Saturday, July 29, 2006

Let us seek the grace of a cheerful heart, an even temper, sweetness, gentleness, and brightness of mind, as walking in His light, and by His grace. Let us pray to Him to give us the spirit of ever-abundant, everspringing love, which overpowers and sweeps away the vexations of life by its own richness and strength, and which, above all things, unites us to Him who is the fountain and the centre of all mercy, loving-kindness, and joy. John Henry Newman photo: sky blue pink

Friday, July 28, 2006

Let us never forget that the Husbandman is never so near the land as when He is plowing it, the very time when we are tempted to think He hath forsaken us. His plowing is a proof that He thinks you of value, and worth chastening: for He does not waste His plowing on the barren sand. He will not plow continually, but only for a time, and for a definite purpose... Soon, aye soon, we shall, through these painful processes and by His gentle showers of grace, become His fruitful land.
Lettie B. Cowman

Stand Firm: Friday Flashback: Why I Left My Liberal Parish
Bill Boniface's famous letter, re-posted by popular demand.

The Danger to our Church

As you're all aware this is sadly my wife's and my last day at St. Thomas'. Never in my wildest dreams when we came back to this little church after many years away and made the decision to remain in Upper Marlboro for the foreseeable future did I think we'd ever become part of that large group of folks known as "former St. Thomas' parishioners."

But now I have to talk to you from the heart. Families know that to let disagreements go without addressing them slowly destroys the bond of love and trust that holds them together. Ignoring serious disagreements only means that a price will have to be paid some time in the future. And if I didn't think the Episcopal Church's current disagreement would ever force St. Thomas' to pay a huge price in the future - in fact, the price of its very survival - I'd step away from this podium this very moment and simply walk away with the happiness of this gathering to warm me. That would be so easy. But I couldn't ever look you - or even worse, Christ - in the eye again if I did that.

I believe all the responsibilities of a Senior Warden are important, but I think his or her primary responsibility - along with the vestry - is to first and foremost guard the faith. We're a church, after all. We're here because of the faith. Without it, there would be no need for buildings or church suppers, or altar guilds. For the vestry, it's like the meaning behind a doctor's Hippocratic Oath, simply do no harm.

The rest-don't miss this!

The Whole Earth Is Full of His Glory: The Recovery of Authentic Worship, Part Three
Albert Mohler
Friday, July 28, 2006

Not only does authentic worship begin with a true vision of the living God, but second, authentic worship leads to a confession of sin, both individual and corporate. We see it directly in this passage: "And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke." What did Isaiah do? He said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." Isaiah was "undone," when he had seen the true and living God, when he saw God in his holiness. He came to know the majestic, moral nature of this God, and he came to see God's righteousness and his holiness. In reflection, Isaiah automatically saw his own utter sinfulness. He could not otherwise understand himself but as a sinner who was, by his own words here, undone, dissolved--silenced. He saw himself doomed to die. the rest

Christian Doctor Says Congressman Wrong About Abortion
By Mary Rettig and Natalie Harris
July 27, 2006

(AgapePress) - A Christian OB-GYN from Tennessee says Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman is the one who is misleading girls, not pregnancy resource centers.

Waxman, a representative from California, serves on the House Government Reform Committee. He recently asked staff to check on pregnancy crisis centers, which received $24 million in federal aid between 2001 and 2004. The subsequent report claims that federally-funded, faith-based pregnancy centers give false information connecting abortions with breast cancer, infertility, and mental illness. the rest

Abortion-consent stall riles GOP, pro-lifers
By Amy Fagan

July 28, 2006

Republicans and pro-life groups are outraged that Senate Democrats are, at least for now, blocking a newly approved bipartisan Senate bill aimed at protecting parents' right to be involved in an underage daughter's abortion decision.

"It is underhanded and disingenuous, and it needs to stop now," said Sen. John Ensign, the Nevada Republican who sponsored the bill, which would make it illegal to skirt a state's parental consent or notification law by taking a pregnant minor to a more lenient state to obtain an abortion.

The Senate approved the bill Tuesday, but Senate Democrats used procedural objections to prevent it from being sent this week to final negotiations with the House, which has approved a different version.
the rest

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It is indeed a most lamentable consequence of the practice of regarding religion as a compilation of statutes, and not as an internal principle, that it soon comes to be considered as being conversant about external actions rather than about habits of mind. This sentiment sometimes has even the hardiness to insinuate and maintain itself under the guise of extraordinary concern for practical religion; but it soon discovers the falsehood of this pretension, and betrays its real nature. The expedient, indeed, of attaining to superiority in practice by not wasting any of the attention on the internal principles from which alone practice can flow, is about as reasonable, and will answer about as well, as the economy of an architect who should account it mere prodigality to expend any of his materials in laying foundation, from an idea that they might be more usefully applied to the raising of the superstructure. We know what would be the fate of such an edifice. ... William Wilberforce

Vestry of Christ Episcopal Church, San Antonio, Write their Bishop
July 26, 2006

Dear Bishop Lillibridge,

The Vestry of Christ Episcopal Church met last night to discuss our current situation in light of General Convention 2006. We have had several meetings for this purpose.

In a unanimous vote, the clergy and vestry of Christ Church and Christ Church in the Hill Country affirm our commitment to Jesus Christ, to the authority of Holy Scripture, and to that which binds us to our Anglican heritage. As a consequence, when the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates offer us an acceptable option, we will disassociate from the Episcopal Church. We feel that we must do this because we believe The Episcopal Church has left the Anglican Communion, and us, and now no longer lives under the authority of the Bible. It is our firm intent to continue our membership in the Anglican Communion and in covenant relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury with constituent member status. We sincerely hope that we can do this with the support and in partnership with our diocese.
the rest

U.S. Catechism for Adults Is Due Out
Result of 6-Year Project
JULY 26, 2006

( The first official catechism produced by the U.S. Catholic bishops since the Baltimore Catechism will be available to the public as of July 31.

Unlike the Baltimore Catechism, which was composed of 421 questions and answers and aimed at children, the new United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is designed for grown-ups and does not require rote memorization. Instead, it promotes a command of Catholic faith, prayer life and morals through a more accessible writing style and numerous features.

The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is an adaptation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992. At that time the Pope urged that local catechisms be developed to better address specific situations in different countries.

The adult catechism is meant to present Catholic teaching comprehensively and authoritatively but with a view to American culture and experience. The intended audience includes those who are preparing for the sacraments of initiation through the RCIA process, young adult Catholics, Catholics who may have drifted away from the practice of the faith, and all who may seek to know more about Catholic belief and practice.
the rest

Falling Apart
Controversial decisions at the recent General Convention have accelerated the break-up of the Episcopal Church.
by Douglas LeBlanc
posted 07/26/2006

In her inaugural sermon as the Episcopal Church's presiding bishop-elect, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada turned to images used by church mystics such as Julian of Norwich.

