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Seismic Shifts in Sexuality Now Affects All Denominations * South Carolina Tensions Heighten * Wiesenthal Center accuses Episcopal bishop of anti-Semitism * Ft. Worth Takes Next Step in Litigation * Maryland Bp Seeks Parole * Ch.of Scotland in Free Fall

Personal and visible. Two aspects of the return of Jesus are really beyond question. His advent will involve the personal presence of one now absent, the visible presence of one now unseen. Beyond this we shall be wise to exercise caution. The actual manner of his personal, visible return will no doubt transcend both the categories in which the prophecy has been made and the measure of our own understanding. It will be a dramatic, cataclysmic event terminating the whole process of history. But, although we may not wish to dogmatize beyond this point, we cannot stop short of it if we would be true to the New Testament revelation. The return of Jesus may indeed be *more* glorious, but it cannot be *less* than fully personal and visible. --- John R. W. Stott

The idea that blacks shun Evangelical churches because white supremacists have come to dominate Evangelicalism is an unsubstantiated attempt to promote racial tension. --- David Jensen IRD

The most important cultural shift in Western civilization is the collapse of Christianity and the concomitant collapse of belief in God. Christianity once displaced the pagan worldview. In the 20th century, secularism displaced Christianity. --- Carl Jacobs

It costs something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are enemies to be overcome, battles to be fought, sacrifices to be made, an Egypt to be forsaken, a wilderness to be passed through, a cross to be carried, a race to be run. Conversion is not putting a person in an arm-chair and taking them easily to heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory --- J. C. Ryle

I feel that very grave dangers hang over us. This results from the apostasy of the great part of Europe from the Christian faith. Hence a worse state than the one we were in before we received the Faith. For no one returns from Christianity to the same state he was in before Christianity but into a worse state: the difference between a pagan and an apostate is the difference between an unmarried woman and an adulteress. For faith perfects nature but faith lost corrupts nature. --- C.S. Lewis

'Feminism hadn't been about equal rights for a long time. The goal was renunciation of heterosexuality and the destruction of the family and the church -- social structures that cannot exist without the union of man and woman in marriage.' --- Gabriele Kuby

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
August 3, 2018

The seismic shifts in all the Christian churches over sexuality is rendering them increasingly impotent in the face of a growing secularism, as churches ape the world in moral relativism and the world increasingly ignores the Church.

The Roman Catholic Church is facing a Borgia like revival of sexual abuse charges that is reaching the very top echelon of Catholic leaders, touching the very hem of the pope himself. It is not a pretty sight to watch bishops, archbishops and cardinals squirming over new revelations that their leaders were caught up in decades of homosexual abuse (may we call it sin) that is causing the faithful to walk away, many in tears that the leaders they trusted betrayed them.

Of course, it is not just Rome, but most of the mainline Protestant denominations in America are struggling with sexuality issues. This is not just in liberal denominations, but evangelical ones like the Southern Baptist Convention are also in trouble. No denomination, it now appears, is exempt. The Presbyterian Church, USA and shortly, the United Methodist Church are in life threatening struggles over homosexuality that will undoubtedly cause them to hemorrhage faithful followers.

Of course, the difference between the Roman Catholic Church and The Episcopal Church is that the official RCC position is that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered", whereas TEC has embraced homosexual acts, legitimized them in marriage, included them in its canons and now wants to clean house of its orthodox bishops by giving powers to a parish priest that it never had before by allowing (enforcing) homosexual marriage. You can read my story on the sinister intrusion of homosexual marriage into orthodox dioceses here: https://tinyurl.com/ybzt38dy

Now the RCC will probably recover, TEC will not. Within a decade, most of TEC will have wilted away theologically, morally and demographically. If the RCC cleans house and that means a major house cleaning, then it will pick itself up off the narthex floor, repent of its sins and hopefully recover. This may mean a lot of money to pay for abused persons, many mea culpas, much public and personal repentance, a lot of humility and the realization that wearing a biretta or red hat will not guarantee you a place in the kingdom.

It is deeply ironic then, that as The Episcopal Church embraces more of the pansexual agenda of the world, it finds its churches emptying just slightly slower than Drano. The Episcopal Church started legitimizing sodomy nearly 40 years ago when Louie Crew started his crusade for sodomite acceptance. Now the Church is doing contortions over homosexuality, trying to emulate and grovel before a culture that doesn't really care what TEC thinks about this or anything. Are TEC churches being swamped with LGBT couples just dying to crash its red doors and feel welcomed? Not happening.

