Saturday, July 11, 2009

Devotional: True progress is not found in breaking away from the old ways...

True progress is not found in breaking away from the old ways, but in abiding in the teaching of Christ and His Spirit in the Church. There is an apparent contradiction here, for how can we abide, and yet advance? It is a paradox, like much else in scripture; but Christian experience proves it true. Those make the best progress in religion who hold fast by the faith once for all delivered to the saints, and not those who drift away from their moorings, rudderless upon a sea of doubt. ...Henry Barclay Swete image by LaMadrileña

‘Cardiac Death’ Allows One to Kill the Organ Donor

Friday July 10, 2009
Analysis by Dr. John Shea MD FRCP(C),
Medical Advisor to LifeSiteNews.com
July 10, 2009

(LifeSiteNews.com) - In 2006, research done by Dr. Gerald Buckberg, a cardio-thoracic surgeon and UCLA expert, demonstrated that a person can survive cardiac arrest for an average of 72 minutes if they are given the following treatment: cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, the use of a heart-lung machine to keep blood and oxygen circulating, and gradual restoration of blood and oxygen flow.

This research was done at hospitals in Alabama and Ann Arbor, Michigan and also in Germany. Of 34 patients, seven died, only two had permanent neurological changes and 25 recovered completely. One patient had been in cardiac arrest for two and a half hours. Similar results were obtained by research in Japan, Taiwan, and elsewhere in Asia.

In 1997, the Pittsburgh Protocol declared that cardiac arrest lasting two to five minutes causes 'cardiac death' and that it is ethically acceptable to remove vital organs for transplantation if a person is in cardiac arrest. The evidence provided by Dr. Buckberg and others directly contradicts this. Cardiac death was accepted according to the Pittsburgh Protocol with fanfare and approbation in Canada on January 27, 2006.

In December, 2002, Drs. M.L. Weisfeldt and L. Becker demonstrated that resuscitation was possible up to 15 minutes after cardiac arrest. It is now clear that the use of cardiac arrest as a criterion of death is no longer tenable. Will Dr. Buckberg's research be ignored by bioethicists, hospitals, and physicians as was Dr. Weisfeldt's work or will the hunt for transplant organs continue its inexorable course, as usual? the rest

San Diego Medical Association Decides Doctors Don’t Have to Obey Your Advance Directive–If You Want to Live

Get Church Out of Marriage Business, Bishop Harris Tells Integrity Eucharist

July 11, 2009

The church should get out of the marriage business, said the Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris during Integrity USA’s General Convention Holy Eucharist on Friday night.

Bishop Harris endorsed the belief—widespread among Episcopal clergy—that couples should turn to the state for civil marriage ceremonies and to the church for subsequent ceremonies of blessing.

“Marriage is a civil contract to which the church, in the name of God, adds a blessing,” she said.

Taking a shot at patriarchy, the bishop joked that same-sex marriage is a longstanding pattern: “Historically, marriage was a contract between a father and a groom.” the rest

A.S. Haley: Proposed Title IV Revisions Will Finally Isolate ECUSA

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Excerpt:
Let me make it perfectly plain for anyone to see, by quoting the current and the new language in parallel (the old is in blue, the new is in red):

Current Language (Priest)
If . . . [a] Priest or Deacon . . . has abandoned the Communion of this Church . . .

Current Language (Bishop)
If a Bishop abandons the communion [sic] of this Church . . .

Proposed New Language (Priest)
If . . . a Priest or Deacon . . . has abandoned The Episcopal Church . . .

Proposed New Language (Bishop)
If a Bishop abandons The Episcopal Church . . .


They are proposing to drop just the three little words "Communion of this . . .", and to replace them with just one word: "Episcopal". To paraphrase Neil Armstrong, "That's one small step for a church, but one giant leap away from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church."

With that single change, buried in the midst of thousands and thousands of words revising Title IV, the leadership of ECUSA will accomplish the goal toward which it has been striving ever since 1976: a complete and final divorce of its polity and orders from the rest of the Anglican Communion, and in consequence from the Church Catholic as well.

No longer will it be possible, after these changes are voted (and they will be, without any doubt: how could they go back on the strategy at this point?), for Episcopal clergy to avoid a charge of "abandonment" when they seek to transfer to another church within the Anglican Communion. No longer will anyone refer to these Canons as the "Abandonment of Communion" Canons; they become the "Abandonment of ECUSA" Canons. The Communion, as such, is through, as far as ECUSA is concerned. Finito. Not "Ite - missa est", but Ite - finis est.

It matters nothing that they are retaining the old words of the definition: "by formal admission into any religious body not in communion with the same . . .". That language, as I explained in this earlier post, has been read out of the Canons by the depositions of Bishops Cox and Schofield, and by the deposition of literally hundreds of clergy since. It simply is ignored, and will continue to be ignored. All that future Standing Committees will ask, and all that the House of Bishops will ask, is: "Has the priest/deacon/bishop in question left the Episcopal Church?" If the answer is "Yes", then it will not matter in the slightest where the person went: he or she will be deposed. As I have written about the illogical consequences of such a stance before, there is no need to spell it all out again.

Instead, I will content myself with pointing out that by making this change, the Episcopal Church (USA) is aligning itself with one other church which also does not trouble to distinguish, for purposes of defining abandonment, between churches in the Anglican Communion and churches which are not: it will be making its abandonment canons exactly like those of the Anglican Church of Canada. the rest

Rev. Phil Ashey on GC 09: "There will be two paths to mission."

(AAC update via email)
posted July 11, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am writing you from Anaheim, California, where the staff of the American Anglican Council is providing daily worship and pastoral care to orthodox bishops and deputies to General Convention 2009. Our mission here is "supporting and reporting." We are posting daily reports from GC 2009, which you can find on our website
www.americananglican.org. In addition, we are also partnering with other reporters and bloggers to make sure that the unvarnished truth is reported to the world-and not "Anglican fudge."