"That sweaty, bloody, tear-stained labor of the Cross bears new life," Jefferts Schori preached during the church's triennial General Convention, which met in June in Columbus, Ohio. "Our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation—and you and I are his children."

For Jefferts Schori, this language was "straight-down-the-middle orthodox thinking," according to The Washington Post.

For David Roseberry, founding rector of the 4,500-member Christ Episcopal Church in Plano, Texas, it was the final outrage.

Jefferts Schori preached her sermon on June 21. Three days later, Christ Church's vestry (its governing board) voted to leave the denomination. Roseberry's bishop, James Stanton of Dallas, has shown openness to letting Christ Church leave with its property. "They bought it. They paid for it," Stanton told The Dallas Morning News.
the rest

Canadian Professor Fined for Stating Opposition to Homosexuality
By Jim Brown

July 26, 2006

(AgapePress) - A Canadian professor has been fined two weeks pay by a Nova Scotia university for telling a student that homosexuality is an unnatural lifestyle. But despite the disciplinary measures imposed against the educator, he says he refuses to succumb to the administration's "intimidation."

Cape Breton University (CBU) fined veteran history professor David Mullan $2,100 in response to two human rights complaints filed by a homosexual student who coordinates the campus' Sexual Diversity Office. The student took umbrage at two letters the professor had written to his former Anglican bishop two years ago.

The letters posted on Mullan's website criticized the bishop and the Anglican Church of Canada for their acceptance of homosexual "marriage." CBU student Shane Wallis was offended by the content of the professor's letters and lodged a formal human rights complaint with the university.
the rest

U.K. Anglican Group Calls for 'Imperative Action' Against U.S. Episcopal Church
Joseph Alvarez
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Jul. 27 2006

LONDON – A conservative evangelical group in the Church of England has called on the heads of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion to take “imperative” actions to “formally break” ties with the Episcopal Church, USA.

The call from U.K.-based Church Society follows the U.S. church’s decision last month to reject a resolution to halt further ordinations of homosexual bishops, approving instead a compromise resolution that urged U.S. church leaders to "exercise restraint” when considering the ordination of homosexual candidates.

“With the Primates due to meet early next year it is imperative that action is now taken,” the society stated in a press release. “Since the Anglican Communion is a loose affiliation of national or provincial churches rather than a monolithic structure it is important that action taken is appropriate.

“In line with Biblical teaching and historic Christian practice Church Society has called on the Primates to formally break fellowship with ECUSA.”
the rest

Washington State Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Blaine Harde
nWashington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 27, 2006

SEATTLE, July 26 -- Deferring to state lawmakers and agreeing with most other U.S. courts, the highest court in Washington state on Wednesday upheld a state law that bans same-sex marriage.
The Washington Supreme Court, though, was bitterly divided in its 5 to 4 decision, producing six separate opinions in rejecting the claim of 19 gay couples that they are victims of state-sanctioned discrimination that harms their children and their financial security.
the rest

Retailers taking Christian path to competition
Small specialty shops tolerant of business challenge from big-box retailers
July 27, 2006

DENVER - Chuck Wallington is probably one of the few retailers who welcomes Wal-Mart to the neighborhood, if somewhat reluctantly.

Wallington, who runs his family's business in Spartanburg, S.C., and his fellow Christian business owners walk a tightrope between their religious calling and the need to earn a living as they adjust to new competition from big-box retailers.

"As a Christian retailer, you're kind of torn because your mission statement, a big part of it, is getting the word of the gospel out," Wallington said. "If Wal-Mart is carrying Christian books, is that a bad thing? I'm not sure it is. But obviously, from a business standpoint, it's challenging."
the rest

The Whole Earth Is Full of His Glory:
The Recovery of Authentic Worship, Part Two
Albert Mohler
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Where shall we turn for instruction on how we ought to worship? There is only one place we can turn, and that is to the Word of God. The norm of our worship must be the Word of God--this Word that He has spoken. As we turn to this Word, we do see a pattern of worship, a pattern that is replicated throughout the fabric of Scripture from beginning to the end.

Scripture is, as the Reformers confessed, norma normans non normata, "The norm of norms which cannot be normed." Sola Scriptura. This is the norm of our worship. There is nothing external to Scripture that can norm or correct it. Scripture sets the terms, and in Isaiah 6:1-8 we see a picture of authentic worship.

In this well-known "call" passage of Isaiah, the prophet experienced a theophany: a vision of the true and living God. Out of this encounter, Isaiah received his call as a prophet.
the rest

The Economist and Euro-Islam
What the paper is missing.
by Stephen Schwartz
07/27/2006 12:00:00 AM

EUROPEANS HAVE BECOME RECEPTIVE to the argument that Israel participates in the global war on terror when it confronts Hezbollah. But the broadening of the context for conflict also means dragging in other issues and constituencies.

So far, the silence among European Muslims about the Israel-Lebanon confrontation has been deafening. Rather than pouring into the streets to denounce Israel, Euro-Muslims appear reluctant to get involved. Yet the background debate over the future of Euro-Islam has not subsided.

On this score, the Economist, the "newspaper" (as it always calls itself) which brilliantly recorded the English social upheavals of the early 19th century, has been a disappointment.
In recent attempts come to grips with the problems of Islam in Europe, the Economist has flopped. Its June 24 issue flaunted a cover with a graphic turning the Eiffel Tower into a mosque and the headline "Eurabia." Inside, the paper came down against the "Eurabia thesis," but failed to mention Europe's notable Islamic asset: the indigenous Muslim communities of the Balkans, especially the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
the rest

Same-sex marriage on rocks with voters
20 out of 20 times, Americans choose to protect institution from changes
Posted: July 27, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

Yesterday's stunning
decision by Washington's Supreme Court upholding traditional marriage is not the only setback dogging same-sex marriage advocates.

In fact, 20 out of the 20 times it has come before voters, Americans have chosen to protect by constitutional amendment the idea of limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

So this year as it's brought before voters in another six – or eight – states, what do opponents plan to do to get their first single?


"The best that they (traditional marriage opponents) can do is confuse the issue," States Issues Analyst Mona Passignano, of the Colorado Springs-based
Focus on the Family Action, told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive look-ahead at this fall's election season.

the rest

Thou Shalt Not
How Plano pastor David Roseberry became the leading edge of a schism in the Episcopal Church over gays in the ministry
Jesse Hyde
Article Published Jul 27, 2006

The votes have been cast. It's over. For good or bad, Gene Robinson, son of a Kentucky tenant farmer, has made history--and captured the world's attention. The Episcopal Church has its first openly gay bishop.