To keep the fiction alive that all is well, TEC is spending millions of dollars fighting for properties in Ft. Worth and South Carolina that will be empty in less than a generation from now. No one seems to see the magnitude of the paradox. All this is happening while Bishop Michael Curry keeps screaming "revival" and his hope that the Jesus Movement will rescue TEC from a columbarium.

SOUTH CAROLINA

The word from South Carolina has reached a bizarre level of interpretation. In one week, TECinSC announced through its bishop "Skip" Adams that he was sitting down with a judge to figure out how to get the parishes and all their belongings back. What is going on down there is inexplicable, if not bizarre.

TECinSC put out the word through its mouthpiece, Episcopal Cafe, that it has begun working toward welcoming parishes back into the diocese and accounting for property following the Supreme Court's declining to address the ongoing lawsuit between TECinSC and a "breakaway" group of conservative Anglicans. Bishop Adams is holding multiple conversations (just three) around the diocese for those people in the 28 parishes affected by the SCOTUS non-decision.

"TECinSC is offering the open conversations to provide information and answer questions for people whose churches are affected by recent court decisions giving control of the property of the Diocese of South Carolina and 28 parishes to The Episcopal Church and its recognized diocese, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina," said a press report.

"We understand this is a time of great concern and confusion for people who care deeply about their faith communities,' said the Right Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III, Bishop of TECinSC. "We want to listen well and respond to their questions in order to offer a clear picture of how people can remain in their churches as part of The Episcopal Church."

TECinSC has also asked a judge to order a full accounting of all assets held by the breakaway group.

But when I asked Bishop Mark Lawrence's Canon to the Ordinary what his take on all this was, he wrote and said; "TEC reports of our demise are exceedingly premature. These meetings are being held as described. Very few here are buying it, (actually a total of 445 attended three meetings) and even fewer of our people have attended the first two meetings. The legal questions are far from settled in his case. No congregations are planning to return to TEC or relinquish their property. God may yet send us all out on mission without our current places of worship, but we aren't there yet. For TEC to suggest it is so is naïve at best and disingenuous and deceptive at worst."

If TECinSC does win its case in the courts and "recovers" 28 parishes, then most of them, with a few exceptions, will be forced to lock the doors and require upkeep by the Episcopal Church and you can be sure the city fathers will have a word to say if they don't. Where is the win for TEC you may ask?

Meanwhile a number of stories I wrote on Bishop "Skip" Adams when he was bishop of Central New York are making the rounds and being floated into newspapers and listservs. The Rev. Dr. Peter Moore, former TSM president, is doing excellent work getting the word out in Charleston and the surrounding neighborhood about the behavior of Adams and, hopefully, this will reap rewards when people come to make a decision about with whom they want to align.

You can read several stories about the situation in South Carolina here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/reconciliation-lies-south-carolina-episcopal-bishop-skip-adams
http://www.virtueonline.org/south-carolina-church-schism
http://www.virtueonline.org/south-carolina-some-concerns-about-episcopal-bishop-adams-offer-reconciliation

BISHOP "SKIP" ADAMS

If you read and listen to South Carolina Episcopal Bishop "Skip" Adams, you will hear that what he wants more than anything else is reconciliation in South Carolina with 28 parishes worth more than half a billion dollars that could be lost to the Diocese of South Carolina, now affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America led by bishop Mark Lawrence.

Adams has solicited help from presiding bishop Michael Curry, who also claims to breathe the air of reconciliation with heaps of scripture thrown in for good measure.

But Adams' past track record on reconciliation is anything but. When Adams was bishop in the Diocese of Central New York, Adams ignored a priest who abused 16 boys. Adams also attempted to depose another priest who exposed the pedophile priest. There was even talk of presentment charges being brought against Adams at one point. But revisionist bishops get a pass in TEC.

Adams' past reveals a man whose behavior on reconciliation is nothing less than untruthful and contemptuous. You can read the full story here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/reconciliation-lies-south-carolina-episcopal-bishop-skip-adams

Wiesenthal Center accuses Episcopal bishop of anti-Semitism

As if things were not bad enough in The Episcopal Church, a sitting woman bishop got accused this week of being anti-Semitic by an international Jewish human rights organization.