At this General Convention, the number of orthodox willing to stand against the tide of TEC's agenda is vastly reduced from previous conventions. During the hearings this week on developing rites for same sex blessings and conforming the marriage canons to civil law, 50 speakers testified in favor and only 6 orthodox could be found to speak against. During the open hearings on whether to move beyond resolution BO33 and permit the consecration of LGBT candidates for bishop (in violation of the Windsor Report moratoria), 25 speakers testified in favor of moving beyond B033, and only 5 orthodox could be found to speak against.

With such a numerically diminished opposition, TEC leaders have a free hand to draft and pass virtually any legislation they like.

Resolutions advocating rites for same sex blessings, equal access to ordination for any baptized person regardless of gender identity and expression, inter-religious dialogue, abolition of torture, and peace in the Middle East are what the Presiding Bishop described as the heartbeat of the Church, its mission. Some of these resolutions are worthy of praise such as a just peace in the Middle East and addressing poverty and hunger. Others will further tear the Anglican Communion to shreds - such as the development of rites for same sex blessings and the repeal of Resolution B033. In any case, enormous amounts of time, energy and money are being expended to discuss, debate, amend and put to vote the overwhelming number of resolutions that define the mission of the Episcopal Church.

By contrast, Jesus Christ seems to have found a very different path to mission. In yesterday's reading from the lectionary, from Luke 24:36-52, Jesus delivers the mission to his Church - to you and to me - without many committee meetings, and in four definite steps.

First, Jesus addresses our need for "peace": "Jesus himself stood among them and said 'Peace be with you.'" (Luke 24:36) In John's post-Easter account, Jesus declares this peace three times (John 20:19, 21, 26). The peace Jesus brings is not only an answer to our fears, it is shalom: wholeness and holiness of life. It involves the healing of what is sick and sin-filled in our lives.

How remarkable that our Lord should love us so much that he wants us to experience such peace and shalom before he sends us out on mission! How very different from the conversations I have listened to this week, half full with declarations that God is love, God loves me, God made me the way I am and God doesn't make mistakes - and utterly missing any discussion of personal sin, rebellion and our own responsibility for the warpedness of our choices and the consequences that follow. How can there be genuine peace and shalom when there is no will to engage the call to holiness of life that speaks from every page of the Bible?

In the midst of the freedom to enact resolutions that will permit, bless and commend to church leadership almost any expression of sexuality, there is an undercurrent of anger and angst at this General Convention. Could this be the witness that beyond sexual freedom there is an awful emptiness that only the peace of Jesus will ever be able to satisfy?

Secondly, Jesus Christ, risen and alive, is the reason and ground for mission: Jesus said, "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." (Luke 24:39) The reasons for mission are not the needs that cry out to us. Neither is the ground for our mission Martin Buber's "I and thou" cited by the Presiding Bishop in her opening address. Rather, it is all about Jesus. Jesus made it absolutely clear that He himself is the reason and ground for the church's mission. He is the message. His physical, bodily resurrection is the reason we have any hope to offer people at all. Every act of compassion and every deed of justice flows out of this hope, and points people back to Jesus.

And that is precisely why the Presiding Bishop's condemnation of confessional Christianity as a heresy is so shocking. The reduction of Calvary to a "way point" and not the "end point" removes the very hope for transformed lives from the inside out that can only come through Jesus Christ's resurrection life and love. The intentional diminishing of the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of all ultimately reduces the mission of the church to social service with a liturgical veneer.

Thirdly, Jesus calls us to understand mission within the framework of Holy Scripture: "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45) Jesus went on explain how his suffering death and resurrection on the third day fulfilled what is written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets. He placed the call to repentance and forgiveness of sins within the Biblical testimony of God's plan for humanity (Luke 24:47). Out of this understanding he called them, and us, to mission: to be witnesses of these things, in word and deed.

For generations, the authority of the Scriptures has been questioned and diminished by so many Episcopal bishops and theologians that most Episcopalians believe it is simply one of three equal authorities along with tradition and reason that must be weighed equally in the balance. This was never the intent or the teaching of Anglican theologians such as Richard Hooker (so often cited for the "three legged stool"). Holy Scripture has always been the ultimate authority, even over tradition and reason. But in the upside-down world of TEC, changes in the canons or "traditions" of the church, driven by "reasons" of culture, have now caused the church to move beyond the plain words of Scripture. Without the authority of scripture, there will be no anchor like Micah 6:8 for doing justice, and loving mercy. Like Esau, the Episcopal Church is selling its birthright in God's unchanging word for the pottage of political and cultural expediency.

Finally, Jesus calls us to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to equip us for mission: Jesus said, "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24:49) Jesus made good on this promise in Acts, chapter 2, at Pentecost. With the power of the Holy Spirit from on high, the Church exploded in mission so that the "Acts of the Apostles" should really be called "The Acts of the Holy Spirit."

Of all the things I feel missing this week here in Anaheim, it is the absence of any waiting - prayerful or otherwise - for power from on high, for the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. We are waiting for decisions from the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. People are waiting with hand-wringing for the budget cuts. People are waiting for the response of the rest of the Anglican Communion to the decisions that will be made here over the next week. But where is the waiting for power from on high?

None can predict the outcomes of the legislation. But one thing we can predict. This week will clarify the choices that Episcopalians will have to make in the months ahead. There will be two paths to mission. Which one will faithful Episcopalians walk?

With love and prayers in Christ,
Phil+

The Rev. J. Philip Ashey
AAC Chief Operating Officer and Chaplain

Friday, July 10, 2009

Just another painful school closing

Friday, July 10, 2009

I forget when and where it was in which, as a reporter, I heard a stunning lecture on the impact of birthrates and basic demographics on the rise and fall of religious institutions in the United States and elsewhere.

