Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cat and green apples

Man Can Keep Up Billboard Condemning Girlfriend’s Abortion

by Steven Ertelt 7/29/11

A state judge in New Mexico has ruled that a man can keep up, for now, the billboard he paid for that condemns his girlfriend’s apparent abortion — an advertisement that has generated national controversy.

Greg Fultz erected the billboard weeks ago with the words, “This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!” The billboard shows a picture of Fultz holding an outline of a an infant.

Fulz’s girlfriend, Nani Lawrence, has sued and claims the billboard violates her right to privacy and a local court has suggested that the billboard be removed. Fultz and his attorney have appealed the restraining order saying that his rights to free speech are abridged by it. Also at issue is whether Lawrence ever had an abortion — she contends she did not and the baby may have died as the result of a miscarriage. the rest

Abortions decline in wake of "fetal pain" law

July 28, 2011

No one needed a crystal ball to foresee a decline in abortions would be reported to the state Department of Health and Human Services for the first six months of this year.

There were 135 fewer abortions from January through June this year than for the same period in 2010.

Nebraska broke new ground nationally with the enactment last year of a so-called “fetal pain” law. It barred abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, based on the disputed theory that a fetus can feel pain at that stage.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the standard for limiting abortion has been the viability of the fetus – its ability to survive outside the womb. That standard has generally been seen as 24 weeks. During the first trimester, a decision to abort a pregnancy has been up to a woman and her physician.

Preliminary reports from doctors to the department note 1,153 abortions for the first six months of 2011, compared to 1,288 for the same period in 2010 – a decrease of 9 percent. the rest

John Stott: "A walking embodiment of the simple beauty of Jesus"

Sharon Autenrieth
Friday, July 29, 2011

Fifteen years or so ago I purchased a copy of The Cross of Christ by John Stott. I'd heard his name, knew he was "famous" in evangelicalism, but had never read any of his writings. It took only a chapter or two in The Cross of Christ for me to be won over to Stott's style of writing. He was intellectually rigorous but clear and accessible. More than that, though, I was drawn to the devotion that permeated Stott's writing. It was contagious, the passion he had for Christ and His church. I wanted it to characterize my own spiritual life.

John Stott was 90 years old when he died in London on Wednesday. Surrounded by friends, Stott passed away listening to "Handel's Messiah" and the reading of scripture. If there is such a thing as a good death, it sounds like a good death to me. In life and in death, John Stott's was soaked in scripture and dedicated to Christ the Messiah. the rest

Evangelical Leader John Stott Dies at 90
...Stott was somewhat unique in his call for evangelicals to move their faith beyond the four walls of the church, “to take more responsible attitudes toward economics, the arts, politics, and culture in general,” recalled Mark Noll, a University of Notre Dame professor and scholar of the evangelical movement. Perhaps most importantly, Noll told the Times in a 2007 interview, Stott served as a “patron, mentor, friend, and encourager of thousands of pastors, students, and laypeople from the newer Christian parts of the world,” becoming a link “between the West and the rising Christian world.”...

Christians hail John Stott’s legacy

Noonan: They've Lost That Lovin' Feeling

They've Lost That Lovin' Feeling Obama still has supporters, but theirs is a grim support.
JULY 30, 2011
by Peggy Noonan

Excerpt:
But that actually is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something that started to become apparent to me during the debt negotiations. It's something I've never seen in national politics.

It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications.

The past few weeks I've asked Democrats who supported him how they feel about him. I got back nothing that showed personal investment. Here are the words of a hard-line progressive and wise veteran of the political wars: "I never loved Barack Obama. That said, among my crowd who did 'love' him, I can't think of anyone who still does." Why is Mr. Obama different from Messrs. Clinton and Bush? "Clinton radiated personality. As angry as folks got with him about Nafta or Monica, there was always a sense of genuine, generous caring." With Bush, "if folks were upset with him, he still had this goofy kind of personality that folks could relate to. You might think he was totally misguided but he seemed genuinely so. . . . Maybe the most important word that described Clinton and Bush but not Obama is 'genuine.'" He "doesn't exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine." the rest

AnglicanTV: Anglican Unscripted July 29, 2011


George Conger and Kevin Kallsen discuss this day in History and the death of John Stott. This week we also have two contributors - AS Haley delves into New York states new same sex marriage law and Bishop Love discusses how this new law affects the Diocese of Albany NY. --Oh and for the curious.... we have the blooper reel at the end of the show.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

John Stott: The Christian community is a community of the cross...

