Friday, August 03, 2007

The God on whom we rely...

The God on whom we rely knows what suffering is all about, not merely in the way that God knows everything, but by experience. In the darkest night of the soul Christians have something to hold onto that Job never knew. We know Christ crucified. Christians have learned that when there seems to be no other evidence of God's love, they cannot escape the cross. "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all
– how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32) … When we suffer, there will sometimes be mystery. Will there also be faith? Yes, if our attention is focused more on the cross, and on the God of the cross, than on the suffering itself. ...D. A. Carson image

Sarah Hey: The Fields of Battle, Leave Taking, & a Critique of Everybody [except the revisionists]


All this time, we’ve been walking along a path, in conversation, as friends and allies. We’ve tried to be clear -- “I want to head over there eventually,” and “I don’t think I want to go there” -- but at some point, we can move no longer together on the same path. It will be time for individuals and groups to move toward their chosen destination -- to take a branch toward the mountains in the East, or toward the forests of the West, or elsewhere entirely. . . . With these hopes, as we watch varying allies tighten their sword belts, shoulder their packs, turn, and walk into the mists of the mountains, or the green mystery of the forests, during a very perilous time of spiritual and church conflict, we take leave with blessing and a hope that “in battle we may yet meet again, though all the hosts of Mordor should stand between.’

Essay and Comments at Stand Firm

ACN Council Meeting 2007 Session Two

The Transfiguration
Artists depict Jesus' meeting with Moses and Elijah.
Compiled by Susan Wunderink

Throughout the world, Christians commemorate the Transfiguration on August 6.
Peter remembered—and told the church to remember—the event, "the prophetic word made more sure," as "a lamp shining in a dark place" (2 Peter 1:19, NASB).

The time leading up to the vision of Christ's majesty had been a dark one for Peter: According to
Matthew and Luke, he had been troubled by Jesus' words about his upcoming death and had recently been called Satan. But for him and the other eyewitnesses, the event confirmed Jesus' divinity and mission. It prepared the way for Christ's death. As at Jesus' baptism, God announced that Jesus was his beloved Son, the chosen one. He added the command, "Listen to him!" After the vision, Jesus, Peter, James, and John went down the mountain talking about resurrection.

We don't celebrate by building tents for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, as Peter suggested when he couldn't think of anything else to say, but artists throughout church history have depicted the event.

The Transfiguration does not seem like a scene that could naturally become quiet and two-dimensional—Jesus' conversation about his crucifixion with long-dead Elijah and Moses (who, Ruth Bell Graham pointed out in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, had not been permitted to see the Holy Land before his death) was off-record, Peter couldn't stop babbling, and the whole situation was so overwhelming that the disciples were "overcome by sleep" (Luke 9:32).

While some paintings of the Transfiguration portray donors who commissioned the artwork worshipping decorously in the wings, almost all show the three disciples dazzled and afraid, falling or crawling on the rocks beneath Jesus. Moses—bearded and sometimes horned—is usually on Jesus' right, and Elijah is typically on his left.

The artists whose work is featured in this slideshow explore Jesus' majesty, his relationship with Moses and Elijah, and the disciples' response.
Christianity Today

Click here to view the slideshow.

Coffee May Curb Liver Cancer
Researchers Say Disease Appears To Be Rarer In Coffee Drinkers Than In Non-Drinkers
Aug. 2, 2007
(WebMD) Could a cup of coffee cut your risk of developing liver cancer? Maybe, but don't bet your next latte on it just yet.

A new report, published in the August edition of the journal Hepatology, boils down the findings from 10 studies on coffee and liver cancer.

The studies were reviewed by researchers including Francesca Bravi, ScD of the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri" in Milan, Italy.

Together, the studies included 2,260 people with liver cancer and nearly 240,000 people without liver cancer. Participants lived in Greece, Italy, or Japan.

Participants reported their coffee-drinking habits. The data show that coffee drinkers were 41 percent less likely to have been diagnosed with liver cancer than people who don't drink coffee. For every daily cup of coffee people drank, their odds of having been diagnosed with liver cancer dropped by 23 percent, compared with people who never drink coffee.
the rest

Evangelicals Have No Sure GOP Pick
Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Aug. 03 2007

A week ahead of the Republican straw poll, evangelicals in Iowa find themselves with no sure Some believe the GOP presidential candidates have strayed from the moral issues that are essential to the Republican party platform, including abortion and same-sex marriage.

"The whole faith and values conversation is falling by the wayside," said the Rev. Mike Rose, senior pastor of First Federated Church in Des Moines, according to The Des Moines Register. "The country as a whole feels there are issues more pressing at this time. The war with Iraq is on everybody's mind. Right to life and gay marriage, which are important to Christian conservatives, aren't as big with the general public."

According to a poll by Pew
Research Center, only 40 percent of all registered voters marked abortion as very important in their vote for president. Abortion was also a low priority among Republican-leaning voters (43 percent). the rest

Close third of Ottawa Anglican churches: report
Many rural, shrinking congregations should be taken off life support, study says

Jennifer Green, The Ottawa Citizen
Friday, August 03, 2007

If the Anglican diocese of Ottawa wants to get more people into its churches, it should consider closing or putting a Do Not Resuscitate order on roughly one third of them, says a strategic planning report.