What made the lecture so interesting was the connection the speaker — it might have been the United Methodist thinker Lyle Schaller — made between traditional forms of religion and higher birth rates (and, correspondingly, between liberal forms of religion and much lower birth rates). Think about the recent decline of mainline Protestantism. Think about churches in Europe.

Anyway, enough about my fading Baby Boomer brain. The key is that these factors often figure into news stories about religion — especially in a Catholic context. Think about the priest shortage. Think about the relative health of conservative Catholic orders (emphasis on the word “relative”) and the sharp decline or even death of the orders that appeal to progressive, modern Catholics. Think about those painful parochial school closings in urban areas across the nation, but especially in the Northeast and upper Midwest. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury in appeal to Episcopal Church

Friday, 10th July 2009
By George Conger

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has urged forbearance upon the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, asking it refrain from ending the ban on gay bishops and blessings.

Speaking at a noonday Eucharist at the 76th General Convention on July 9 in Anaheim, California, Dr Williams said a move away from the commonly received teachings and discipline would be met with deep sadness by the Anglican Communion. However, he remained silent on what, if any, sanctions might be imposed.

The sermon marked the close of Dr Williams’ sojourn in Anaheim, with the tentative, non-confrontational tone of his address exemplifying his two days at General Convention. the rest

My First Abortion Party

When I got the invite to a friend's abortion party, I thought it was a way to help her through a difficult decision. I was right and wrong.
By Byard Duncan
AlterNet
July 8, 2009

Maggie, too, looked less than excited. A few days beforehand, one of her friends had asked her to have the abortion in Ohio. When Maggie insisted on bringing her boyfriend along, the friend told her not to bother coming. Maggie was being shown a great deal of respect, certainly. But she told me she couldn’t help but feel as though her pregnancy had been "hijacked" by women who felt like her inclusion of a man in the decision was weak or wrong. This was a surprise to me, but I didn’t exactly know how to weigh in.

Abortion is, after all, a very tricky topic -- a minefield of opinions where the slightest misstep can elicit unexpected reactions from friends, family, co-workers and strangers. Though I would classify myself an ardent pro-choicer, I also recognize that I am a man, and therefore somewhat of a problematic player in the debate. It’s never been made clear to me what sort of involvement I’m entitled to on the issue, and I don’t feel particularly confident making judgment calls about women -- whatever their political leanings. the rest

U.S. Bishops and Vatican View Obama Differently

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
July 9, 2009

Ever since he took office, President Obama has been given a cold reception by some Roman Catholic bishops in the United States who have repeatedly emphasized their church’s differences with him on abortion, birth control and stem cell research.

But Mr. Obama is likely to receive a much warmer reception in the Vatican on Friday when he meets Pope Benedict XVI for the first time, experts on the church say.

Both the pope and the president recognize that despite their differences, they have an opportunity to join forces on international issues that are mutual priorities: Israel and the Palestinians, climate change, nuclear nonproliferation, increased aid to poor nations and immigration reform. the rest

Al Gore sued by over 30 thousand scientists



The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam

The Truth About Sarah Palin’s Resignation

by John Ziegler
Jul 9th 2009

With all that’s been said about Governor Sarah Palin’s supposedly “shocking” announcement that she was resigning from office, you might think that everything that needs to be said about this has already been reported. However, as I proved in my documentary which “stars” Palin, when it comes to the most unfairly vilified personality of our time, it is more the rule than the exception that the true story about her gets totally lost in the media translation.

Her resignation has been a classic example. the rest

Palin: Not Down and Not Out

Sarah Palin on why she resigned and what it means for her future

Anglican Head: Concerns of Communion Stem from Deep Bonds

By Eric Young
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Jul. 10 2009

The head of the Anglican Communion suggested Thursday that tensions stemming from concerns within the worldwide church body are partly the result of its' members love and need for each other.

“If we – if I – had felt that we could do perfectly well without you, there wouldn't be a problem,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, told The Episcopal Church’s 76th General Convention in Anaheim, Calif.

“But the bonds of relationship are deep, for me personally as for many others. And I'm tempted to adapt what St Paul says to the Corinthians in the middle of a set of tensions no less bitter than what we have been living through and in the wake of challenges from St Paul a good deal more savage than even the sharpest words from Primates or Councils: 'Why? Because we do not love you? God knows we do.'” the rest

Bishop: Focus on personal salvation is 'heresy', 'idolatry'

Jul 10, 2009

Sex, politics, and poverty evidently aren't hot enough topics for The Episcopal Church's presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori. Wednesday, she threw a grenade on personal salvation, too.

She even took a swipe at the "sinners prayer" -- a brief-but-intense prayer admitting to sin and submitting to Jesus. There's no agreed text for this prayer but variations of it are central to evangelical/pentecostal Protestantism. The Episcopal Church has been boiling for six years in a fundamental disagreement over its theological direction, its understanding of the Bible and the roles of gays and women in leadership.

Last month, traditionalists broke away to formally create a new national church, the Anglican Church in North America. Unlike the Episcopal Church, it will have no gay or female bishops, no talk of blessings for same-sex marriages and its focus is on evangelization rather than social action in the name of Christ. the rest

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Archbishop Rowan Williams Hopes for Restraint, Stresses Value of Episcopal Church

July 9, 2009

Preaching a meditation on Thursday morning at General Convention’s Holy Eucharist, the Archbishop of Canterbury observed that every word he writes or preaches is “scrutinized and interpreted and picked over for hidden meanings and agendas,” adding that he expected this day would be no exception.

Archbishop Williams said two clear things to The Episcopal Church on Thursday morning: Thank you for your engagement with the Anglican Communion, and the Anglican Communion loves you. The warm words included some implicit exhortation, however.