It is August 5, 2003, and Robinson is to appear before the House of Deputies, an elected body of more than 800 clergy and lay Episcopalians from across the United States. They are gathered in the cavernous exhibit hall of the Minneapolis Convention Center, site of the 2003 General Convention, seated behind row after row of long tables draped in white cloth. Some of the biggest media outlets in the world are here: CNN, ABC, The New York Times. All told, there must be 100 reporters in the exhibit hall. Some are about to go live.

the rest

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

O Lord God, Thou art our refuge and our hope; on Thee alone we rest, for we find all to be weak and insufficient but Thee. Many friends cannot profit, nor strong helpers assist, nor prudent counselors advise, nor the books of the learned afford comfort, nor any precious substance deliver, nor any place give shelter, unless Thou Thyself dost assist, strengthen, console, instruct and guard us. James Martineau photo

Connecticut Six: VIDEO: Fr. Bob Hackendorf and Raymond Dague Interview (Pt III)
Posted At : July 26, 2006 6:52 PM
Posted By : Kevin Kallsen

Video here

A roundup of links from Central NY
General convention 2006 website


Dear St. Andrew's people,

In the midst of all the focus on the legal battle, it is good to remember what we are all about. I asked Fr. Bob to give a summary of some of the new ministries going on at our church since his arrival. And of course, undergirding it all is the prayer life of the parish and personal growth in the home fellowships (at least five long-term fellowships were active when the Hackendorfs came). -Pat Dague

What an exciting time here at St. Andrew’s in the Valley! With all the news about lawsuits and controversy, I think it might be easy to lose sight of what life is like at our parish. Truth be told, our people are focused on the Gospel and are carrying out a rich variety of effective ministry to the glory of our Lord!

As I write this, our Vacation Bible School is buzzing with 75 children, teens and adults learning about Jesus. (Last year we held the first VBS that the parish had organized in 30 years. This year’s school is about 50% larger than last year’s.) Our theme verse is Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Soon, our AWANA program, a Bible Club for kids, will be kicking off for a second school year. This program, full of fun for kids, is also an intensive systematic approach to learning Scripture. It is a joy to see grade school students memorize God’s Word together.

Our Youth Group is thriving and growing—our youth worship, pray and play together under the direction of a talented, committed Youth Pastor and adult staff.

Our Classical Christian Home School Cooperative will begin their second year with 18 students enrolled. The Co-Op, a kind of “mini-school,” supplements the home-taught curriculum of our students with instruction in Geography, History, Science, Music, Latin and other subjects. Our goal is to raise up a generation of orthodox Christian churchmen who are learned and useful for the Kingdom.

A number of our people are on staff of Evangelical ministries such as Young Life, Campus Crusade, InterVarsity and the local Rescue Mission. Even more of our people provide skilled volunteer services to various parachurch groups in our region.

We are aggressively starting new small group bible studies for youth and adults. During the School Year, sponsor numerous educational opportunities for adults, including two sections of New Testament Greek instruction (we hope to add Biblical Hebrew and other advanced studies in due course). Believe it or not, promoting literacy in the Biblical Languages among lay people has produced much fruit in our parish!

Our biggest challenge is that our facility is often too small to accommodate all the ministry that is happening, but even this reality forces us to be innovative in our approach.

In short, although we are saddened that anyone calling themselves a Bishop would want to shut all this down, our people embody the theme of this year’s VBS: Courage.

Fr. Bob Hackendorf

Connecticut Six: VIDEO: Raymond Dague Interview (pt II) - "Is there legal hope?"
Posted At : July 26, 2006 11:07 AM
Posted By : Kevin Kallsen

video here

Fort Worth Dean: General Convention is 'Outside the Faith'

In announcing its intention July 24 to withdraw from the Province 7 regional association of The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Fort Worth was merely formalizing a deliberate practice that was first embraced some three years ago, according to the Very Rev. Ryan Reed, dean of St. Vincent’s Cathedral, Bedford, Texas, and president of the standing committee.

“We’ve been sideline participants for a long time,” Dean Reed told The Living Church “Whether we chose to be or were put there is a matter of debate.”

The Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, and the majority of the diocesan leadership do not believe that God has called women to ordained orders. The Diocese of Fort Worth is also a member of the Anglican Communion Network. After the election of Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as the 26th Presiding Bishop during General Convention, Bishop Iker and the standing committee appealed for alternative primatial oversight to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference. This is the first scheduled meeting of the standing committee since the June 21 conclusion of Convention.

the rest at The Living Church

Diocese of Atlanta: "2 listening sessions planned on same-sex unions, blessings"
Source: Diocese of Atlanta Email Newsletter
July 26, 2006

2 listening sessions planned on same-sex unions, blessings

"Are You Listening?" is the theme for two meetings scheduled in Macon and Atlanta in August to allow Episcopalians to join the conversation about same- sex unions and the formation of a liturgy for blessing such unions. The meetings -- Saturday, Aug. 5, St. Paul's, Macon, and Saturday, Aug. 12, at at the Cathedral of St. Philip, are hosted by a bishop's study committee established by vote of the 2004 Annual Council. The committee is chaired by the Rev. Roger Ard. Both meetings run from 10 a.m. to noon. "One of the gifts that we hold in the Episcopal Church is our willingness to converse about difficult issues," Ard said. "We understand, even embrace, our diversity. We try to maintain an openness that allows us to hear each other in our differences. It is how we come to understand what God is saying to us and how the Holy Spirit is working within the church, both corporately and individually." This diocesan committee has been meeting and studying for the past two years. "Now it wants to invite you into the conversation," said Ard. (Advance registration is not required.)

AAC blog

Chance of Episcopal split more serious
By Jim Jones
McClatchy Newspapers

Schism and rumors of schism have troubled the Episcopal Church for more than three decades. But talk of the venerable church being split into different camps has never been more serious than now.

Fallout began last month when the Episcopal Church elected Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada as its new presiding bishop. When she is installed in November, she will become the first woman to lead a national church in the Anglican Communion.

Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker and six other American bishops in the dioceses of Dallas; Pittsburgh; San Joaquin in Fresno, Calif.; South Carolina (Charleston); Central Florida (Orlando); and Springfield, Ill., have declared Schori unacceptable because of her pro-gay stance.
the rest

Harvard Introduces Third Gender
Knight Rips Ivy League School for Giving Credibility to 'Transgenderism'
By Jim BrownJuly 25, 2006

(AgapePress) - Prospective applicants to prestigious Harvard Business School no longer have to be of the male or female gender. One pro-family leader in Washington, DC, is criticizing the school for legitimizing transgenderism.