Of 131 churches in the diocese, eight should close, mostly seldom-used rural chapels. Another 34 have limited growth potential, or aging congregations, or both, and should be "allowed to live out their natural life cycle, but all support systems be removed" -- in other words, no new debt, no budget top-ups from the diocese, and no part-time clergy who end up with a full-time workload.
Four more churches are in "vulnerable" urban locations, meaning they are tucked away in residential areas, or landlocked by busy streets, making it hard for passersby to see them, much less get a sense of what they might have to offer.
the rest

Episcopal bishop ejects clergy
By Julia Duin
August 3, 2007

Virginia Episcopal Bishop Peter J. Lee has ejected 20 of his former clergy from the priesthood after they quit the denomination in December over the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who is openly homosexual.

In a document signed Aug. 1, the bishop defrocked 18 men and two women, saying they had "abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church."

The widely anticipated document came seven months after 11 churches — along with their clergy — voted to leave the diocese and the denomination. Bishop Lee retaliated Jan. 22 by issuing an "inhibition" order forbidding 21 clergy affiliated with these churches to function in his diocese as Episcopal priests and giving them six months to change their minds.
the rest

Episcopal bishop backs Obama

Rev. Gene Robinson says Illinois senator is "not just another business-as-usual politician."

The Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop backed Democrat Barack Obama for President yesterday, saying the Illinois senator "represents our greatest hope."

Bishop Gene Robinson, who is at the center of a worldwide controversy that threatens to split the Anglican church, promised, "I will not be speaking about the campaign from the pulpit or at any church function. That is completely inappropriate. "But as a private citizen, I will be at campaign events and help in any way that I can."

Obama supports civil unions but not gay marriages.
the rest

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High . . . there shall no evil befall thee" - no plague can come nigh the place where you are at one with God.

If you are a child of God, there certainly will be troubles to meet, but Jesus says do not be surprised when they come. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world, there is nothing for you to fear." Men who before they were saved would scorn to talk about troubles, often become "fushionless" after being born again because they have a wrong idea of a saint.

God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for to-morrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God. ...Oswald Chambers image

Critics take aim at Bin Laden musical
Thu Aug 2, 2007

LONDON (AFP) - A satirical musical about Islamist terrorism and Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has sparked protests in Britain, with critics blasting it as tasteless.

"Jihad: The Musical," which features songs including "I wanna be like Osama" and is described as "a madcap gallop through the wacky world of international terrorism," is on at the Edinburgh Fringe festival this month.

But a petition has been launched on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Downing Street website.

"We the undersigned petition the prime minister to condemn the tasteless portrayal of terrorism and its victims in 'Jihad The Musical,' says the online protest.
the rest

The Economist: clash of faiths
Aug 2nd 2007
From The Economist print edition

Held hostage in God's name

“GOD'S work has to be carried out, at any cost, even death.” Such was the Taliban's grim justification behind the murder this week of a second of the 23 Christian-Korean aid workers kidnapped last month en route from Kabul to Kandahar. The weeks since their abduction have brought unmet demands, a papal plea, a botched hostage release and an emotional appeal from the hostages' relations to the American embassy in Seoul. On August 1st the latest deadline set for the Afghan government passed, without the release demanded by the hostage-takers of their jailed comrades. There were rumours of prisoner exchanges, ransoms and renewed rescue operations.

The Koreans, too, thought they were doing God's work. The South Korean government vehemently denies that Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu, whose bullet-ridden body was found on July 25th, and his flock were engaged in any form of evangelical or missionary work. But the Taliban say they were. Most Afghans have long followed a conservative interpretation of Islam. Polished toenails might now peek out from burqas on Kabul streets, but the Afghan public continues to challenge any slight against Islam. Even the appearance of proselytising Christianity is enough to foment widespread rancour.
the rest

ADV Responds to the Bishop of Virginia’s Announcement to Depose Former Clergy
August 2, 2007

The churches of the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV), an association of Anglican congregations in Virginia, responded to the public announcement made today by the current Episcopal Bishop of Virginia to depose the approximately twenty clergy who have transferred their canonical residency to other branches of the Anglican Communion.

“We are sorry that Bishop Lee would seek to make such a public announcement when the clergy are no longer under his jurisdiction. The clergy he seeks to depose include a bishop-elect in the Province of Uganda, as well as a number of other ordained men and women who have faithfully carried out their pastoral duties as priests in the Church,” said ADV Vice Chairman Jim Oakes.