“Of course I am coming here with hopes and anxieties. You know that and I shan’t deny it. Along with many in the communion, I hope and pray that there won’t be decisions in the coming days that could push us further apart,” he said. “But if people elsewhere in the Communion are concerned about this, it’s because of a profound sense of what The Episcopal Church has given and can give to our fellowship worldwide. If we, if I, had felt that we could do perfectly well without you, there wouldn’t be a problem.” the rest

Matt Kennedy+: ABC gives two messages to General Convention

Ninth Circuit Ruling Means Washington Pharmacists Must Dispense Assisted Suicide or Leave Profession

Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

A federal case involving a pharmacy refusing to dispense Plan B–aka the “morning after pill”–based on religious objection also has disturbing implications for assisted suicide in that state. A three panel Court of Appeals panel reversed an injunction and sent the case back to the trial court for further consideration. But in finding that Washington regulations requiring pharmacists to carry and dispense all legal drugs and medications is a rule of general applicability–thus precluding religious conscience-based exemptions–it also means that all pharmacists in the state must dispense death to terminally ill patients in Washington who receive lethal prescriptions.
the rest

Salvation is for communities, not individuals, says Presiding Bishop

Thursday, 9th July 2009. 4:31pm

By: George Conger.

US Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori has denounced as a “heresy” the proposition that individual believers can find salvation through Jesus Christ.

The grace of God is a gift to the community of believers, not for the individual believer, Bishop Jefferts Schori said in her opening statement to the 76th US General Convention, meeting in Anaheim, California from July 7-17. The presiding bishop set the tone and the agenda for the 10-day meeting of the US church’s triennial synod, loosening a broadside against conservative evangelicals, while calling the church to engage in social action.

While offering strong dollops of rhetoric to her supporters among the politically dominant left-wing of the Episcopal Church, the presiding bishop, however, is quietly pulling the Episcopal Church back from direct confrontation with the wider Anglican Communion --- pursuing a policy of consolidating the left’s internal political gains within the Episcopal Church while pursuing an entente with the wider Communion over the question of gay bishops and blessings. the rest

Not a Hate Crime? Akron police investigate teen mob attack on family

By Phil Trexler
Beacon Journal staff writer
Jul 07, 2009

Akron police say they aren't ready to call it a hate crime or a gang initiation.

But to Marty Marshall, his wife and two kids, it seems pretty clear.

It came after a family night of celebrating America and freedom with a fireworks show at Firestone Stadium. Marshall, his family and two friends were gathered outside a friend's home in South Akron.

Out of nowhere, the six were attacked by dozens of teenage boys, who shouted ''This is our world'' and ''This is a black world'' as they confronted Marshall and his family. the rest

Ginsburg: I thought Roe was to rid undesirables

Justice discusses 'growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of'
July 08, 20099
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

In an astonishing admission, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she was under the impression that legalizing abortion with the 1973 Roe. v. Wade case would eliminate undesirable members of the populace, or as she put it "populations that we don't want to have too many of."

Her remarks, set to be published in the New York Times Magazine this Sunday but viewable online now, came in an in-depth interview with Emily Bazelon titled, "The Place of Women on the Court."

The 16-year veteran of the high court was asked if she were a lawyer again, what would she "want to accomplish as a future feminist legal agenda." the rest

Deputies Approve ‘Facilitated Communication’ on B033

July 9, 2009

The House of Deputies readily agreed Wednesday afternoon to an unusual meeting as a committee of the whole regarding the consecration of any future bishops who are openly gay or lesbian. As approved by the deputies, the discussion will occur on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

Amendments by deputies only tinkered with a few details of the proposed discussion. An amendment by the Rev. Gay Jennings, co-chair of the Committee on World Mission, gave deputies time for “facilitated communication” about Resolution B033. the rest

Bp. Skip Adams: "That's one of my roles as bishop, to respect...and listen to people."

CNY Episcopal clergy likely to join debate over sexuality
Thursday, July 09, 2009
By Renée K. Gadoua
Staff writer

Episcopal Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams and eight members of the Central New York Diocese will be in Anaheim, Calif., this week for the denomination's 76th General Convention.

The meeting is a triennial legislative gathering during which elected clergy and lay deputies and bishops will vote on budgetary, programmatic and policy issues for the 2.2 million-member national church. Õ7AdamsÕ [sic] Including voting participants, up to 10,000 people are expected to attend, according to Episcopal News Service.

Heated discussion is likely to surround resolutions that deal with sexuality. The agenda includes requests to overturn, nullify or supercede the 2003 ruling calling for "restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion."

That resolution was in response to the 2003 convention when deputies voted to affirm the election of Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.

The 2006 convention also made history, when the delegates affirmed the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as the first woman to lead the national church.

Robinson's consecration as bishop strained relations between the Episcopal Church and the Worldwide Anglican Communion, threatening to split the church as the denomination sorts through stark differences about homosexuality and biblical authority.

Three congregations have withdrawn from the local diocese in recent years because of the dispute.

Adams is prepared for more spirited discussion on the issue.

"There are going to be folks from all kinds of positions who are entrenched," he said. "That's one of my roles as bishop, to respect that and listen to people." [and then intimidate and/or sue them if they don't agree: see here and here and here -PD]

Resolutions also will consider requests for authorization to develop rites for blessing of same-gender unions; propose adding names to the church's calendar of feasts; propose use of gender-neutral language for prayer book marriage services; establish a program to address poverty in areas such as Appalachia and federal reservations for American Indians; proposed revision of the church's disciplinary canons, including processes to deal with clergy who have been accused of inappropriate behavior. link

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Devotional: A chasm is opening...

