therefore they have built an ideology that seeks to dominate, seeking to construct their own reality."

The prelate tied strategies of the gay lobby to those employed by Marxists, in inventing a "phobia" for those that oppose them. Now why can't a Church of England bishop stand up and say something like that!

*****

VOL has come up with fresh nomenclature to describe the growing divisions in the Anglican Communion. We shall now call the defectors, AINO - Anglicans In Name Only. These are those in the communion who are variously called liberals, revisionists and progressives, but in truth have abandoned the faith and kowtowed to the culture in order to be relevant. AINO stands in contrast to GAFCON -- those faithful Anglicans who want to preserve the truth against its culture despisers and to spread the gospel throughout world, calling on everyone to repent and believe in the gospel. In ten days, some 2,000 faithful Anglicans will gather in Jerusalem to declare and affirm the Gospel of God and then send everybody back to their country to proclaim it unequivocally and without compromise. It will be an uplifting occasion.

*****

GAFCON Leaders say there will be no break with Canterbury. When some 2,000 orthodox Anglican leaders meet in Jerusalem two weeks from now, they will once again affirm that they will not break with Canterbury, but at the same time make absolutely clear that the Communion is broken and efforts to fix it by compromising on essentials will not work.

Compromised Leadership and old Governance Structures have failed the Anglican Communion. Therefore, new structures are needed for the Anglican Communion to thrive and go forward. Welby is now being viewed as the archbishop embracing morally compromised Western progressive churches. You can read my full account of this here: https://tinyurl.com/y8a465zx

*****

A question that is much on the minds of Anglican leaders is this: who is an Anglican? Dr. Peter Jensen, GAFCON General Secretary, claims that breakaway Anglican provinces are part of the Anglican Communion even if they are not "recognized" by the See of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion Office. He says that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) which left the US Episcopal Church over its departure from "sound teaching" and a rival Anglican province in Brazil -- the 41st province in the Communion are both legitimate Anglican provinces.

However, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) has refused to recognize either breakaway body. In the Church Times, general secretary Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon claimed GAFCON had been inaccurate in its description. "To be part of the Anglican Communion requires being in communion with the see of Canterbury, which this Church is not," he said.

Jensen responded saying; "Here lies the difference between mere institutionalism and spiritual reality. The basic reason why there is a division amongst the Anglicans of Brazil is because the Episcopal Church of Brazil has departed from the teaching of Scripture, and hence from Anglican teaching, concerning sex and marriage... It is a matter of the fundamentals of the faith, of what makes a true church, of the authority of God's word."

He sharply criticized the Church of England's leadership, saying: "Communion with the see of Canterbury used to be a welcome, useful and easily understood way of describing the Anglican Communion. But with leadership comes responsibility. So far, the recent Archbishops of Canterbury have not used the power of their office either to discipline those who have created disorder and threatened the basis of our faith, or to reach out the right hand of fellowship to those who have stood firm."

Jensen claimed the Anglican Church in Brazil was "of course" an authentic part of the Anglican Communion and invited Canterbury to "recognize spiritual reality, and to use its influence to help align the old instrument of the Anglican Communion with the spiritual reality and new growth of the Communion".

Canon Andy Gross, ACNA communications director and GAFCON press officer, said that recent numbers from the Global Center for Christianity revealed that the communion had 90 million "soft" members, but that included 25 million in the Church of England. However, that number is false. The C of E has only about one million practicing Anglicans, so the real figure is closer to 70 million, of which 50 million are recognized by GAFCON, a "renewal movement" that includes only a handful in the C of E.

The greatest and largest proportion of Anglicans in the communion recognize the Primate and Archbishop of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh as their leader.

*****

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry should take note. Despite his high-profile appearance at the Meghan Harry wedding and his more recent appearance at The Britain's Got Talent final where he gave them a special blessing for just being talented, mainline Protestant churches are in trouble: A 2015 report by the Pew Research Center found that these congregations, once a mainstay of American religion, are now shrinking by about 1 million members annually. Fewer members not only means fewer souls saved, a frightening thought for some clergy members, but also less income for churches, further ensuring their decline.

Faced with this troubling development, clergy members have made various efforts to revive church attendance. It was almost 20 years ago that John Shelby Spong, a U.S. bishop in the Episcopal Church, published his book "Why Christianity Must Change or Die." It was presented as an antidote to the crisis of decline in mainline churches. Spong, a theological liberal, said congregations would grow if they abandoned their literal interpretation of the Bible and transformed along with changing times.