Before completing an application, students looking to enter the Harvard Business School MBA program are asked to fill out
an online profile that offers three choices of gender: female, male, or transgender. The form also asks prospective applicants if they would be interested in learning more about the school's "lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender" community.

the rest

Wash. Supreme Court to Rule on Gay Marriage Law
By Curt Woodward
Associated Press Writer
Wed, Jul. 26 2006

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state Supreme Court announced it would issue a long-awaited ruling Wednesday in a case that could make Washington only the second state to allow gay ''marriage.''

The brief announcement gave no indication of which way the high court would lean.

If it overturns the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, Washington would join Massachusetts as the only states to allow gay couples to marry, but unlike Massachusetts, Washington's marriage licenses don't require recipients to live in the state.

UN Observers Killed in Israeli Attacks, Christians Support War Victims
Christians continue to assist the civilian victims caught up in the conflict in Lebanon as the UN expressed its shock at the killing of four UN observers in an Israeli air strike on its observation post.
Posted: Wednesday, July 26 , 2006

United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan has expressed his shock as four UN observers were killed in an Israeli air strike on an observation post in south Lebanon. The attack came as Christians in the region continue to assist civilian victims caught up in the cross-fire.

Mr Annan said in a statement from Rome: "I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defence Forces of a UN Observer post in southern Lebanon.”
the rest

Anglican Priest Blames Episcopal Church's Problems on Departure from Scripture
By Jim Brown
July 25, 2006

(AgapePress) - A traditional Anglican minister is criticizing his former bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas for allowing parishes to move forward with blessing homosexual relationships.

Arkansas Episcopal Bishop Larry Maze recently announced in a letter to clergy that certain parishes in the diocese will "likely move forward" with blessing same-sex unions. This news comes a month after the Episcopal General Convention decided not to adopt a moratorium on same-sex "blessing" ceremonies. At that same gathering, the Episcopal body also rejected a resolution to affirm that Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" as is stated in John 14:6.

Rev. Sam Seamans is the rector of St. Thomas Anglican Church in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and a former Episcopalian. Before leaving the Episcopal Church, he served under Maze and describes the bishop as "theologically liberal."
the rest

Religious left gears up to face right counterpart
By Thomas Ferraro
Tue Jul 25, 8:16 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The religious right, which helped re-elect President Bush in 2004 by rallying opposition to abortion and gay marriage, is now facing a pushback from the religious left.

With a faith-based agenda of their own, liberal and progressive clergy from various denominations are lobbying lawmakers, holding rallies and publicizing their positions. They want to end the Iraq war, ease global warming, combat poverty, raise the minimum wage, revamp immigration laws, and prevent "immoral" cuts in federal social programs.
the rest

Ireland worker finds ancient psalms in bog
Associated Press Writer
Tue Jul 25, 7:11 PM ET

DUBLIN, Ireland - Irish archaeologists Tuesday heralded the discovery of an ancient book of psalms by a construction worker who spotted something while driving the shovel of his backhoe into a bog.

....The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.

the rest

Religion Without Foundations
The split in the mainline denominations is about more than politics.
by Jim Tonkowich

For those who are shocked by the crack-up of the Episcopal Church, let me explain: The answer was on a T-shirt I saw last month while traveling to the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly in Birmingham and the Episcopal Church General Convention in Columbus. It read, "I'm Making It Up As I Go." Exactly.

Both denominational meetings were characterized by division, polarization, and discord as conservatives and liberals attempted to discern and approve God's will on issues ranging from divestment from companies doing business with Israel to gay clergy to the doctrine of the Trinity ("Mother, Child, and Womb"?). As left and right argued their cases, the real issue emerged. It is not the opposing opinions on assorted overtures and resolutions that divide left and right; it is the underlying understanding of truth, and how we know it.

Don't miss this one! the rest

Senate passes interstate abortion bill
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An abortion bill aimed at stopping people from helping pregnant girls skirt parental-notification laws has gained passage in both houses of Congress, but sticky political and policy disputes stand between it and President Bush's desk.

Just moments after the Senate passed its version 65-34 late Tuesday – with the support of 14 Democrats – Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., used a procedural motion to halt its progress.

Moreover, there are significant differences between the Senate bill and the House version passed last year.
the rest

Conversions harder in India state

The state legislature in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has approved a law aimed at making religious conversions harder there.

The law says a person wishing to convert and the priest conducting the ceremony will have to inform the authorities in advance.

Religious minorities and human right groups have opposed the law saying it seeks to appease radical Hindu groups.

the rest

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What cause have they who have an interest in Christ, to glory in their Redeemer! They are often beset with many evils, and many mighty enemies surround them on every side, with open mouths ready to devour them. But they need not fear any of them. They may glory in Christ, the rock of their salvation, who appears so gloriously above them all. They may triumph over Satan, over this evil world, over guilt, and over death. For as their Redeemer is mighty, and is so exalted above all evil, so shall they also be exalted in him, They are now, in a sense, so exalted. For nothing can hurt them. Christ carries them, as on eagle's wings, high out of the reach of all evils, so that they cannot come near them, to do them any real harm. Jonathan Edwards photo

Petition of Parishioners of St. Andrew's Church delivered to CNY Bishop

On July 17, 2006, Bishop Skip Adams signed court papers to commence a lawsuit against St. Andrew's to seize the church property. On July 19th, he brought the case to court. That same day he sent a
letter to the members of the parish inviting them to meet with him for "dialogue." The meeting was held this evening, July 25th, as a severe thunderstorm stuck the Syracuse area with lightening and drenching rain. The Bishop, his chancellor, and two diocesan employees were there to greet those who came. Raymond Dague, the attorney for the parish, accompanied by one member of the parish brought a petition to the bishop. Five other people showed up for the meeting.

Text of the petition read to the Bishop:

To: Bishop Gladstone B. Adams, III
July of 2006

We, the undersigned People of the Free Church of St. Andrews in the Valley, have received a letter from you inviting us to attend a meeting with you for “open dialogue.” We are deeply offended that you have sued our church and its leaders. We support our church and its leaders in the actions which they have taken and for which you have sued us. We find your words and actions hypocritical when you claim to desire open dialogue with us while you are suing us. We will meet with you to discuss our differences in our respective faith, beliefs, and practice once you have discontinued the lawsuit against us. We urge you to repent of your actions and the ungodly spectacle of you, a bishop, suing a Christian Church to impose your will on us. May God have mercy on your soul.