“A chasm is opening between men who believe their Bibles and the men who are prepared for an advance upon Scripture. The house is being robbed, its very walls are being digged down, but the good people who are in bed are too fond of the warmth, and too much afraid of getting broken heads, to go downstairs and meet the burglars... Inspiration and speculation cannot abide in peace. Compromise there can be none. We cannot hold the inspiration of the Word, and yet reject it; we cannot believe in the atonement and deny it; we cannot hold doctrine of the fall and yet talk of the evolution of spiritual life from human nature; we cannot recognize the punishment of the impenitent and yet indulge the ‘larger hope.’ One way or the other we must go. Decision is the virtue of the hour.” ...CH Spurgeon image-maryatexitzero

General Convention 2009

Main blogs to check for up-to-date news on GenCon 2009:
(I will update as I can)

Stand Firm:
TEC Denies Media Credentials for Matt Kennedy
Bonnie Anderson: Opening Remarks

TitusOneNine
Kendall Harmon: Watch the Distance Between the Two Houses

American Anglican Council
Rev. Phil Ashey: Day 1-The Presiding Bishop’s Opening Address: Confessional Christianity is a heresy

BabyBlueOnline

Pray for GC 2009: Lent and Beyond GC 09 Intercessors

The Living Church:
Presiding Bishop: ‘Idolatry’ of Individualism Causing Church Crisis
Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori denounced as “heresy” the proposition that individual believers can find salvation through Jesus Christ.
Quiet Opening for House of Bishops
Bishop Robinson: 'You Bet We Are' the 'Gay Church'

Religious Intelligence:
Gay issues to be focus of US General Convention
Approximately 280 active and retired bishops, along with 845 lay and clerical deputies will review several hundred resolutions across a wide range of issues. However, the focus of General Convention will be on whether the Episcopal Church backs away from its 2006 pledge not to consecrate any more gay bishops or authorize public rites for same sex unions or gay marriages.

PB Schori's Opening Address
"The crisis of this moment has several parts, and like Episcopalians, particularly ones in Mississippi, they’re all related. The overarching connection in all of these crises has to do with the great Western heresy – that we can be saved as individuals, that any of use alone can be in right relationship with God. It’s caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus. That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy, at the center of existence, as the ground of all being. That heresy is one reason for the theme of this Convention. Ubuntu."

The Convention Daily

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Signs Pro-Life Bill With Abortion Conscience Clause

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 8, 2009

Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill Tuesday that gives pro-life doctors and other medical professionals more conscience protections on abortion under state law. The covers both public and private health care workers and allows them to opt out of involvement in abortions.

The measure also allows withdrawal from participating in anti-life bioethics practices such as human cloning, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research.

The bill allows the medical workers to receive job protection and legal immunity from employer discrimination if they refused to participate in the practices. the rest

Anglican congregation to continue fight for St. Luke's

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

LA CRESCENTA — Attorneys for the Anglican congregation at the St. Luke’s of the Mountains Church said they intend to appeal a June 9 court decision affirming the Episcopal Diocese’s ownership of the property.

Attorney Daniel Friedman Lula, who represents the Anglican congregation, said he would file a petition for review with the California Supreme Court on Aug. 10.

St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach pursued a similar course, but lost its case before the state high court. the rest

Bishop Robinson: 'You Bet We Are' the 'Gay Church'

By George Conger
July 8, 2009

Excerpt:
Bishop Robinson said he knew that “there are a lot of Episcopalians who say they are embarrassed when people say you are the ‘gay’ church.” To this, Episcopalians should say, “You bet we are.

“We are the church of the people of color, the church of women, the church of the mentally ill,” he said, a church of no outcasts. the rest

White House Says Obama, Pope Benedict XVI Will Have "Frank" Talk on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 8, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The White House is saying that pro-abortion President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Catholic Church, will have a "frank' talk on abortion when they meet on Friday. Obama is currently in Italy for the Group of Eight summit and the two will meet after the conference concludes.

"I think there will be a frank discussion [about abortion]," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One, according to an AP report.

On subject like abortion where Obama is out of step with the pro-life teachings of the Catholic faith, Gibbs said "even if we don't see eye to eye on everything, there are steps that can be taken on a number of issues that will show progress, whether it's on something like unintended pregnancy or adoption." the rest

Public ignored; full steam ahead for embryonic sacrifice

Charlie Butts
OneNewsNow
7/8/2009

The National Institutes of Health has issued guidelines for research on human embryos. One pro-family spokesman accuses NIH of ignoring the public on the matter.

The guidelines, which are based on a presidential executive order, open the door for research that pro-life groups have fought against for years. Dr. David Prentice of the Family Research Council tells OneNewsNow those guidelines set up a system that creates an incentive for embryonic sacrifice. He goes on to say NIH simply did not listen to the public.

"Of the 49,000 comments they got, 30,000 told them not to fund any human embryo research [using federal funds]. The acting director of the NIH said they just ignored those comments," Prentice notes. "[So] the question wasn't whether to fund it, but how to go about sacrificing embryos." the rest

Scientists in Newcastle claim to have created human sperm

By Fergus Walsh
BBC medical correspondent
Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The researchers believe the work could eventually help men with fertility problems to father a child.

But other experts say they are not convinced that fully developed sperm have been created.

Writing in the journal Stem Cells and Development, the Newcastle team say it will be at least five years before the technique is perfected.

They began with stem cell lines derived from human embryos donated following IVF treatment. the rest

Copernicus Remains Verified by DNA Analysis

By SPACE.com staff
08 July 2009

A new DNA analysis of hairs found in a book that once belonged to Copernicus shows a match with the great astronomer's putative remains, seemingly confirming their identity.

Nicolaus Copernicus, a Polish mathematician, astronomer and Catholic cleric (among many other pursuits), developed a heliocentric model of the solar system, opposing the widespread belief that the Earth was the center of the universe.
the rest image

Evidence of King David's palace unearthed in Jerusalem

by Rachel Ginsberg

Excerpt:
But the debunkers of Jewish biblical history got some bad news recently, when a spunky, dedicated archaeologist began her latest dig. Dr. Eilat Mazar, world authority on Jerusalem's past, has taken King David out of the pages of the Bible and put him back into living history. Mazar's latest excavation in the City of David, in the southern shadow of the Temple Mount, has shaken up the archaeological world. For lying undisturbed for over 3,000 years is a massive building which Mazar believes is King David's palace.