“This announcement from the Diocese of Virginia is like an employer trying to fire someone who has already quit. Our clergy have remained steadfast in their faith, and have fully embarked on their journey with the worldwide Anglican Communion by joining ADV and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. We should remember the unanimous message that the Archbishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion made at their February meeting in Tanzania clearly expressing that it is the Episcopal Church that is out of step not only with us, but with the majority of Anglicans around the globe,” Mr. Oakes said.

the rest at the ADV Website

ACN: Bishops will continue in ministry with Virginia priests

The Diocese of Virginia News release here

Those removed from the ordained ministry of The Episcopal Church are:

The Rev. George Beaven
The Rev. Mark Brown
The Rev. Marshall Brown
The Rev. Neal Brown
The Rev. Jeffrey Cerar
The Rev. Kathleen Christopher
The Rev. Richard Crocker
The Rev. Ramsey Gilchrist
The Rev. Jack Grubbs
The Rev. John Guernsey
The Rev. David Harper
The Rev. David N. Jones
The Rev. Marion D. Lucas III
The Rev. Herbert McMullan
The Rec. Clancy Nixon
The Rev. Robin Rauh
The Rev. Valerie Whitcomb
The Rev. Elijah White
The Rev. Frederick M. Wright
The Rev. John W. Yates II

Our prayers are with them! (actually posted at 4:07 pm)

Europe's Summer of Wild, Wild Weather
Fires, Droughts and Floods Leave Wake of Destruction

By John Ward Anderson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, August 2, 2007

PARIS, Aug. 1 -- Thousands of tourists and residents were forced to flee ahead of raging wildfires that have engulfed parts of the
Canary Islands since the weekend, the latest in a string of bizarre, weather-related calamities to hit Europe this summer.

Local officials said that at least 13,000 people evacuated homes, hotels, campgrounds and other areas of the seven Canaries, Spanish territory in the
Atlantic Ocean off the coast of southern Morocco. More than 86,000 acres have been burned or otherwise affected by the fires since Friday, mostly on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, according to a spokeswoman for the islands' government who was not allowed to be quoted by name.

The fires, which were "stable" but still not under control Wednesday, were stoked by winds in excess of 40 mph and temperatures over 104 degrees, the spokeswoman said. Residents of the islands, a popular European tourist destination, told the
BBC that the thermometer in some spots had topped 120 degrees.

"These are the biggest fires on the archipelago in the last 10 years," Paulino Rivero, head of the regional government, told reporters. Because of the volcanic islands' rugged landscape, the fires had to be fought mostly from the air, he said, but high winds and temperatures had forced the grounding of many helicopters.

The Canary fires are the latest offspring of strange weather patterns that have buffeted Europe this summer, from unusually severe floods in
England to chilly, fall-like weather in Paris, to searing heat waves, drought and wildfires in Southern and Eastern Europe. the rest photo

New Breed of Atheist
By Chuck Colson

The Anti-Theist

Atheism has nearly always been with us in one form or another, but the atheists we’ve been hearing the most from lately—chiefly Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris—are a new breed. Unlike the old-school humanists, the new atheists—or anti-theists, as some of them prefer to be called—don’t want to just deny the existence of God, they want to wipe religion off the map.

Christopher Hitchens follows this pattern with his new book, belligerently titled God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. In his first chapter, called “Putting It Mildly,” Hitchens writes, “I will continue to [respect my friends’ religious traditions] without insisting on the polite reciprocal condition—which is that they in turn leave me alone.”
the rest

Russian sub plants flag under North Pole
By Guy Faulconbridge
Thu Aug 2

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian explorers dived deep below the North Pole in a submersible on Thursday and planted a national flag on the seabed to stake a symbolic claim to the energy riches of the Arctic.

A mechanical arm dropped a specially made rust-proof titanium flag onto the Arctic seabed at a depth of 4,261 meters (13,980 ft), Itar-Tass news agency quoted expedition officials as saying.

Russia wants to extend right up to the North Pole the territory it controls in the Arctic, believed to hold vast reserves of untapped oil and natural gas.

But Canada mocked Russia's ambitions and said the expedition was nothing more than a show.
the rest photo

In God’s Image: Do Good People Make Good Art?
Gregory Wolfe

Near the beginning of the film Amadeus, the reigning court composer of Vienna, Antonio Salieri, wanders through a palace trying to guess which of the guests at a lavish party is Wolfgang Mozart, once a famous child prodigy and now a young man acclaimed for his genius as a composer. Salieri, who has risen from humble origins to his position of eminence through sheer hard work, is a deeply devout man, having vowed that he would offer his life and music to God if only God would grant him artistic genius. Momentarily distracted from his search by a passing tray of pastries, Salieri enters an empty room. Suddenly a woman bursts in, hotly pursued by a man who proceeds to chase her under a table. The man’s silly giggles and goosings are cut short when he hears a chamber orchestra begin a piece of surpassing beauty. “My music!” he says, and tears out of the room to take up the conductor’s baton.

Salieri is stunned. How is it possible that such an undignified, scandalous youth could be the creator of music as noble and elevated as that which is echoing through the palace? In a moment, Salieri’s world is undone: instead of rewarding piety and unremitting labor, God has seen fit to grant a callow brat a share of divine power.
the rest

from Worldmagblog

Democrats embrace gay agenda
By: Ben Smith
Aug 2, 2007

The 2004 election turned out to be the year, for Democrats, of gay panic.

It was a year in which Sen. John F. Kerry backed away from his longtime pro-gay record to support a state amendment banning gay marriage -- and in which former President Bill Clinton reportedly urged Kerry to go even further in standing against same-sex marriage.