In debate at the recently concluded General Convention, Bishop Gayle Harris (Massachusetts - suffragan) recounted a personal experience of a trip to Israel as a teenager, and also relayed a story concerning an attempted arrest of a three-year-old as part of the church's deliberations on whether or not to divest from Israeli investments.

In a statement, the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned her statements, alleging that they were "fabrications" and "absurd allegations."

We have been unable to corroborate the bishop's stories, though there was a report from March of this year of a three-year-old who was temporarily detained, but in Hebron, not Jerusalem. We have reached out to the bishop's office and will update this post with any response.

Here is the statement from the Wiesenthal Center:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemns the outrageous fabrications made from the floor of the recent General Convention of The Episcopal Church by Bishop Gayle Harris of Massachusetts. In speaking in favor of a punitive measure against Israel, Harris claimed, "I was there a couple years ago on the Temple Mount. A three-year-old little boy, Palestinian, with his mother was bouncing a rubber ball. The ball happened to sort of roll away from him and go over the side down to the Western Wall," leading to Israeli soldiers charging the Temple Mount and attempting to handcuff the child.

This is an absurd allegation. There is a high stone wall on top of the Temple Mount that blocks balls and people from going over the side. Nonetheless, Harris' charge was met with many "aye" votes and no challenge of her facts.

For the record, not a single bishop stood up to her charges at General Convention. They remained silent.

You can read the full story here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/wiesenthal-center-accuses-episcopal-bishop-anti-semitism

FT. WORTH

The Diocese of Fort Worth and its Corporation took the next step today in defense of its church property against the hostile claims of parties representing The Episcopal Church (TEC) this week.

Attorneys for the Diocese filed a Petition for Review https://tinyurl.com/y8wtts9c with the Texas Supreme Court regarding the April 2018 opinion released by the state's Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, which relied on old Deference standards to reverse the trial court's 2015 Summary Judgment ruling.

In 2013, the Texas Supreme Court directed the lower courts to decide the property issues according to Neutral Principles of state law. The trial court did so in 2015, granting summary judgment in favor of the Diocese. The TEC plaintiffs appealed, and the now nine-year-old case was left pending for two years in the appellate court. The Petition argues that when finally released, the opinion contradicted the explicit instructions from the Supreme Court to apply state law rather than deferring all property decisions to TEC.

Now, with this second appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, the Diocese asks for a review of the April opinion and reinstatement of the trial court's 2015 Final Judgment. "Under Neutral Principles of state law," the petition argues, "a minority group cannot take control of an existing legal entity by forming another with the same name and demanding that the state law be ignored."

If the Court accepts the appeal, it may call for oral argument sometime next year.

MARYLAND

Heather E. Cook, the former Assisting Bishop of Maryland who killed a cyclist while in a state of drunken stupifaction, wants a free get out of jail card where she is serving a 7-year prison sentence. She has applied for a work release program.

Cook's application is under review, according to a prisons spokesman and a letter was sent to the victim's family and shared with The Baltimore Sun.

Alisa Rock, a sister of Palermo's wife, said in an email to The Sun that she opposes Cook's application for work release. She said that by applying, "Cook once again attempts to limit the consequences of her actions."

"I had hoped that, one day, Cook would truly grasp the enormity of the loss that her reckless behavior caused for us and our community," Rock said. "It's clear through these repeated requests designed to minimize her sentence that this has not been the case."

Cook applied for home detention in May, but was denied, Shields said. The Maryland Parole Commission last year rejected Cook's first request for parole, with its chairman saying Cook "took no responsibility" for her actions and displayed a "lack of remorse."

It's not a stretch to believe that she is symptomatic of TEC itself, a church unable to see the damage it has wrought on itself and others by allowing wimmin bishops and sodomy to reign and then wants everybody to accept its decisions, even as it empties its pews.

ST MARY'S ACA CHURCH WINS ON APPEAL

In Hollywood, California, St. Mary of the Angels lost its battle to get to Rome and it must now return to the control of the Anglican Church of America.

After nearly six years of legal filings that split a church parish in two, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge upheld, on July 25th, an appellate court's ruling from last December that a 2012 vote by St. Mary of the Angels parishioners to leave the Anglican Church for the Roman Catholic Church was invalid, and therefore the church and its holdings, including an adjacent commercial building on Finley Avenue, still belonged to the Anglican Church, said a press report.