For Mazar, 48, one of the world's leading authorities on the archaeology of ancient Jerusalem and head archaeologist of the Shalem Center Institute of Archaeology, the discovery was the culmination of years of effort and solid speculation. From the time she was a teenager, she had her nose in archaeology literature, and worked closely with her grandfather, renowned archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, who conducted the southern wall excavations next to the Western Wall. She holds a doctorate in archaeology from Hebrew University, is author of The Complete Guide to the Temple Mount Excavations, and in the 1970s and '80s worked on the digs supervised by Yigal Shilo in the City of David. The significant discoveries made then, including a huge wall called the "stepped-stone structure" -- which Shilo believed was a retaining wall for David's royal palace or part of the Jebusite fortress he conquered -- ignited Mazar to continue to look for the prize: David's palace itself.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Archbishop Peter Jensen: The Jerusalem Declaration – why it matters

July 6th, 2009

Presentation at Be Faithful July 6th

Ominous and foreboding words are being said about the FCA by those who wish it ill – they say it is schismatic, it will divide the church, it is a power play.

These changes are at best misunderstandings or at worst political posturing.

Let me say this as clesrly [sp.] as possible.

The FCA exists to keep Anglicanism united, to enable those whose spiritual existence as Anglicans is threatened to remain Anglicans with integrity.

It exists to keep orthodox, biblical Anglicanism inside the fold at the highest level possible; to gather up the fragments, to unite them. It exists so that evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics and mere Anglicans can continue to be Anglicans without compromising Biblical truth. The question for you is: will you join us, will you help us keep our Communion one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

Jim Packer is one of the giants of the real world-Anglicanism. Amongst the wise of this world he is disdained, but his praises are sung in all the churches. Astonishingly, in the eyes of his institutional church he is no longer one of us. He has chosen to separate himself from what he has called the sanctification of sin.

Is he still an Anglican? the rest

Prayer for GC 2009

I have been a bit late in getting this posted, but I want to encourage readers of this blog, especially the prayer warriors, to go over to Fr. Eaton's website: GC 09 Intercessors . There is much that can be wrought by intercessory prayer and no matter where you are in regards to the Anglican/Episcopal issues, those who are sincere in seeking the Lord can see great things happen!

Besides the GC 09 website, this posting from:
Lent and Beyond will help direct your prayers and help everyone focus on the specific needs. I will update as I can.
-Pat Dague

General Convention menu

The 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in the environs of Los Angeles, California, from July 8-17, 2009. Father Rob Eaton is recruiting intercessors and posting updates at GC 09 Intercessors.

Resources
Deputation listing
General Convention schedule
Fr Rob Eaton’s essay on how to pray for General Convention.
Fr Timothy Fountain’s reflection on praying for General Convention.
The Anglican Ecumenical Society has a chat room prayer session on Wed, Thur, and Fri at 1 p.m. Pacific time. Also, they offer bulletin inserts.
Anglicans in the Wilderness is offering a skype-based group prayer.
Twitter users: #pray4TEC

Prayers
Lord of the breakthrough
Ruled by the peace of Christ
Plant in tears
Perez
Priests clothed in righteousness
Ask
Crown of pride
The road to Damascus
Keep Your children faithful
Deliver us from intellectualism
Forgive us for profaning our bodies
The presence of the Lord
Between the narrow places

This was especially helpful: HOW TO PRAY for GC 09: Focus
image by House of Sims

Monday, July 06, 2009

A.S. Haley: Ten Theses contra General Convention

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It is time, as General Convention approaches its rendezvous with fate and the Holy Spirit (how is that for high drama?), to lay down a few markers. In doing so, although I cannot presume to claim the calling of a prophet, I have been moved to declare a firm position by this passage from today's Old Testament reading (our priest for the service, who has been in the Church for more than fifty years, observed wryly that it is "almost every minister's favorite sermon text"), from Ezekiel:

2:3 He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the house of Israel, to rebellious nations who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted against me to this very day. 2:4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and hard-hearted, and you must say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says.’ 2:5 And as for them, whether they listen or not – for they are a rebellious house – they will know that a prophet has been among them. . . ."

In addition to Ezekiel, I take as my model Martin Luther, who tacked his 95 Theses on the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg 492 years ago. He did so in response to the actions of the Catholic Church in sending into Germany a papal commissioner who offered indulgences to all baptized sinners that would let them, in exchange for money to be used to rebuild the edifice of St. Peter's in Rome, buy themselves (or any other baptized Christian) out of any unpleasant or inconvenient aspect of the afterlife. Well, as you read this, ECUSA is assembling its General Convention in my home State, and I feel similarly moved to put up my own "Ten Theses" in order to oppose what is a foregone conclusion will take place there. the rest

Queen sends 'supportive' letters to leaders of FCA

The Queen has sent "supportive" letters to the leaders of a controversial church movement that has angered homosexuality campaigners.
By Martin Beckford and Jonathan Wynne-Jones
06 Jul 2009

She told the heads of the traditionalist group, formed in response to the liberal direction of some parts of the Anglican Communion, that she “understood their concerns” about the future of the 80 million-strong global church.

The Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has also wished them well with today’s launch in London of a new alliance of evangelical and Anglo-Catholic parishes in Britain and Ireland.

One leading evangelical said: “We found the letters very supportive.” the rest

AnglicanTV in London: Be Faithful! Conference




See Anglican Mainstream for more information and schedule of events.

Venables rejects ‘un-Anglican’ claim

Monday, 6th July 2009
By George Conger

The Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone has rejected assertions made by lawyers representing the Episcopal Church that the clergy of the Anglican Church in North America are un-Anglican.

In a June 30 letter to the clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop Gregory Venables reminded them that the Alexandria Primates’ Meeting had affirmed the Anglican bona fides of the American breakaway dioceses and clergy.