153 people who attend the Free Church of St. Andrews in the Valley in Syracuse, New York signed this petition to the bishop in response to his request to come to the cathedral to discuss things with him just after he sued the parish, its rector Fr. Bob Hackendorf, and all of the individuals on its board of trustees/vestry. The statement was read to the bishop and he was shown the written copy of it and allowed to flip through the pages to see all of the names. Out of concern that he could use this list against the people who signed it, the bishop was not given a copy of the petition.

Each person who signed the petition set forth next to their name the year in which they started to worship at St. Andrews. The total came to 1,712 years of attendance at the parish.

Our God is Jehovah of hosts, who can summon unexpected reinforcements at any moment to aid His people. Believe that He is there between you and your difficulty, and what baffles you will flee before Him, as clouds before the gale. F.B.Meyer

Connecticut Six: VIDEO: Attorney Raymond Dague Interview (pt I)
Posted At : July 25, 2006 3:38 PM
Posted By : Kevin Kallsen

God has raised up many faithful laypersons during the last few years in response to ECUSA's continued apostacy. Attorney Raymond Dague is one of those persons. In Part I Raymond talks about the infamous Dennis Canon.

Video here

Connecticut Six: VIDEO: Fr Bob Hackendorf Interview (part I)
Posted At : July 25, 2006 1:00 PM

Posted By : Kevin Kallsen

This is part I of an interview conducted with Fr. Bob Hackendorf. In Part I Fr. Bob gives background about his relationship with the Diocese of Central New York and his extraordinary Diocesan "reception" process. This really shows ECUSA politics at its finest.

Video here

Paganism gaining popularity in prison

STAUNTON, Va. -- A pagan religion that some experts say can be interpreted as encouraging violence is gaining popularity among prison inmates, one of whom is scheduled to be executed this week for killing a fellow prisoner at the foot of an altar.

Michael Lenz is scheduled to die Thursday for the death of Brent Parker, who was stabbed dozens of times at Augusta Correctional Center during a gathering of inmates devoted to Asatru, whose followers worship Norse gods. At his trial, Lenz testified that Parker had not been taking the religion seriously and had to die to protect the honor of the gods.
the rest

Divine Inspiration From the Masses
Open-source programming's organizing principle has been embraced in medical research, engineering -- even religion
By Charles Piller, Times Staff WriterJuly 23, 2006

Behold, brethren. The "open source" movement, long championed by computer whizzes as a way to solve problems using the input of all, is increasingly being applied to other disciplines including literature, scientific research and religion.Yes, religion.

Yoism — a faith invented by a Massachusetts psychologist — shuns godly wisdom passed down by high priests. Instead, its holy text evolves online, written by the multitude of followers — much the same way volunteer programmers create open-source computer software by each contributing lines of code.

Adherents of Yoism — who count Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud among their saints — occupy the radical fringe of the open-source movement, which is quickly establishing itself as a new organizing principle for the 21st century.Although an extreme example, Yoism shows how far beyond computer programming the open-source method has progressed. At its core, the process presumes the intelligence of crowds, and Yoans build their faith around the notion that, together, they take the place of divine inspiration.
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Website: Yoism-Welcome to the Way of Yo
A community of individuals unitedby a shared vision of human possibility.
Together, we can create Heaven on Earth.

"Yo" is the Infinite Unknowable Essence from which all that we experience manifests. The existence of Yo can be proven. For some Yoans, awareness of the existence of Yo is of central importance. To others, Yo is irrelevant!

You may be like many Yoans who became uncomfortable when they first heard such words. If so, this type of "religious talk" may make you feel that we are trying to recruit you for some kind of "cult." Indeed, we believe it is approriate to be highly skeptical when a new world view is presented, with the implication that you should consider it for yourself.

Church Society: Anglican Primates should break with U.S.
25 July 2006 For immediate release

Church Society has called on the heads of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion to take steps to break formally with the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA).

Following the appointment of an actively homosexual man as a Bishop in the US the Primates rebuked ECUSA and called them to show clear signs that they regretted this action and will not repeat it.

At the recent
ECUSA General Convention it became clear that they have no intention of turning back from the course they have taken.

With the Primates due to meet early next year it is imperative that action is now taken. Since the Anglican Communion is a loose affiliation of national or provincial churches rather than a monolithic structure it is important that action taken is appropriate.

In line with Biblical teaching and historic Christian practice Church Society has called on the Primates to formally break fellowship with ECUSA.

There is within ECUSA a large minority opposed to the errors of their church and many more who have themselves separated from ECUSA because of error. Therefore it is important to embrace these dioceses, churches and denominations within the Communion. END.
Link here

Letter to the Anglican Primates
from Church Society - July 2006

Dear Archbishop ….

In the wake of the recent
ECUSA General Convention we hope and pray that appropriate action will now be taken to safeguard the future witness of the Anglican Communion.

It should be clear to all that ECUSA and others have stepped well beyond the boundaries of orthodox, apostolic Christianity. We believe that postponing action any longer can only damage the Communion and the witness of Anglican churches worldwide.

Discipline is a “mark” of “the true Church” (
Homily 28 on the Holy Spirit – part 2). Whilst in a local, or provincial church there will be clear means of discipline, at the international level discipline must be exercised carefully. The primary means of discipline in this way is to formally break fellowship with those in error. The purpose of this is to bring the erring to their senses by showing that they have separated from the truth, to safeguard the faithful from such error and to show to the world that we do not agree with them.

In the light of this we ask you to bring about the following:

1. The removal of ECUSA from the instruments of unity of the Anglican Communion, in particular membership of the ACC and invitations to the Primates Meetings and the Lambeth Conference. The Archbishop of Canterbury should be strongly requested to declare himself out of communion with ECUSA as a body.

2. The agreement within individual provinces that the orders of those now ordained within ECUSA will no longer be recognised.

3. The breaking of fellowship, including sacramental fellowship, at all levels with members of ECUSA, particularly its Bishops unless they show clear evidence as standing against the errors of their church. Such moves should not prevent discussion by appropriate channels as with those of other religions nor prevent humanitarian concern.

4. The establishment of a mechanism to establish fellowship with those in the United States who remain faithful to orthodox, apostolic Christianity and thus reject such innovations as the acceptance of same sex sexual activity. We suggest that a Commissary be appointed by the orthodox Primates who will work with the various bodies and individual churches in the US so that they can establish some means by which they can be welcomed formally into fellowship.

5. We advise strongly that the Primates give consideration as to how, as in the great creeds, statements can be crafted and required to delineate truth from error on the matter of sexual conduct.

6. We strongly advise that the Primates also recognise the innovation introduced within some provinces of admitting women as Priests and Bishops is divisive and that the only way to retain genuine unity is to call on all Anglicans to submit to the Biblical teaching that Presbyters/Elders should be male (1 Tim 3, Titus 1).