The ruling means the church will now return to the control of the Anglican Church of America (ACA) and Los Feliz resident Marilyn Bush, who together were the key litigants in the case.

"This has been a very long [six] years finally coming to a close," Bush said in an email. "To say I am delighted is an understatement." You can read the full story here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/hollywood-ca-st-mary-angels-loses-legal-battle

IS HAITI GOING TO HELL?

As a country, Haiti has been in a sort of hell for decades. Haiti, born of slavery and revolution, has struggled with centuries of crippling debt, exploitation, corruption and violence. A quartet of storms as deadly and destructive as Fay, Gustav, Hannah and Ike (between them, they killed 800 people, devastated more than 70% of Haiti's agricultural land. Wretched, also, to have fallen victim to calamitous flooding in 2002, 2003 (twice), 2006 and 2007.

It would seem that the episcopal Diocese of Haiti is also just a mess. A provincial fact-finding group have looked into claims of episcopal election fraud in the diocese. A group of clergy and laity allege that the current bishop and supporters manipulated the process. The Episcopal News Service reported that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry took the next step in a never-before-used canonical process contesting the election of the Very Rev. Kerwin Delicat as bishop coadjutor for the Diocese of Haiti.

Curry, on July 17, officially asked the Province II Court of Review to convene as a fact-finding commission and prepare a report on allegations of what a group of Haitian Episcopalians called an "electoral coup d'etat." The group represents more than 20 percent of the clergy and lay electors of the June 2 convention that chose Delicat, dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The 16 priests and 26 lay people say that Bishop Diocesan Jean Zache Duracin and his supporters:

• Violated a covenant that was agreed to just more than a year ago by Curry, Duracin, Haiti Bishop Suffragan Oge Beauvoir and the diocesan Standing Committee to "address and resolve many of the issues of conflict that have been burdening the diocese."
• Manipulated ordinations to influence the election results.
• Developed an illegitimate slate of candidates by eliminating those who did not support the bishop.
• Violated election canons and the diocese's bylaws governing elections.
• Planned and implemented obstacles to voting that amounted to fraud.

You can read the full story here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/provincial-fact-finding-group-looking-claims-episcopal-election-fraud-diocese-haiti

CHURCH of SCOTLAND IN FREE FALL

The media are reporting the situation correctly -- the Church of Scotland is in freefall. After years of pretending otherwise, the leadership of the C of S now admits that is the case and that something needs to be done. We are told that the life expectancy of the Kirk is 30 years; membership is in free fall, there are not enough ministers and finance is a major problem. With such a dire situation, all agree that something must be done. Life and Work tells us that this needs to be 'radical'.

So far, that 'radicalism' seems to be tied in with the 'solutions' offered by the theologian, Doug Gay, whose Chalmers lectures were fascinating -- not least because the solutions they offered were at best sticky plaster and cosmetic, rather than radical, reports the Rev. David Robertson.

The Courier report suggests that what is needed is just 'rebranding' -- as though the problem was only one of image. Form and not substance. But surely people must realize that a clever marketing campaign will not save the Church?

The real solution is found within the article from Life and Work. The editor speaks of those who will object that 'the timeless message of the church' should not be subject to crass marketing. And therein lies the problem. Not with the marketing -- but with what is being marketed.

Brechin cathedral was the church of Rev Scott Rennie (Rev. Rennie divorced his wife and is now 'married' to another man), before he moved to Queens Cross and precipitated the latest crisis in the Church of Scotland. You can read the full story here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/re-branding-church-scotland

LEEDS DIOCESE IN PARLOUS FINANCIAL STATE

The Anglican diocese of Leeds is in serious financial crisis. It is the Church of England's largest diocese.
The diocese is drawing up plans to tackle a £3m (US$3.9 million) deficit, with staff facing redundancies, closing its pension scheme and reviewing salaries.

Leeds diocese was created in 2014 following the dissolution of the dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield. You can read the full story here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/anglican-diocese-leeds-serious-financial-crisis

INTIMIDATION

One of the key, but unspoken aspects of homosexual fascism is intimidation. The Episcopal Church has been practicing it for years. If you refuse to conform, then you will be accused of homophobia, hate, lacking diversity, lacking inclusion, false guilt and, when all that fails, toss you out, or make it so uncomfortable you don't want to stay. The disease of intimidation is now spreading globally.