 
The Christian community is a community of the cross, for it has been brought into being by the cross, and the focus of its worship is the Lamb once slain, now glorified. So the community of the cross is a community of celebration, a eucharistic community, ceaselessly offering to God through Christ the sacrifice of our praise and thanksgiving. The Christian life is an unending festival. And the festival we keep, now that our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us, is a joyful celebration of his sacrifice, together with a spiritual feasting upon it.
...John R. W. Stott  image

Online Remembrance Book

Tomb of St. Philip the Apostle discovered in Turkey's Denizli

D'Andria said the structure of the tomb and the writings on it proved that it belonged to St. Philip the Apostle, who is recognized as a martyr in the history of Christianity
27 July 2011 Wednesday

The tomb of St. Philip the Apostle, one of the original 12 disciples of Christianity's central figure Jesus Christ, has been discovered during the ongoing excavations in Turkey's south-western province of Denizli.

Italian professor Francesco D'Andria, the head of the excavation team at the Hierapolis ancient city in Denizli, told reporters on Tuesday that experts had reached the tomb of St. Philip whose name is mentioned in the Bible as one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus.

Professor D'Andria said archeologists had been working for years to find the tomb of the Biblical figure, and finally, they had managed to reach the monument while working on the ruins of a newly-unearthed church in Hierapolis. the rest

U.N. Group Calls for Abortion as Human Right for 10-Year-Olds, Decriminalization of Prostitution for Youth

Thursday, July 28, 2011
By Tierney Smith

Y-PEER, a youth initiative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has issued a call to make access to abortion and contraception an international human right for children as young as 10 years old.

The U.N.-affiliated group also issued what U.N. analysts say is a call for the decriminalization of prostitution and drug use, and for “confidentiality” in health-care services for youth.

The “Joint Youth Statement on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Young People” was released in preparation for the U.N. Youth Conference, which began Wednesday in New York.  the rest
Rondeau said the organization appears to be “one more front group -- wittingly or otherwise -- for sex-based profiteers and cultural revolutionaries posing as concerned global citizens.”

“Within the statement absolutely stuffed with gobbledygook, it calls for disordered sexual behavior, prostitution, and IV drug use to be decriminalized,” he said. “Yet the leading cause of the spread of AIDS is sexual promiscuity followed by sharing needles in IV drug use. So, who benefits from decriminalizing these behaviors: youth or sexual health agencies, providers, and pharmaceutical companies?”

Abortionist admits: babies sometimes born alive and left ‘wiggling around in the toilet’

by Kathleen Gilbert
Tue Jul 26, 2011

(LifeSiteNews.com) – In disturbing testimony during court proceedings against a well-known Florida abortionist, a fellow abortionist reportedly admitted that some aborted children are delivered alive and left “wiggling around in the toilet,” where they are allowed to die.

The testimony occurred during proceedings against abortionist James Pendergraft, who was forced to pay over $36 million last week for a botched procedure that left its intended target alive, but severely disabled.

Pendergraft, who was convicted of felony extortion in 2001, was told by an Orlando County jury to pay $18 million in the civil suit itself and another $18 million in punitive damages, totaling over $36 million.

Michele Herzog of Pro-Life Action Ministries, a witness in the courtroom, said that jurors listened as abortionist Randall Whitney, one of Pendergrast’s accomplices, “cavalierly stated that yes, babies are delivered in the toilet all the time and many times are still alive, wiggling around in the toilet.” the rest

One Man, One Woman, and the Common Good: Marriage’s Public Purpose

The state should uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, because the state’s interest in marriage is fundamentally about public, not private, purposes for marriage. Adapted from testimony delivered before the United States Senate.
by Austin R. Nimocks
July 27, 2011

Excerpt:
Marriage doesn’t proscribe conduct or prevent individuals from living how they want to live. It doesn’t prohibit intimate relationships or curtail one’s constitutional rights. Federal legislation that protects marriage as a binding, exclusive, and procreative relationship has the public purposes of marriage—most notably, to continue human existence—at heart. The effort to repeal DOMA, however, tries to replace these essential public purposes of marriage with various private purposes. Our discussion of DOMA and its repeal should not be about the private reasons why individuals marry, why the institution of marriage benefits any particular couple, or why any two people should or should not marry. Instead, we must speak about social policy for our country as a whole and the government’s interest in marriage as an institution.