You may be assured of our prayers and support.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

David Phillips,

General Secretaryon behalf of the Council of Church Society


Anglican Communion Network Announces Annual Council Meeting, July 31-Aug. 2 , 2006

Pittsburgh, PA Over 80 representatives from the dioceses and convocations of the Anglican Communion Network will gather at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Pittsburgh from 1:00 p.m. July 31 through 1:00 p.m. on August 2 for the Network's Annual Council Meeting. This will be the third meeting of its kind since the birth of the Network in January 2004. Delegations are composed of two clergy and two lay representativesas well as the diocesan bishop or convocational dean from each of the Network's ten dioceses and six convocations. Other invited guests will include representatives from the Network's missionary organizations, nine Common Cause Roundtable partners, the ACN Steering Committee and the Moderator's Cabinet.

Plenary sessions and working groups will address the current state and future direction of the Anglican Communion Network as well as specific topics such as returning to the biblical view of marriage, divorce, and singleness, and renewing our emphasis on holiness in personal and congregational life. The council will also be considering the tenets of the Theological and Mission Statements under consideration by the members of the Common Cause Roundtable, who will meet together in Pittsburgh August 16-18.

the rest at titusonenine

Jerusalem's Only 24/7 Christian Radio Station Provides News from a Biblical Perspective to U.S. Via Sky Angel

Ministry has endured years of violence, disrupting operations and costing lives of staff

NAPLES, Fla., & JERUSALEM, July 25 /
Christian Newswire/ -- As the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict persists, U.S. subscribers to the Sky Angel Christian satellite TV and radio service are receiving the news from a perspective that unlike most mainstream reports hits closer to their faith: a biblical viewpoint straight from Jerusalem’s only 24/7 Christian radio station--a ministry that has suffered much since first establishing operations in South Lebanon in 1979.

the rest

Schools of Hate
Lynn Woolley
Posted Jul 24, 2006

At a time when the United States could use a stiff dose of unity, some students are being taught just the opposite in a new phenomenon called “Schools of Social Justice.” The idea here is that the United States has a sordid history of racism and prejudice and that young people -- particularly Latino kids -- should rise up.

Schools of this type have been functioning for a while -- some as taxpayer-funded affiliates of the National Council of La Raza (“The Race” in Spanish) -- and some have grown out of the recent marches in support of illegal immigration.

According to organizers, a summer school non-credit course at Austin’s Lanier High School grew out of conversations with some of the students who protested an enforcement-first bill passed by the House of Representatives.

You would think the kids at Lanier, a high school with a pathetic academic performance record -- would be crowding into summer school to brush up on reading, writing and math. Some may be -- but about a dozen enrolled in a non-credit class where the “the three R’s” gave way to just one R: racism.
the rest

Conservatives encouraged by 'values' votes
By Amy Fagan
July 25, 2006

The Republican base is being rejuvenated, some conservative activists say, by a flurry of congressional action on "values" issues such as marriage safeguards, flag protection and abortion restrictions, as well as President Bush's veto last week of stem-cell legislation.

They warn against counteracting that progress with a comprehensive immigration bill that conservatives consider amnesty.

Jim Backlin, vice president of legislative affairs at the Christian Coalition, said the spate of "values" votes "really, really helps rejuvenate our base -- especially Bush vetoing the stem-cell bill."

In the past few months, Mr. Bush signed legislation against broadcast indecency, both chambers of Congress voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and woman, and the House voted to retain the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
the rest

Religious Groups Outraged by Amnesty International Abortion Proposal
Monday, July 24, 2006

ATHENS, Greece — Famed for its human rights work,
Amnesty International is under siege from religious groups outraged by a proposal that would expand Amnesty's mandate to include supporting access to abortion in cases such as sexual violence.

A small but growing band of anti-abortion campaigners and Roman Catholic clerics — including some who have backed Amnesty's activities in the past — claim the
Nobel Prize-winning group is drifting away from its principles of unbiased advocacy.

They have threatened to pull away members and donations, and have called for a flood of protest letters to Amnesty offices — the same strategy Amnesty uses to pressure for the release of political prisoners and others.
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Albany Intercessor: A word received

A word received July 23, 2006: Times of trial are coming. Seek my face. Cling to me.

A word received July 24, 2006: Keep your attention on me. I Am. I Am Lord of the battle. It is my battle and I Am sufficient for every need.

[Note: the liberal bishops of California are seeking to get rid of Bishop John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin. He and his diocese are orthodox. They are claiming that he has abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church. Under the canon (church law) they are using, they get to be prosecutor, judge, and jury. There is no evidence presented, only the charge. Cry out to the LORD for Bishop Schofield and the Diocese of San Joaquin.]

Prayer based on Psalm 48 here

Pray also for the Forth Worth Diocese in their brave decision to leave their province, for St Andrew's Church, Syracuse, NY and all the faithful churches and dioceses, especially those facing legal battles.

A Resolution of the Diocese of Fort Worth to Leave Province VII


FORT WORTH, Texas – The following Resolution was unanimously adopted today by the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and will be presented to the Diocesan Convention in its annual meeting on Nov. 18, 2006.

WHEREAS the Archbishop of Canterbury in light of the actions of General Convention 2006 has proposed that the “best way forward” for the Anglican Communion is to have in the future both “constituent” and “associated” members, necessitating “ordered and mutually respectful separation between ‘constituent’ and ‘associated’ elements” within local Churches; and

WHEREAS the stated aim of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is to be a constituent member of the Anglican Communion as provided for in the Constitution of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America; and,

WHEREAS the Bishop and Standing Committee believe it necessary for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to dissociate itself from those actions of the 75th General Convention which constitute a decision of the Episcopal Church to walk apart from the Anglican Communion; and,

WHEREAS the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in good faith appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative Primatial oversight and pastoral care so that a unifying solution can be found to preserve an authentic Anglican community of witness within the United States of America and provide pastoral and apostolic care to biblically orthodox Anglicans in this country regardless of geographical location;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, pending final ratification by its 24th Annual Convention, withdraws its consent, pursuant to Article VII of the Constitution of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, to be included in the Seventh Province of the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth consists of 55 congregations serving 24 north central Texas counties. The major cities in the diocese include Fort Worth, Arlington, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Wichita Falls, Grand Prairie, Richland Hills, Brownwood, and Stephenville. The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker has served as the third Diocesan Bishop of Fort Worth since 1995. The diocese enjoys companion relationships with the Dioceses of Northern Malawi and Northern Mexico.

Link and comments at titusonenine

Monday, July 24, 2006

Perfect Purity

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment. (Revelation 3:5)

Warrior of the cross, fight on! Never rest till thy victory is complete, for thine eternal reward will prove worthy of a life of warfare.