In the Church of Scotland, an evangelical Scottish pastor got an earful when he wrote an open letter to Christian music artist Vicky Beeching about her new book promoting LGBT theology. He warned the church about the kinds of hostile intimidation at work in the culture over sexuality issues.

In a lengthy article last week on his blog, TheWeeFlea, David Robertson, who is the pastor at St. Peters Free Church in Dundee, Scotland, described what happened when Beeching -- who came out as a lesbian in 2014 -- commented on his and another pastor's review of her book, Undivided, in which they addressed her arguments and commented on the experiences she had that informed her conclusions.

Robertson wrote to Beeching privately after reviewing her book last month to say that he wished her no harm and had no ill feelings toward her personally, but said he never heard from her.

"I have nothing against her personally and would love to meet her. My concern is to defend the teaching of the Bible and to protect the church from the harmful teaching that she is now espousing. It doesn't matter whether the poison is administered by a lovely or a hateful person -- it's still poison," he stressed.

Yet in mid-July, Beeching shared on social media how upset she was when she saw the book reviews, particularly Robertson's, saying that he had misleadingly spun her book's message and that he had accused her of being a liar, among other things.

Robertson responded that Beeching's comments "were at best disingenuous" and that his words had been distorted. He noted that, as a result of what she said, he received a torrent of social media abuse, much of it unrepeatable. You can read the full story here:
http://www.virtueonline.org/intimidation-overtaking-church-sexuality-issues-says-pastor-who-challenged-vicky-beeching

WHY AMERICANS GO TO CHURCH

The most common reason for attendance is to become closer to God (81%), which far and away is also cited as the single most important reason (61%) with every other reason cited by less than a tenth of respondents.

Pew also examined the demographics of regular worshipers. Among the findings:

71% pray daily
56% are women
55% are age 50 or older
31% are college graduates
45% identify as Democrats or lean that way

"Smaller majorities say that valuable sermons and being part of "a community of faith" are very important reasons for their regular religious attendance," noted Pew researchers. "Far fewer cite their family's religious traditions (37%) or a feeling of religious obligation (31%) as reasons for their steady religious attendance, while even fewer say socializing and meeting new people (19%) or pleasing their spouse or family (16%) are key reasons they attend church regularly."

Pew overlooked the real reason why people should go to church. WORSHIP. Ya think.

'Be Faithful to Jesus': The Battle That Could Define the Anglican Church for Generations

If you want to read what some conservative media had to say about the recent meeting of GAFCON III in Jerusalem about how the face of the church around the world is changing... literally, read this:

One of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world is going through a crisis that could define its future for generations. It's an ongoing battle between today's culture and traditional Christianity.

"The leadership of the global church without doubt has passed onto the global south and Africans are taking the lead and this is a cause for great celebration," Rev. Joseph D'Souza from India said. "It's not the white man. It's a religion of the Middle East; it's a religion of Africa; it's a religion of Asia, so for me this is absolutely encouraging."

That change in the global church was seen dramatically during the recent gathering of Anglicans in Jerusalem.

The Anglican Church is one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world and it's going through a historic change.

David Pileggi, the rector of Christ Church in Jerusalem's Old City, told CBN News he's encouraged.

"What's so encouraging is that we have many people from Africa and Asia. These countries only received the message of the Gospel 150 or 200 years ago," Pileggi explained. "They have believed the Gospel; they remain faithful. And now God has sent them, those of us in the West, to remind us that we must return to our Gospel roots. We must return to being faithful to Jesus despite what the culture is telling us."

The goal of this Jerusalem meeting was to create a roadmap for the future of this church body. It began in 2008 to uphold the traditional church teaching and emphasize the critical importance of the Bible.

Archbishop Stanley Entigali from Uganda believes this group exists to maintain the purity of the Gospel.

"It's all about Jesus. It's all about mission -- evangelism -- preaching the biblical Gospel so that we do not divert from the biblical truth," he said. "We will remain focused on the Bible, the authority of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ and that of the apostles who handed over the faith to us."

Members of this conference oppose the liberal teachings in some Western Anglican churches that embrace same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Those teachings led Archbishop Nicholas Okoh from Nigeria to call on the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Anglican Church, to repent.

"We would like him to know that a big chunk of people he is leading are complaining very badly about his direction, his trajectory," Okoh said. "And so we would like him to change; that is to say that he must make a definite stand of repentance. We must return to being faithful to Jesus despite what the culture is telling us," he said. Welby should take note.

In Christ,

David

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