Of course, that did not happen. Spong's "gospel" has gone nowhere and his total embrace of the culture has pushed him into the camp of Unitarianism. The evangelical gospel of African Anglicanism dominates the communion. If you add some 150 million Chinese Christians, who are nearly all evangelical, then Spong's nonsense and Michael Curry's capitulation to the culture is pushing the Episcopal Church into irrelevancy and ultimately out of business. TEC has, at the very most about 12 years left before it becomes extinct based on recent figures of decline. Michael Voris of the VORTEX thinks the Roman Catholic Church in America has only 7 years before it ceases to exist. That might be a little too pessimistic. TEC's demographics, aging clergy and even faster aging parishioners, guarantee its non-existent future even with the recent pop in popularity by the presiding Bishop.

You can read my satirical take on Curry's recent appearances here: ttps://tinyurl.com/yb227su3

This week the Episcopal Church Center lost its chief communicator. Neva Rae Fox, the lead spokeswoman for the Episcopal Church for more than a decade, apparently left her employment abruptly Wednesday, for reasons that have not been made public, The Living Church reported.

Senior leaders at the church center did not immediately respond to requests for comment and Fox could not be reached. Fox's contact information was deleted on Wednesday or early Thursday from the staff directory and communications office pages on episcopalchurch.org.

Lisa Webb, associate officer for public affairs, is now listed as the primary contact for public affairs.

*****

The Task Force on the Study of Marriage was created by General Convention in 2012 and extended for another triennium in 2015. The legislative fruit of its most recent labor has now been made public. It consists of three resolutions that will be fed into the General Convention sausage machine in the first week of July, as the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops convene in Austin, writes Springfield Bishop Dan Martins, writing in The Living Church.

He calls it "reconstructive surgery on the Prayer Book" and he doesn't like it. As one of the few remaining Anglo-Catholic bishops in TEC, he says all three resolutions are substantive, but the one that stands out is A085. It proposes what has been called a "surgical" amendment of the Book of Common Prayer -- that is, regardless of how convention responds to the question of comprehensive Prayer Book revision, if A085 passes in something like its current form, it will constitute a first reading of a short list of amendments to the prayer book. If General Convention approves a second reading in 2021, the changes will be fixed.

"The strategic goal of the task force is to ensure that same-sex marriage is available to anyone who wants it, in any domestic diocese of the church, with or without the permission of a bishop. There are, of course, already authorized rites that can be used for such occasions. These were adopted in 2015, but the enabling resolution specified that their use is subject to the consent of the ordinary. It appears that there are at most a couple of handfuls of dioceses whose bishops not only decline to permit same-sex marriage within their dioceses but also forbid clergy from outside the diocese from coming in to preside at such rites, and most of these also prohibit their clergy from traveling outside the diocese to do so. (Full disclosure: I am among this number.)"

Of course, we all know where this is going. The Prayer Book revisions will pass and same-sex marriage will be recognized and those dissenters in time will roll over. A handful of bishops will demur, then they will say that those parishes that want to perform them can do so with their permission. It will not be mandatory for all parishes to perform same sex marriages. Then some aggrieved couple will yell and scream homophobia at a priest who won't marry them. They will complain to the PB who will pressure the bishop, who will put pressure on the priest that he either does so or go pound sand somewhere else. Like WO it will, in time, be made mandatory for all dioceses to perform SS marriages. It's only a matter of time. Bishop Greg Brewer of Central Florida will quickly roll over, as will the Bishop of Dallas, George R. Sumner. The real holdouts will be Bishop William Love of Albany and perhaps Martins himself. We shall see.

*****

Well, just how bad are things in the Anglican Church of Canada? Very, writes David of Samizdat. The Diocese of British Columbia is disintegrating, he writes. Recently the bishop of the diocese, James Cowan in a charge to the synod wrote this: Woodpeckers are eating the cathedral:

For a variety of reasons, the initial design of the East End was modified. As a result, leakage has been a major problem in the East End ever since its completion. As well, some of the materials used for construction of the exterior east wall and transept towers have a lifespan of no more than twenty-five years. While that time is almost up, in fact the lifespan of that material has been considerably lessened, because woodpeckers seem to like it, and the repair of bird holes in the east nave wall and the transept towers has been an almost annual and costly event.

Even though many parishes will be closed, the cathedral will be fixed because it is -- well, more important:

It may seem odd that in the midst of budgetary concerns, diocesan staff downsizing, and proposals about the disestablishment of parishes and the regrouping of parishes, there should be thought given to further development of the Cathedral.

Diocesan staff will be laid off:

There will have to be a major downsizing and re-alignment of the Diocesan Staff, and to that end I have consulted with the Officers of Synod, seeking their advice about what that downsizing and realignment might look like. The downsizing of Staff will take place regardless of the decisions which will be made during our consideration of the notices of motion which are before us from the Diocesan Transformation Team.