But the mood among Democrats this election cycle seems closer to liberation. The party's leading presidential candidates will gather in Los Angeles on Aug. 9 for a forum sponsored by the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign and broadcast live on the gay cable channel Logo.

They're expected to reiterate their universal commitments to a broad range of gay rights in areas ranging from health care to immigration -- a substantive package that amounts to virtually everything short of the word "marriage."
the rest

Korean Church Body Appeals for Urgent Prayers for Christian Hostages
Michelle Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Aug. 02 2007

The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of
Korea (PROK) has issued an urgent prayer appeal to the global Christian community for the remaining 21 Korean hostages held by Taliban militants in Afghanistan after the deaths of two male hostages.

“The threat of further executions of the hostages is driving not only the affected families but the whole Korean society into the most painful situation,” stated a letter by PROK general secretary Yoon Kil-soo.

“Therefore, we urgently call on the entire ecumenical community around the world to pray to God that the killings of innocent people may stop and that these hostages may safely return to their families,” urged Yoon.
the rest

Albert Mohler: "Lest You Be Consumed"
-- The Tragedy in Minneapolis
Thursday, August 02, 2007

The scenes from Minneapolis are frightening, tragic, and sobering. In this age of technological marvels and engineering achievements we expect buildings to stay on the ground, airplanes to stay in the air, and bridges to stay in place. The sudden and catastrophic collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis -- just as rush hour was coming to a close -- challenges some of our most comforting assumptions.

We drive across bridges, enter tall skyscrapers, board commercial aircraft, and perform any number of daily tasks as if there was no danger involved in the equation. We have come to trust architects and engineers to do their jobs and we place a great deal of confidence in inspectors, standards, and testing. Those driving across that bridge on Wednesday evening had every reason to give the bridge itself little thought . . . until it fell.

The extent of the human tragedy is not yet fully known.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting 9 persons dead, 60 injured, and 20 missing at present. Given the circumstances, the twenty missing persons are unlikely to be alive. Approximately fifty cars went down with the bridge, along with construction workers working on the structure.

Christians will be praying for the citizens of the Twin Cities, and especially for those with loved ones directly involved in this tragedy. We should pray for the churches of Minneapolis and pray that God will use faithful churches to minister grace and truth amidst this tragedy and turmoil.
the rest

Anglican Report Episode 33

Kevin and George Conger Discuss:
ACN Council Meeting 2007
Live Streaming


Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This way of seeing our Father in everything makes life one long thanksgiving and gives a rest of heart, and, more than that, a gayety of spirit, that is unspeakable. Some one says, "God's will on earth is always joy, always tranquility." And since He must have His own way concerning His children, into what wonderful green pastures of inward rest, and beside what blessedly still waters of inward refreshment is the soul led that learns this secret. If the will of God is our will, and if He always has His way, then we always have our way also, and we reign in a perpetual kingdom. He who sides with God cannot fail to win in every encounter; and, whether the result shall be joy or sorrow, failure or success, death or life, we may, under all circumstances, join in the Apostle's shout of victory, "Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!" ...Hannah Whitall Smith photo

For Prayer: Minneapolis bridge collapse sends cars into river
Motorists being rescued after freeway span falls during evening rush hour
Star Tribune
Aug. 1, 2007, 7:26PM

MINNEAPOLIS — The Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed during the evening rush hour today, dumping at least eight cars and a truck into the water and onto the land below, creating a horrific scene of damage, fire, smoke, injuries, frantic rescuers and terrified motorists.

It was not clear how many people might be hurt or killed, but witnesses said at least 20 cars were involved.

The crumpled green wreckage of the bridge lay on the east bank of the river, and a huge section of concrete roadway lay on the west bank. Down below in the river gorge, rescue workers scrambled to help people on the roadway that now lay in the gorge. Fires burned and black smoke rose billowed the wreckage.
the rest more photos

TLC: Brief Testimony in Presentment Trial of Colorado Priest

An ecclesiastical court hearing in the Diocese of Colorado adjourned three hours after the trial began July 31 at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver. The Rev. Don Armstrong stands accused of a number of charges, including failing to maintain proper church financial records and diverting church endowment money to himself and his family.

Fr. Armstrong has denied that he is guilty of any financial misconduct and has accused the Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill, Bishop of Colorado, of instigating a politically motivated vendetta against him.

Neither the defendant nor his lawyer was present for the hearing. Late last week, Fr. Armstrong filed a motion to have the charges against him dropped arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction after he and a majority of members at Grace and St. Stephen’s Church in Colorado Springs voted to leave The Episcopal Church last March. The ecclesiastical court denied the motion. Fr. Armstrong now serves as rector of Grace CANA Church, part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.
the rest

UK: Warning shot for hotels over gay couples
By Sarah Womack and Jonathan Petre

Muslim or Christian guest house owners who refuse to accept homosexual couples must impose a "sleeping together ban" on all other guests, the Government says.