While it would “take some time before the institutional structures catch up to the realities of the present day situation in the Communion,” the Diocese of Fort Worth and clergy of Fort Worth remained in “good standing and favour with me” and the Southern Cone. Your “orders and ministries are secure in the Lord and as Anglicans,” he said. the rest

Anglican traditionalists warned about Muslim talks

Monday, 6th July 2009
By George Conger

Delegates to the 2009 ACNA convocation in Bedford, Texas, last week were warned not to be lulled into complacency by the siren song dialogue with “moderate Islam.”

Canon Julian Dobbs, the canon missioner for the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) told the June 22-25 meeting that “so-called moderate Islam” was a myth.

The American variety of “moderate Islam” was “no more moderate than the militant Islam of Saudi Arabia or Indonesia,” Canon Dobbs said. Quoting the founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), he explained that "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.

“Don't be misled or misguided, the peace Islam offers is not the peace of sitting around the camp fire singing [songs]. Islam's peace is the implementation of Sharia Law and the global submission to Islamic ideology,” he argued. the rest

Albert Mohler: A Christian Vision of Marriage and Family

Monday, July 06, 2009

"For the first time in its history, Western civilization is confronted with the need to define the meaning of the terms 'marriage' and 'family.'" So states author Andreas J. Kostenberger who, with the assistance of David W. Jones has written God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation.

This sense of crisis and the need for definition sets the stage for this book and its central thesis--that the only way out of our present cultural confusion is a return to a biblical vision of marriage and family.

As Kostenberger observes, "What until now has been considered a 'normal' family, made up of a father, a mother, and a number of children, has in recent years increasingly begun to be viewed as one among several options, which can no longer claim to be the only or even superior form of ordering human relationships. The Judeo-Christian view of marriage and the family with its roots in the Hebrew Scriptures has to a certain extent been replaced with a set of values that prizes human rights, self-fulfillment, and pragmatic utility on an individual and societal level. It can rightly be said that marriage and the family are institutions under seize in our world today, and that with marriage and the family, our very civilization is in crisis." the rest

After Tiller: two ex-abortion doctors speak out

By Sherry Tyree
Special to the Post-Dispatch
07.03.2009

After Dr. George Tiller’s murder on Pentecost Sunday, much has been written about late-term abortion. Among the many comments are two you might not have run across, both from former abortion doctors, Bernard Nathanson and Mary L. Davenport.

Bernard Nathanson has previously been interviewed by Julia Duin, religion writer for the Washington Times, so in the wake of Dr. Tiller’s murder, she decided to re-interview Dr. Nathanson, a former abortionist who was at the heart of the pro-choice movement in the sixties and seventies:

Soon after late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was killed, I called one of his mentors, Bernard Nathanson. The former Jewish atheist who presided over 75,000 abortions - including that of his own child - in the 1960s and 1970s left the abortion industry upon the advent of ultrasound technology.

His now-classic video “The Silent Scream” shows an unborn child recoiling from a vacuum abortion device before being sucked to its death. He was baptized a Roman Catholic in late 1996, and in an interview with me then, he said he converted because he feared going to hell.

“I have such heavy moral baggage to drag into the next world,” he explained…..
the rest

World's oldest Christian Bible digitized

Posted July 6, 2009

LONDON (AP) — The British Library says the surviving pages of the world's oldest Christian Bible have been reunited — digitally.

The library says the early work known as the Codex Sinaiticus had been housed in four separate locations across the world for more than 150 years. It became available Monday for perusal on the Web at http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/ so scholars and others can get a closer look.

The library says the work will allow scholars to further study the "unique treasure." the rest image

China's elderly will overwhelm the nation

The one-child rule imposed 30 years ago has created too few young people to support the quickly expanding aging population.
By David Pierson
July 6, 2009

Reporting from Shanghai -- For three decades China's one-child policy helped power this nation's economic rise. With fewer mouths to feed, families saved. Poverty fell. Living standards improved.

But a social experiment that worked well in some respects is now threatening the country's hard-won gains. China's working-age population -- the engine behind its prolific growth -- will start shrinking within a few years.

Meanwhile, the ranks of elderly are projected to soar. By the middle of this century, fully a third of China's population will be age 60 or older, compared with 26% in the United States. China's projected 438 million senior citizens will outnumber the entire U.S. population. the rest

California’s Nightmare Will Kill Obamanomics

Commentary by Kevin Hassett
July 6, 2009

(Bloomberg)--Last week, we discovered that the state of California will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

With California mired in a budget crisis, largely the result of a political impasse that makes spending cuts and tax increases impossible, Controller John Chiang said the state planned to issue $3.3 billion in IOU’s in July alone. Instead of cash, those who do business with California will get slips of paper.

The California morass has Democrats in Washington trembling. The reason is simple. If Obama’s health-care plan passes, then we may well end up paying for it with federal slips of paper worth less than California’s. Obama has bet everything on passing health care this year. The publicity surrounding the California debt fiasco almost assures his resounding defeat. the rest

Coffee 'may reverse Alzheimer's'

Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say.
Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Florida research, carried out on mice, also suggested caffeine hampered the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease.

Previous research has also suggested a protective effect from caffeine.

But British experts said the Journal of Alzheimer's disease study did not mean that dementia patients should start using caffeine supplements.

The results are particularly exciting in that a reversal of pre-existing memory impairment is more difficult to achieve. the rest

Men, women share U. of C. rooms

Male, female undergraduates can now share dorm, no questions asked
July 6, 2009
BY DAVE NEWBART Staff Reporter

Charlie Barlow plans to room with one of his best friends next semester at the University of Chicago: Lauren "Lulu'' Danzig.

The two are among 50 students who will take advantage of a new policy allowing male and female undergraduates to room together -- something that was forbidden throughout the 117-year history of the Hyde Park school.