Parishes will be closed; parishioners will be angry:

I am aware of the anger that confronts us as these recommendations come before us for decision. For many years the buildings in which we worship and through which we minister have been a focus of that ministry and worship.

And the most interesting part: whole dioceses are candidates for closure:

Over the past thirty years, it has been suggested that there are too many Dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada. We have talked about the extensive territory which exists in Canada and the reality of the great distances which separate the communities in which Anglican mission exists. Vast territories and a commitment to ministry in places where there are small numbers have been cited as reasons to let the status quo remain unchanged. The difficulty in bringing about change to the civil legislation which established most if not all of our Dioceses is also cited as reason to do nothing. And, as we continue to maintain our present structures the programmatic support which might be used to extend the proclamation of the Gospel is reduced, and reduced, and reduced. Somewhere, somehow, this has to end.

The Diocese of Quebec is close to collapse; the Dioceses of Montreal and Toronto are in financial difficulty. So is the Diocese of Niagara, whose bishop has opined that the ideal size for a diocese is 35 parishes -- Niagara currently has over 100 parishes.

Cowan seems to recognize that doing more of the same is not going to work:

A variety of sources have defined insanity as just that, doing the same thing while expecting different results. It did not work, it will not work, and the history of our denomination and of the Christian Church both here and in the rest of Canada over the past forty years, shows that working harder at doing the same things does not work.

"And yet, although many of the ACoC bishops are feverishly rearranging Anglican trappings in things like Fresh Expressions, doctrinally they are continuing to plod resolutely down the same road of theological liberalism, and that is -- insane," writes Samizdat.

The Diocese of Huron is also in free fall. But the spin continues even as it pushes homosexual unions and more progressive views. Here is the latest word: "We continued to see some churches reach the point where sustaining the congregation in the present way was not possible. Several chose to disestablish -- there are photos of these congregations as part of the video loop being shown in the lobby on the two monitors. We give thanks for the life and witness of these congregations over many years -- and know that the seeds of faith planted in the lives of their parishioners live on in the wider church. We held celebrations of their ministry as they were deconsecrated over the past year." They include:

Church of the Good Shepherd, Woodstock, amalgamated with Christ Church;
Huntingford St. Stephen's, Courtright;
St. George's, Windsor;
St. Thomas, Owen Sound -- amalgamated with St. George's Owen Sound;
Holy Trinity, London -- amalgamated with St. Stephen's, London.

More "amalgamations" will follow. When the diocese finally closes its last parish, as surely it will, its epitaph will read, "they live on in the wider church."

And so this week we say farewell to Michael Bird, and thanks for all the lawsuits. Bird is no longer bishop of the Diocese of Niagara. He has tweeted his last. Wrote one blogger, "I am confident Satan is very appreciative of his services since he with his apostate colleagues have changed the worship of our LORD and Saviour to the worship of that detestable 'god of political expediency'."

*****

ACNS spins Uganda martyrs. Here is what the ACNS story said: "Thousands of Christians from Uganda and neighbouring countries are arriving in Namugongo for special services to commemorate the Ugandan Martyrs. On June 13, 1886, the Kabaka -- or King -- of Buganda, Mwanga II, killed 32 young Anglicans and Roman Catholic men -- who worked as his pages -- by burning them alive at Namugongo. They were among 23 Anglicans and 22 Roman Catholics who were put to death by the king or killed for refusing to recant their faith between 1885 and 1887.

Ah, not exactly. The martyrs went to their graves because they refused the homosexual advances of the king and for that, they died.

From Wikipedia: "From 1885--1887 many Christians were put to death in Uganda by King Mwanga II. Many of them were officials in the court of Catholics, as well as a number of Anglicans, were put to death, some by the sword, others by burning alive. The ire of the king was particularly inflamed against the Christians because they refused to accede to demands to participate in homosexual unions."

Of course, the ACNS spins it so they won't offend Anglican and Episcopal sodomites who insist God has changed His mind about pansexual behavior...and because TEC pays a boatload of money to keep the Anglican Consultative Office in London open.

*****

Did he, or didn't he? Did the Archbishop of Canterbury say that the EU was "the greatest dream realized for human beings since the fall of the Western Roman Empire" or did he not.

Gerald Coates, one of the most influential Christian leaders of this generation, says Justin Welby denied saying those words to the Assembly of the Conference of European Churches in Serbia, recently.

Coates attended a Lambeth Palace garden party and published an account on his Facebook page saying that the ABC never said those words. What Welby said was that "the EU has brought peace, prosperity, compassion for the poor and weak, purpose for the aspirational and hope for all its people".