See, here is perfect purity for thee! A few in Sardis kept their garments undefiled, and their recompense is to be spotless. Perfect holiness is the prize of our high calling; let us not miss it.

See, here is joy! Thou shalt wear holiday robes, such as men put on at wedding feasts; thou shalt be clothed with gladness and be made bright with rejoicing. Painful struggles shall end in peace of conscience and joy in the Lord.

See, here is victory! Thou shalt have thy triumph. Palm, and crown, and white robe shall be thy guerdon; thou shalt be treated as a conqueror and owned as such by the Lord Himself.

See, here is priestly array! Thou shalt stand before the Lord in such raiment as the sons of Aaron wore; thou shalt offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving and draw near unto the Lord with the incense of praise.

Who would not fight for a Lord who gives such large honors to the very least of His faithful servants? Who would not be clothed in a fool's coat for Christ's sake, seeing He will robe us with glory?

CH Spurgeon photo

Pro-Homosexual Push Commonplace in Schools Coast to Coast
Homosexual Activists Transforming Public Schools Into Propaganda Factories
Feature by Ed Vitagliano
July 24, 2006

(AgapePress) - "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto!" was Dorothy's famous line in The Wizard of Oz. It has become a classic, meant to convey the bewilderment of a person who suddenly realizes he's in a strange world and wonders how he got there.

For many parents in Massachusetts, California, and elsewhere in the U.S., the truth is beginning to dawn on them: They aren't living in Kansas anymore. Public education is being used to brainwash thousands of children -- even as young as kindergarten -- into believing that homosexuality is simply a normal and healthy variation of human sexuality.

To be sure, when it comes to the issue of homosexuality, Massachusetts and California have been East Coast-West Coast thoroughbreds that seem to be racing each other for the honor of wackiest state in the country.
the rest

Jerusalem WorldPride Parade Cancelled Due to Israeli-Lebanese Violence
By Gudrun Schultz
July 24, 2006

( – Homosexual activists will not march through the streets of Jerusalem this year, after officials announced the cancellation of the WorldPride 2006 parade yesterday.

Jerusalem police told organizers they would not have the forces available to ensure the security of the gay pride march, the central event of the weeklong festival scheduled for August 6 to 12.

Although escalating violence between Israel and Lebanon was officially cited as the reason behind the cancellation, officials admitted the volatile situation gave them an excuse to ban the controversial event, reported the Jerusalem Post today. Earlier this month Jerusalem police responded to protests against the festival by saying the event would likely be moved to Tel Aviv.
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Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics Take Historic Ecumenical Step
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Jul. 24 2006 08:16 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea – Three world church bodies made an unprecedented move in ecumenical history on Sunday when Lutherans, Roman Catholics and Methodists signed a joint agreement on justification.

“We plowed new ground today,” commented Dr. George H. Freeman, general secretary of the World Methodist Council. “This opens the door for future ecumenical relationships.”

Following years and even decades of dialogue with one another, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Roman Catholic Church, and the World Methodist Council took part in what Dr. Ishmael Noko, LWF general secretary, identified as “a new ecumenical landmark” and what will go down in history.
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The Whole Earth Is Full of His Glory:
The Recovery of Authentic Worship, Part One
Albert Mohler
Monday, July 24, 2006

Surveying the literature on worship currently being published, and listening to the conversations currently taking place among the churches, one can quickly discern that worship is now one of the most controversial issues in the local congregation. As a matter of fact, many current book titles in the evangelical world suggest that what the church faces today is "worship warfare." The very combination of the words "worship" and "war" should lead us to very sincere and sober biblical reflection. What is worship? And what does God desire that we should do in worship?

The symptomology of the current confusion over worship is seen in the fact that now many believe some modifier or adjective must be appended to the word "worship" in order to indicate that will take place. Traditional worship, liturgical worship, contemporary worship, blended worship, seeker-sensitive worship, praise and worship! But what in the world is worship?
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From Connecticut Six: Kevin Kallsen

VIDEO: Fr. Bob Hackendorf Sermon - "I have never been sued before!"
posted: July 24, 2006 8:50 AM

On Sunday I attended services and St. Andrew's in the Valley from the Diocese of Central New York. The family of Raymond and Pat Dague hosted my visit and graciously made arrangements for me to record the sermon and interview Fr. Bob, Raymond Dague, and the Vestry. All this week I will post excerpts from the interviews. -Kevin Kallsen

Click here!

10,000 gather in LA to support Israel

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined a crowd of 10,000 at a pro-Israel rally Sunday organized by the Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles.

Rabbi Marvin Hier opened the rally by saying, "We are here today to stand, shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters. Just a year ago, Israel had a dream of a new era of peace and hope for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. But the terrorists turned that dream into a nightmare.

"Israel withdrew unilaterally from Lebanon and Gaza, but the Palestinian response was Hamas and Hizbullah who crossed into Israel, murdered and kidnapped her soldiers, rocketed her cities all because they're objective is a Middle East free of Jews. Something we can assure them, they will never live to see.
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Complaint Alleges Bishop of San Joaquin Has Abandoned Communion

Four bishops with jurisdiction in the state of California have asked a disciplinary panel to approve an expedited deposition of the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin.

In a letter to the organizing chair of the Title IV [Ecclesiastical Discipline] Review Committee, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles; the Rt. Rev. Jerry M. Lamb, Bishop of Northern California; the Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, Bishop of San Diego; and the Rt. Rev. William E. Swing, Bishop of California, are concerned that Bishop Schofield intends to “abandon the communion of this Church.” As one of the primary pieces of their evidence the four cite recent changes that qualify subordination under the diocesan canons to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention.

At its annual meeting last October, delegates to San Joaquin’s convention approved the second reading of a change to Article II of its constitution to state that it “accedes to” the Canons and Constitution of the General Convention “to the extent that such terms and provisions” are “not inconsistent with the terms and provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of San Joaquin.” The four believe this fact alone is sufficient to remove Bishop Schofield from office without trial.
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“What We are Fighting For”
The Rev. Bob Hackendorf
St. Andrew’s in the Valley (Anglican)
The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost:

July 23, 2006

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Being served with a lawsuit can change your perspective on things. In fact, when I first moved to Syracuse, the Bishop told me that he was here to “serve me”… now I finally know what he really meant.

But I am not here today to talk about lawsuits or courtrooms or church politics. I am here to talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the only hope for humanity. And in today’s Epistle, the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, reminds us that Jesus is the only hope for the world, because apart from Jesus

1. Our Natural State is Alienation from God
Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Eph 2:12)

Now among polite church people, rhetoric has a way of softening or side-stepping this reality. These days we refer to people without Jesus as “seekers”, “the unchurched”, or even “preconverted.” The Bible calls them lost.