As the holiday season gets under way, Meg Munn, a junior minister, has emphasised that it is illegal to allow married couples to share a room at a guest house or hotel while not allowing homosexuals the same right.

If gays are turned away, the only way a Christian or Muslim guest house owner can lawfully stay in business is if he or she offers single bedrooms to all guests - straight or gay.
the rest

Young and out on the field
An emerging generation of gay athletes in high school and college is changing the rules.
By David Wharton, Times Staff Writer
July 28, 2007

Seattle — THE guys in his boat took to calling him "Badger" because of the grimace he wore during races. Part of a junior rowing club that ranked among the fastest in the nation, Lucas Goodman was relentless on the water.

It was a different story on land.The teenager with the powerful build and close-set eyes had to be careful. He hung back ever so slightly when teammates shot the breeze, talking about girls.

"You get tired of constantly watching what you say, constantly watching how you act," he said.
"You're almost paranoid."

Goodman felt so uneasy that he finally told the Green Lake Crew his secret: He is gay.
the rest

Conservative attorney: Sen. Schumer ignoring Constitution on judicial nominees
Jim Brown
August 1, 2007

The head of a group that promotes constitutionalist judicial nominees says Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is "turning the Constitution on its head" by vowing to block future Supreme Court nominees of President Bush.

Schumer says the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President Bush "except in extraordinary circumstances." The senior senator from the Empire State told the American Constitution Society convention that "the Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance" and that the nation "cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito." the rest

MPs back human-animal hybrid embryos
By Clive Cookson, Science Editor
August 1 2007

The creation of human-animal hybrid embryos should be allowed for research, and parents should register donor conception on a child’s birth certificate, a parliamentary committee said Wednesday.

MPs and peers who scrutinised the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill also called on the government to scrap plans to create a new regulatory body through the merger of existing authorities dealing with human tissue and embryos.

“While the Human Tissue Authority is concerned entirely with the policing of consent, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has to deal with the much more complex moral and ethical issues surrounding the use of human embryos,” its report said.
the rest

Conservative U.S. Anglicans Outline 'Classic Christianity'
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Aug. 01 2007

A group of conservative Anglicans planning to form a separate orthodox Anglican body in the United States ratified a "common cause" document on Tuesday.

The Anglican Communion Network, consisting of those discontent with The Episcopal Church or those who have split from the denomination, approved a statement that would no longer require its members to operate within the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.

Noting that many individual parishes and leaders in the Anglican Communion Network are no longer part of The Episcopal Church, delegates voted to add to the federating Articles of the Common Cause Partners the following statement: “Nothing in the charter or bylaws shall be interpreted as requiring submission to the constitution of The Episcopal Church by affiliates of this Network who are not themselves members of The Episcopal Church.”
the rest

Muslims benefiting from double standard, says Christian law firm
Chad Groening
August 1, 2007

The chief counsel of a Christian law firm says it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is a double standard when it comes to accommodating religious practices at public schools and and universities.

USA Today recently reported that some public schools and universities are granting Muslims' requests for prayer times, prayer rooms, and ritual footbaths. Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the
Thomas More Law Center, cites one example -- Carver Elementary School in San Diego, where he says officials created an extra recess to accommodate Islamic prayers. the rest

Church Offers Text Messages From Pope
The Associated Press
Monday, July 30, 2007

VIENNA, Austria -- Organizers of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Austria next month are offering the faithful a foretaste: daily cell phone text messages with quotes from the pontiff.

The Archdiocese of Vienna said the service, which began Sunday and will continue through the pope's Sept. 7-9 visit, will provide free excerpts of his sermons, blessings and writings.
the rest

Device wakes man with severe brain injuries
Wed Aug 1, 2007
By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A man with severe brain injuries who spent six years in a near-vegetative state can now chew his food, watch a movie and talk with family thanks to a brain pacemaker that may change the way such patients are treated, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old man is the first person in a minimally conscious state to be treated with deep-brain stimulation, a treatment that uses a pacemaker and two electrodes to send impulses into a part of the brain regulating consciousness.
the rest

AnglicanTV Slideshow of ACN Council Meeting-by Kevin Kallsen

Network States Willingness to "Engage in Mediation" with National Church

Delegates to the Network’s Annual Council have stated their “unconditional commitment to the unanimous urging of the Primates of the Anglican Communion that all existing litigation between The Episcopal Church (TEC) and those who have left TEC or are otherwise engaged in litigation involving claims of TEC, be suspended.”

The resolution, passed on July 31 in Bedford, TX, goes on to declare the Network’s willingness on behalf of its affiliates and partners “to engage in mediation” with TEC to find a mutually agreeable way forward.