For 19-year-olds Danzig and Barlow, it's not a romantic thing: She already has a boyfriend on campus. She says she simply prefers to live with men, and Barlow is a very close friend.

"I tend to get along better with guys,'' she said. Still, she said, she couldn't imagine sharing a dorm room with her boyfriend. the rest

New reality show pits religions against each other

July 6, 2009
By RACHEL GEIZHALS

Have you heard the one about a rabbi, an imam, a priest and a Buddhist monk?

It's no joke, but rather Turkey's latest reality show, which brings together leaders from four religions who attempt to convert non-believers to their respective faiths.

Penitents Compete features select religious authorities seeking to make believers out of 10 atheists - on camera.

Istanbul-based television station Kanal T plans to launch the show in September.

The prize for the converts? A trip to a holy site of the winner's newfound religion: Muslims will go to Mecca, Christians to the Vatican, Jews to Jerusalem and Buddhists to Tibet. the rest

Bishop Nazir-Ali attacks ‘lurid’ headlines

Monday, 6th July 2009
By Judy West

The Bishop of Rochester has issued a statement deploring ‘lurid’ headlines concerning his views on homosexuality.

The Bishop, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, had given an interview to the Sunday Telegraph ahead of today’s launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in London.

In the interview he was reported as calling for gay people to repent and change, and his comments provoked a strong backlash from gay groups, liberal Christians and from the media.

However, today the Bishop said: “The Be Faithful Press Release says that I would be calling on churches and Christians to repent of capitulating to cultures around them and to refocus on the faith of the Church from down the ages and an authentic mission to the nations. This is what I said to the reporter from the Telegraph. I said that we all needed to repent for straying from God’s purpose for us.

“On being pressed as to whether this included homosexuals, I said something to the effect that yes, we all need to repent when we fall short of God’s will and be transformed. I went on to say a little about how Christians should understand marriage and family and the proper expression of our sexual nature. the rest

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Devotional: Here lies the tremendous mystery..

Here lies the tremendous mystery-that God should be all-powerful, yet refuse to coerce. He summons us to cooperation. We are honoured in being given the opportunity to participate in his good deeds. Remember how He asked for help in performing his miracles : Fill the waterpots, stretch out your hand, distribute the loaves. ...Elisabeth Elliot image

Dissident Anglicans launch protest movement against CofE liberalism

• Coalition against same-sex unions and gay priests
• Critics say move will lead to Church of England split


Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk
Sunday 5 July 2009

Thousands of Anglicans will gather in London tomorrow to support the launch of a UK movement opposing liberalism in the Church of England, with critics claiming it will undermine the church and the authority of the archbishop of Canterbury.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), which counts five homegrown bishops among its backers, is aimed at congregations and clergy unhappy with the Church of England's position on the blessing of same-sex unions, the ordination of women and homosexuals as priests.

One of the English churchmen supporting the FCA is Michael Nazir-Ali, bishop of Rochester, who continues to draw criticism for his views on homosexuality. the rest

A.S. Haley: A New Declaration of Independence

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has now organized, and nine of the 38 Provinces in the Anglican Communion have given it recognition, without waiting for the Anglican Consultative Council to act. (The Episcoleft still pats its collective back with the fact that the number of Provinces so recognizing ACNA is in a numerical minority, because they know that they control --- for the time being, at any rate --- the majority of Provinces in the ACC. The fact that those Provinces which have thus far recognized ACNA constitute nearly half of the world's Anglicans carries no weight whatsoever with them, because in their elitist liberal eyes, the people who make up those Provinces are "people who never were English, [and who] don't speak English as their native tongue", to quote one prominent member of ECUSA's Executive Council.)

Almost a year ago, when it appeared that everything was falling into place for the creation of what has since become ACNA, I put up a post in which I took the text of Mr. Jefferson's immortal Declaration of Independence and modified it ever so slightly to make it into a Declaration of Religious Independence. Using his descriptions of the tyrannical acts committed with respect to the Thirteen Colonies by the British sovereign, I provided links to descriptions of equivalent acts by ECUSA and its leadership. Just as His Excellency George III would not allow any dialogue or tolerate negotiations with the colonials, so has the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori refused to negotiate with those she regards as thieves and apostates who presume to cart off the parish silver at the same time as they refuse to recognize her authority. As is inevitable with the Internet, many of the links in that earlier post no longer work, and need updating.

Accordingly, now that ACNA has just finished its initial organizing convocation at Bedford Texas, and we are celebrating a real Fourth of July, it is timely to provide an update of that earlier post. I therefore dedicate the following remake of my earlier post to those who throughout the Anglican world, whether "in communion" with Canterbury or not, are steadfast in their resistance of the divisive and ruinous campaign in ECUSA and in ACoC to force the Anglican Communion to recognize and acquiesce in the tenet that all lifestyles are created equal, while all men and women are not. (Those who disagree are definitely homophobic and inferior, both mentally and culturally, and must therefore be hounded, derided, vilified and ultimately excluded from true Anglican society --see elitist remarks quoted above.) We are now at a watershed in the history of the Anglican Communion --- a time when the forces resisting the heterodoxy rampant within the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada can no longer be confined to the one-way mazes erected and maintained by those who demand from the Church a form of secular justice that is not its own to dispense. (As I so often have to remind those who come here, there are no civil rights which one can demand from God, who owes us sinners nothing.) the rest

Orthodox leaders give message of unity in Istanbul

Sat Jul 4, 2009
By Ayla Jean Yackley

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church put on a united front on Saturday when they met for talks in Istanbul.

They were expected to discuss the sensitive issue of the churches in Ukraine and Estonia during the three-day visit to Turkey of Patriarch Kirill, enthroned in February to lead the Russian Orthodox Church.

Priests kissed Kirill's hands and children gave him flowers when he arrived to the sound of bells ringing at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George, where he blessed parishioners and prayed at icons. the rest