But this is not as pejorative as it first sounds, because everyone in this room was lost at one time:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (I Cor. 6)

“The church is like Noah’s ark: The stench inside would be unbearable if it weren’t for the storm outside.” [Chuck Colson] We are not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners here at St. Andrew’s. And although our natural state is alienation from God, God can use us for His purposes because once Jesus gets a hold of us, God doesn’t leave us in our natural state—in fact…

2. Jesus Reconciles us to God

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Eph 2:13)

There is only way to be made right with God. One way to obtain eternal life. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. There is one way, and the way is narrow! The way is less broad, less tolerant, less inclusive than the smoothly paved highway to destruction.

The people who are suing say we hate people with different sexual orientations. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We simply believe that Jesus has the power to transform lives.

The people suing us would say to the man blind from birth, Embrace the darkness.

The people suing us would say to the man crippled from birth, Learn to live with immobility.

The people suing us would say to the woman with the issue of blood, celebrate your disease!

But friends, that’s not what Jesus would say!

Jesus touches the man blind from birth and says See!
Jesus touches the man crippled from birth and says Walk!
Jesus touches the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and she was healed!

It is not “love” to tell a drowning man to “embrace the cold, dark deep” and it is not “hate” to offer that same man a lifeline!

We are being sued because we believe that Jesus changes lives and he changes lives for keeps.

People ask me what would you like to say to the people who are suing you? The only thing I would like to say is that in my heart, I pray that you would meet my Jesus and let him transform you heart too.

3. As a reconciled People, we form the Household of God

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
(Eph 2:19-21)

God is a contractor and he’s building a building today--- but this building isn’t made out of brick and mortar, it’s being built out of people who have been transformed by the love of Jesus—you the people within the sound of my voice—are the building blocks of the Temple of God!

This building is built according to a very special building code: built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone… The fact is, just because some group of people call themselves a “Church,” or just because some one sets themselves up as a pastor, teacher or bishop, does not mean that they are “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets”:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal 1:8-10)

The Church is built according to God’s Standards, not Man’s Standards. The Church is built on the Lordship of Christ and the absolute authority of Holy Scripture.

The Church is the place where the Spirit Dwells. Notice Paul’s language about the Temple—the Temple, like the Tabernacle before it, was the place where the shekinah glory of God would dwell. Let me tell you Church, that is a reality for us whether we are in this building or in an open field. The people suing us might just succeed in stealing this building from the people who paid for it, but they can’t take away the shekinah of God! The best they can hope for is an abandoned piece of real estate—the glory follows us—I think we have the better end of the deal!

The Building God is constructing is more important than any building built by human hands out of brick and mortar.

But being a part of God’s building carries a cost… are we willing to pay the price?

There is a story about a church in the south with a small but vocal “Amen Corner.” especially vocal was Deacon Jones, who led the “Amen Corner.” So one day when Preacher Brown began his sermon with the words, “Let the church walk,” Deacon Jones shouted in response, “Amen! Let the church walk!”

Preacher Brown continued “Let the church run!” and Deacon Jones followed along with “Amen! Let the church run!”

Preacher Brown got even more wound up and exclaimed, “Let the church fly!” And Deacon Jones almost jumped out of his pew in crying “Hallelujah! Let the church fly!”

And then Preacher Brown looked at them earnestly and said, “And if the church is going to fly, it will take money!” Whereupon Deacon Jones replied, “Let the church walk!”

If this church is going to fly, there is a price that must be paid!

People of God, if we are going to win this fight we have to be willing to pay the price. And paying the price means we have to overcome our fear. I think we have to learn to be like the Rhinoceros!

Rhinos are huge, lumbering beasts, but they can run 30 miles per hour! What’s more, the poor rhino can only see about 30 feet ahead of himself as he runs. But with a rhinos size and threatening horn leading the way, the rhino doesn’t need to worry! Listen, we need to learn from that! We don’t know the details of what our future holds. But like the rhino, we are called to run forward without fear.

What’s more, a group of rhinos is called a “Crash”! Don’t you love that? Even if the poor beasts are slumbering by their favorite waterhole, they are still a “crash.” That’s because of the potential they have to be massive, crushing force! The Church, the temple where the glory of God dwells, has an even greater force and when the church is really moving in the power of the Holy Spirit, even the demons of Hell have to clear out of the way!

The tactics of the people suing us, like all tactics of those who persecute the Church of God, is designed to instill fear and to intimidate. But I have a message for the folks that are trying to intimidate us and our orthodox Anglican brethren in Central New York and elsewhere:

Look out-- a crash of Rhinos on fire for Jesus are headed your way!
We are not afraid!
We are not intimidated!
We are not backing down!
We have no regrets!
And we won’t give up the fight!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

We are prepared to serve the Lord only by sacrifice. We are fit for the work of God only when we have wept over it, prayed about it, and then we are enabled by Him to tackle the job that needs to be done. May God give to us hearts that bleed, eyes that are wide open to see, minds that are clear to interpret God's purposes, wills that are obedient, and a determination that is utterly unflinching as we set about the tasks He would have us do. Alan Redpath

Bishop Skip Adams of Central New York Reflects on General Convention

Excerpt: "I must say too that I continue to be committed to the full inclusion of gay, lesbian and transgendered in this Church and voted that way at Convention. For that matter, I remain committed to all of God’s people who for whatever reason are pushed away from God’s vision for humanity. We must be resolute in our commitment to the Christian values exhibited in the Baptismal Covenant and find ways to assure that all of God’s people are welcome to God’s banquet. In that same vein, I remain committed that in this Church all voices will be heard, including voices that disagree with my own, and we need to provide a safe place for such dignity to be offered to all of God’s people. I call upon everyone in the Diocese of Central New York to offer this gift to one another and honor the Christ in one another, even when that reality seems to be most hidden."

the rest at Stand Firm

Evangelists arrested at 'Gay Games'
File lawsuit claiming police singled them out for sharing gospel
Posted: July 22, 2006

A Philadelphia-based Christian ministry has filed a lawsuit claiming three of its members were harassed by authorities in Chicago for sharing their faith with homosexuals in the city for the "Gay Games," an Olympics-style sports event.

Repent America – which saw 11 of its members arrested two years ago evangelizing at a public homosexual-activist event – says the three in Chicago were handcuffed and arrested for passing out Christian literature to homosexuals and holding up signs with Bible verses near the city's popular Navy Pier, reports Agape Press.

Police had warned the evangelists they would be arrested if caught distributing literature outside of certain designated "free-speech zones."

But the group claims that after members followed directions and moved across the street to another area, police returned and arrested them anyway.
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