The full text of the resolution follows:

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I believe that God both wills and is able to bring good out of everything, even the worst. For this He needs people who are prepared to allow everything to be served for the best. I believe that in every crisis God wants to provide us with as much power of resistance as we need. But God never gives it in advance so that we will entrust ourselves. I believe that even our mistakes and wrongdoing are not fruitless and that it is no more difficult for God to cope with them than with our presumed good deeds. I believe that God is no "timeless fate" but, rather, that he waits upon and responds to our sincere prayer and responsible deeds. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer photo

A word received:
I AM. I AM calling my people back to me.
Turn to me.
Turn to me and I will lead you through.
Turn to me in repentance and prayer.
Turn to me for this day's strength.
Albany Intercessor

ACN Council Meeting News July 31, 2007

Matt Kennedy: A Brief Summary of the Tuesday Morning Session of the Network Council

The Living Church: American Province 'Lost,' Network Asserts

Common Cause Articles and Theological Statement

Posted 4:25 pm: Council Ratifies Common Cause Structural Document

4:30 pm: TLC:Revised Network Charter Retains Clause Acceding to TEC Constitution

4:38 pm: Bishop Duncan Re-elected Network Moderator

4:50 pm: ENS: LOS ANGELES: Appeals court will not reconsider property ruling

5:54 pm: Ephraim Radner: A Brief Statement of Resignation from the Anglican Communion Network

Persecution of Christians Increasing, but Most Americans Unaware
July 30

Christian Newswire/ -- Christians continue to be martyred abroad, but few American believers are aware of how pervasive religious persecution is around the world. "Christians in this nation don't realize how fortunate they are to live in the U.S.," observes Jim Jacobson, president of Christian Freedom International.

The Taliban's kidnapping of the South Korean aid workers in Afghanistan illustrates how that conflict is essentially religious. Yet "the U.S.-backed government is little friendlier to Christians," observes Jacobson. "Last year Christian convert Abdul Rahman barely evaded a death sentence, and only after Western nations placed substantial pressure on Kabul."

In Turkey attacks continue on Christians and churches. In an area along the Black Sea coast where an Italian Catholic priest was previously murdered, a Protestant church was vandalized and its pastor threatened. "Earlier this year three Christians were murdered in a particularly gruesome fashion by Muslim extremists," Jacobson points out.
the rest

Gay group targets adoption site
Campaign pushes for all profiles to be allowed online
Dianna M. Náñez

The Arizona Republic
Jul. 28, 2007

A national gay and lesbian advocacy agency has launched a campaign to persuade one of the country's leading adoption Web sites based in Gilbert to allow people of all sexual orientations looking to adopt to post profiles on the site.

Family Pride, based in Washington, D.C., launched the campaign in late May in response to a settlement reached earlier that same month.
the rest

Scotland: Catholic Adoption Agency Will Close Before Giving Children to Homosexual Parents, Bishop States

Revelation: Women joining men in porn-addiction ranks, Christian groups say
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It started at age 7 or 8 when she found her father’s girlie magazines and sexually explicit novels.
It ended more than 25 years later when she joined the 12-step program Sex Addicts Anonymous.

The 37-year-old Fort Collins woman, who asked that her name not be published, has had a pornography addiction for most of her adult life.
the rest

Abortion Centers Misuse Heart Drug Digoxin to Do "Partial-Birth" Abortions
by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 30, 2007

Detroit, MI ( -- After the Supreme Court upheld the national ban on partial-birth abortions, some abortion businesses are so desperate to continue doing legal second-trimester abortions that they are willing to put women's health at risk by misusing a drug for heart conditions to do the abortions.

The partial-birth abortion ban made it clear that abortion practitioners can't mostly deliver an unborn child before doing the abortion and killing her.

To get around the ban, they are using the drug digoxin to kill the baby inside the mother's womb and then cause the mother to miscarry the dead baby's body.
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U.S. Votes to Accept Gay UN NGOs
by Steve Jordahl
July 30, 2007

The United Nations has accepted two radical gay-rights groups as official non-governmental organizations, or NGO’s. The vote to include them was made against the recommendation of a UN-panel. In favor: The United States.

The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights and the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Quebec are now officially able to have input into United Nations policy. Samantha Songson of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute says the head of the Canadian group is wasting no time in spreading his message.
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Jesus vs. the ACLU
It's Civil Liberties Versus Religious Liberties in a Louisiana Courthouse

July 30, 2007

A small southern Louisiana town is the latest battleground for a classic First Amendment showdown over the separation of church and state, pitting a feisty judge with a painting of Christ in his courthouse against the nation's top civil liberties group.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Judge Jim Lamz of Slidell, La., earlier this month for refusing to take down a portrait of Jesus Christ above the words "To know peace, obey these laws" displayed in a courthouse lobby. The judge says he believes the picture is legal, and the mayor of the city — the mayor and the town are also named in the lawsuit — called the ACLU "America's Taliban."
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Monday, July 30, 2007

"Jesus did not commit Himself unto them for He knew what was in man." John 2:24-25

Disillusionment means that there are no more false judgments in life. To be undeceived by disillusionment may leave us cynical and unkindly severe in our judgment of others, but the disillusionment which comes from God brings us to the place where we see men and women as they really are, and yet there is no cynicism, we have no stinging, bitter things to say. Many of the cruel things in life spring from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts; we are true only to our ideas of one another. Everything is either delightful and fine, or mean and dastardly, according to our idea.