Archbishop Cranmer at his blog which faithfully reported these very words and took the trouble (which much of the mainstream media did not) to set the sentence in context -- that is, Justin Welby's belief. You can read the speech for yourself: the Archbishop of Canterbury plainly said (third paragraph from the bottom): "The European Union is the greatest dream realized, for human beings since the fall of the Western Roman Empire." It is a verbatim quotation. Why would Justin Welby deny that he ever said what he plainly did say? Confusion... cover-up... bewilderment... upset...

Bishop Gavin Ashenden, who is scrupulous and fair toward Justin Welby, but disagrees with him regularly, said "that the Archbishop of Canterbury would have denied having said the very words which the media have attributed to him (Lambeth Palace Press Office would have issued a robust and swift correction): those very words may be readily viewed on the Archbishop's own website. Much more likely is it that Gerald Coates misheard or only partially heard or perhaps misunderstood what the Archbishop actually said.

Blogger Jules Gomes takes Welby apart on the issue here: https://tinyurl.com/y99g5oso

IN other news, the Church of England issued liturgies for survivors of sex abuse. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the independent inquiry into child sex abuse that hearing survivors' testimonies had made him ashamed of the church, according to local press reports.

The new prayers, readings and suggested hymns ask God to 'destroy the masks of evil' as the Church grapples with how to respond to hundreds of allegations of abuse against clergy and church officers.

The 16-page resource includes a baptism-style commissioning service for a safeguarding officer, where the appointee responds by saying 'with the help of God I will' to a series of questions from the minister.

It also makes recommendations for services of penitence and healing, includes asking for forgiveness 'for the times when people have been abused', 'for self-deceit and colluding with falsehood' and 'for sins of negligence and ignorance'.

The Church of England faced more than 700 allegations or concerns of abuse committed by church officers.

*****

Dean Jeffrey John, a homosexual living with his partner, ran for the job as Bishop of Brechin in the Scottish Episcopal Church recently, and once again failed to get elected. This was his eighth attempt to obtain a see. Will he ever quit?

The Rev. Canon Ian Paton was elected as the new Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane, and The Very Rev Andrew Swift was elected as the new Bishop of Brechin.

*****

The wrath of God is being poured out on the Southern Baptist Convention says Baptist scholar and theologian, Al Mohler. The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention has just begun, he says.

"The last few weeks have been excruciating for the Southern Baptist Convention and for the larger evangelical movement. It is as if bombs are dropping and God alone knows how many will fall and where they will land.

"America's largest evangelical denomination has been in the headlines day after day. The SBC is in the midst of its own horrifying #MeToo moment.

"Sexual misconduct is as old as sin, but the avalanche of sexual misconduct that has come to light in recent weeks is almost too much to bear. These grievous revelations of sin have occurred in churches, in denominational ministries, and even in our seminaries.

You can read more here: https://albertmohler.com/2018/05/23/wrath-god-poured-humiliation-southern-baptist-convention/

*****

Are American churches going the way of Europe's declining religious institutions? Church attendance across Europe has dropped to single-digit percentages. In that environment, how is the church adapting and finding effectiveness?

Cliff Allen probed this and other questions at Group's at a recent Future of the Church summit. Allen is an American who moved to the UK 30 years ago to pastor a church near London. He has some unique perspectives.

He urged American leaders at the Future of the Church to be prepared. "What can you do now to engage in a culture that is becoming increasingly secular and hostile to the Christian message?"

The American church's obsession with filling pews on Sunday has become a dubious memory for Allen. "It's not about bums in seats," he said. He explained that his focus has turned from the ubiquitous "barn mentality" of doing church. As a kid growing up on a farm, Allen learned that any good farmer does not spend the bulk of his time in the barn. "If he wants a harvest, he's going to have to spend a lot of his time in the field--planting seeds and looking after those seeds."

So, Allen works to make active disciples--deploying them outside the "barn," into the community. For example, 25 churches in his area work together to dispatch volunteer "street pastors" throughout the city. They practice loving their neighbors by helping people who spill out of the pubs.

The effective churches in Britain are less focused on doing church, and more focused on being the church. Perhaps there's something we can learn here.

*****

Distinguished social critic Os Guinness talks about religious freedom and getting along with our deepest differences: you can watch the video here: http://qideas.org/videos/getting-along-despite-differences/

*****

The next time I write to you all, it will be from Jerusalem where I will be attending GAFCON III. It promises to be a memorable occasion, with some 2000 Anglicans representing some 50 million global Anglicans who are orthodox in faith and morals. I will post daily to the website and FACEBOOK and I will also post a 15 to 30-minute video with my associate James Syrow to our FACEBOOK page. https://www.facebook.com/virtueonline/

Warmly in Christ,

David

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