The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life. It works in this way - if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give. There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why Our Lord is apparently so severe regarding every human relationship is because He knows that every relationship not based on loyalty to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no man, yet He was never suspicious, never bitter. Our Lord's confidence in God and in what His grace could do for any man, was so perfect that He despaired of no one. If our trust is placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone. ...Oswald Chambers image

Old rite wins new Mass appeal
By Julia Duin
July 30, 2007

The Tridentine Mass, the Latin-only rite both loved and hated by many Catholics for its medieval qualities, is roaring back into use after a July 7 papal decree loosened the rules on celebrating it.

Two traditional priestly societies dedicated to the rite report that priests from all over the country are signing up in droves for weeklong classes to learn the rituals and language of the Mass, named after the 16th-century Council of Trent.

Monsignor Michael Schmitz, vicar-general of the Florence, Italy-based Institute of Christ the King, said he has received hundreds of calls from interested clergy.

"This is a nationwide phenomenon," he said. "Many more parish priests and younger priests are interested in learning to celebrate the Latin Mass.
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Russian Youth Group Encourages "More Sex" to Save Motherland from Dwindling Population
By John Jalsevac
MOSCOW, Russia
July 30, 2007

( - A Russian nationalist youth group is encouraging youth to have more sex in an effort to combat the nation's devastating demographic crisis, reports the Daily Mail.

In a lengthy special report the Daily Mail documents the activities of the Nashi youth movement, which is sponsoring a summer camp attended by some 10,000 Russian youth this summer. Not only are Nashi organizers encouraging the youth to have more sex, but they have designated a special area at the dormitories, the Love Oasis, for young men and women to engage in sexual intercourse. According to the Mail, condoms are unavailable in the camp.

"They [The pre-historic mammoths] became extinct because they did not have enough sex. That must not happen to Russia," said a Nashi organizer to a group of assembled campers.
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Albert Mohler:"Utterly Normal?" -- No "Post-Homosexualist" Era Yet
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2007

Our language has reached some important natural limits of meaning. A recent media report considered the increasing number of homosexual couples, both male and female, who are now "having babies." Well, these same-sex couples are not "having" babies in the sense that language has customarily been used. When a same-sex couple "has" a baby, everyone knows that there is more to the story. A homosexual couple simply cannot "have" a baby the same way that a heterosexual couple can. This is a matter of the natural order and biology, not mere social custom.

This came to mind when I read Will Young's article published in the July 28, 2007 edition of
The Times [London]. In "We Gays Haven't Won the Battle Yet," Young accepts the fact that modern society has experienced a massive shift on the subject of homosexuality. the rest

Report: China detains four priests from underground Catholic church
The Associated Press
Published: July 29, 2007

BEIJING: Four priests from China's underground Roman Catholic church have been detained by police, a U.S.-based monitoring group said Sunday.

Three priests were detained Tuesday in the northern region of Inner Mongolia after fleeing their hometown to avoid arrest for refusing to join the state-sanctioned church, the Cardinal Kung Foundation announced. It said the fourth priest was detained in early July in the northern province of Hebei following a motorcycle accident.

It gave no details of what charges the priests might face.
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Taliban Militants Kill Second Male Korean Hostage

NYT: Anti-Abortion Leaders Size Up G.O.P. Candidates
Published: July 30, 2007

WASHINGTON, July 29 — After 30 years of political organizing within the
Republican Party, the anti-abortion movement has won a series of victories in legislatures and courts and stands tantalizingly close to winning even more. But these are anxious days for the movement.

A backer of abortion rights would “be at war” with the Republican base, said James Bopp Jr.

Six months before the Iowa caucuses, abortion opponents are trying to adjust to a strikingly different political landscape. For the first time in a generation, they face in Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, a front-runner for the Republican nomination who supports abortion rights.

Abortion opponents are dividing their support among several other candidates, including
Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a relatively recent convert to the cause, and Fred D. Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee. the rest

Christian theme park a holy land experience
By John Raoux, AP

ORLANDO — Jesus Christ is crucified and resurrected here six days a week.

Snarling Roman soldiers whip and drag him, and somber audience members watch. Some quietly weep at a pageant bloody and cruel.

It is the grand finale at the Holy Land Experience, and not the attraction most tourists envision in an Orlando vacation. Just miles from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld in this city's overstimulated tourist corridor, Holy Land has in its six years of operation aimed to recreate Jerusalem of Biblical times.
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Theology battle rocks Springs church, world
The fight about theology and who owns Grace Church reflects a rift shaking parishes all over.

By Electa Draper Denver Post Staff Writer

Colorado Springs - The Gothic Revival tower of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish stands as a monument to staid tradition - but this sanctuary has turned into a battleground.

Rebellious parishioners left the American Episcopal Church this spring, protesting its acceptance of gay unions and other departures from orthodoxy, to join a Nigerian Anglican diocese.

Now, the congregation is locked in a legal battle with the Colorado Diocese over ownership of the church, valued at $17 million.

The congregation also is trying to keep its conservative priest of 20 years, the Rev. Don Armstrong, in his pulpit, despite allegations of theft and fraud.

Tuesday, an Episcopal ecclesiastical court will weigh charges against Armstrong, who is accused by the diocese of stealing or misusing more than $500,000.
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The Episcopal Church: A Safehaven for Homosexuals
Tyrone Short Announces Print-on-Demand Availability of The Episcopal Church: A Safehaven for Homosexuals at

AURORA, Colo., July 30 /
Christian Newswire/ -- Tyrone Short announces publication of The Episcopal Church: A Safehaven for Homosexuals in conjunction with Lulu (, the world's fastest-growing provider of print-on-demand books.

Because the outcry against the Episcopalian Church is so great and their sin is very grave, God is calling for his elect to flee. The Episcopal Church has embraced the homosexual community as one of their own. Is this practice biblical? The Episcopal Church: A Safehaven for Homosexuals is a passionate outreach to the authorities of the Episcopal Church and the Christian Homosexual. the rest

TLC: Bishop Duncan: Fall HOB Meeting is Windsor Bishops' 'Last Stand'

Shortly before the Anglican Communion Network gathered for its constitutional convention in January 2004, the infamous ‘Chapman Memo,’ an unofficial document recommending wide-scale ecclesiastical disobedience, was leaked to The Washington Post. It cast a pall over the meeting before it began and caused widespread mistrust of claims by Network leadership that it intended to abide by the canons and work for reform from within The Episcopal Church.

Nearly four years later, as delegates gather for the annual council meeting July 30-31 at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas, the Network remains officially committed to The Episcopal Church, but few expect that situation to continue much longer.
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Conservative Anglicans Losing Hope in Episcopal Church
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Jul. 30 2007

Conservative Anglicans in the
United States are finding themselves living through an "extended Good Friday," mourning for The Episcopal Church.

The Anglican Communion
Network, an orthodox group of Anglicans discontent with The Episcopal Church, began its fourth annual council meeting in Bedford, Texas, on Monday. Over 80 representatives opened the two-day meeting with disappointment in a church many had grown up in.

"Because our sense of order is such that we have always sought to be Christian first and Episcopalian next, we find ourselves on this present Way of the Cross," said the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, in his opening address.
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Address of the Right Reverend Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes to the Fourth Annual Council at Bedford, Texas
30th July, A.D.2007.
text here

Stand Firm: Common Cause Articles and Theological Statement

Stand Firm: AAC Legal Transparency Petition

The American Anglican Council has created an online petition calling for the Episcopal Church to report the source of the funds used for its lawsuits against parishes and vestries. Robert Lundy, communications assistant for the AAC, says, "These lawsuits come at a high price emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Of special concern is the source of TEC’s funding. Where are they getting the money to sue these churches? Should TEC be open about the amount spent and the source of their litigation funding? If you are concerned about this issue and want to do something about it, then click on the provided link and sign the American Anglican Council’s on-line petition."

You can sign the petition here.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Christians are like the several flowers in a garden that have each of them the dew of heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other's roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.
...John Bunyan photo

Church of England Newspaper reports on Charges of Canon Irregularities by 815
From the Fri, Jul 20, 2007 issue of The Church of England Newspaper
By George Conger

THE DIOCESE of San Joaquin, California, has accused US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of abuse of office for selectively enforcing church canon law to the detriment of conservatives.

The Presiding Bishop’s office admitted that it acquiesced in the Diocese of Virginia’s violation of the express language of Episcopal Church’s Constitution and Canons in the consecration process of its new bishop, but stated the violation was customary and not of sufficient merit to call into question the validity of the Episcopal consecration of Bishop Shannon T Johnston of Virginia.

In a letter dated July 20, the conservative-leaning diocese accused Bishop Schori of “unequal application of the same canon in two separate cases within months of each other,” permitting the “irregular consecration” of the Bishop-coadjutor of Virginia.

the rest at BabyBlueOnline

The Very Rev. Dr. Stephen Noll: An Open Letter to Network Bishops and Common Cause Partners Regarding the Future of Anglicanism in North America
Saturday, July 28, 2007

My brothers in Christ:

I am sure you get all kinds of advice non-stop. Let me nevertheless impose on you to consider my opinion. Many of you know me. I was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church 40 years ago, I was ordained a priest 35 years ago, and I have worked for many years to renew the Church from within. For the past seven years, I have been looking in with the eyes of the church in Africa. Therefore let me make several brief points.

The time has come for full and final separation between those in The Episcopal Church (TEC) who hold a false gospel and those who hold fast the truth revealed in Holy Scripture and the evangelical and catholic faith of the Church. I find it hard not to conclude that any bishop who still hopes for reform and revival from within the current structure is in a state of denial.

There is no hope and a future for any diocese or parish that remains connected to TEC. The Mark Lawrence case and various abuses of the canons should make this clear. This is a spiritual fact: TEC is terminally ill and the cancer will eventually spread to every part of the body.
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Comments at Stand Firm

'He came as a flood'
The hand of the Lord in Antioch, and Wales, and Korea, and . . .
Andrée Seu
August 04, 2007

God hides nuggets of gold in plain day and surprises us with new findings in passages we've read a hundred times. I came across this yesterday:

"Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith" (Acts 11:19-24).
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