Due to the public nature of the government’s interest in marriage, a couple’s entrance into marriage has never been conditioned on the couple’s ability and desire to find happiness together, on their level of financial entanglement, or on their actual personal dedication to each other. Because the scope of due process rights is determined not by anyone’s individual circumstances, but by the country’s history, traditions, and legal practices, marriage laws stem from the fact that children are the natural product of sexual relationships between men and women, and that both fathers and mothers are viewed to be necessary and important for children. Thus, throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have recognized marriage between one man and one woman as the best way to promote healthy families and societies.

Moreover, studies and data from the social sciences have long demonstrated that for children, the ideal family structure is one headed by two opposite-sex biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Even President Obama supports active and involved fatherhood for all children; he knows all too well the pain of not having a father during his childhood, even though he was raised by a loving mother. As he stated:

We know the statistics—that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

Likewise, a child psychologist who testified in support of a lawsuit that would judicially impose same-sex marriage on California citizens wrote, “Both mothers and fathers play crucial and qualitatively different roles in the socialization of the child.”

But advocates for redefining marriage are asking you to cast aside the natural attachment of parents to their own children, and the natural desires of children to know who they are and where they came from. These advocates are asking the whole of society to ignore the unique and demonstrable differences between men and women in parenthood: no mothers, no fathers, just generic parents. image by April Killingsworth

Full Essay

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

John Stott, Renowned Evangelical Leader, Dies at 90


Wed, Jul. 27 2011
By Daniel Blake

World-renowned evangelist and Biblical scholar John Stott died Wednesday at 3.15 p.m. local time in London (10.15 a.m. EST), according to John Stott Ministries President Benjamin Homan.

Homan has reported that Stott’s death has come following a few weeks of discomfort, and that the death was simply related to complications related to old age.

Stott, who died at 90, retired from public ministry in 2007 when he was 86 years old. He spent his retirement in the College of St. Barnabas, Lingfield, which is a residence for retired Anglican clergy.

The English Anglican leader is revered for his ministry life. The world famous evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, described him as "the most respected clergyman in the world today." the rest

Christianity Today: John Stott Has Died

Rest in Peace, John Stott

Evangelical great, John Stott, dies at 90

John Stott's Impact
Excerpt:
The core elements of Stott’s leadership-by-truth-telling are within our grasp immediately, and Stott would probably be the first to say so. We must…

1. Make personal devotion to God in Christ our highest priority.

2. Live consistently, with integrity. Resist the temptation to develop a public persona.

3. Develop core disciplines like Scripture reading and mediation, prayer, work and rest.

4. Trust in the unchangeable truth of Scripture. Go deep in our study of it.

5. Prepare public talks with a focus on substance. Look for the connections and orders of our ideas.

6. Value relationships with other leaders. Be a mentor without having to be called a mentor. Follow natural patterns. Don’t reduce discipleship to a program.

7. “Read” the truth of God written in the natural world. Stott was an avid ornithologist. His cumulative knowledge made him a world expert. This was both an avocation and an act of worship. Like many other Christian leaders, Stott practiced a full awareness of God’s presence and work, and that included participating in the Creation with a developing sense of awe and wonder....

Diocese of CNY: Save sex for the person you love most, says Episcopal priest

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
By Rev. G. Thomas Luck

Rev. G. Thomas Luck is dean and rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Syracuse and canon theologian of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.

I am a priest of the Episcopal Church who is married and who has raised three children with my wife, who had been widowed when the children were young. I am an advocate for marriage, whether same- or opposite-gender marriage.

I celebrate that people may now enter into marriage with people of the same gender, and that the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York is allowing priests to bless these marriages in the name of God and the church, and as agents of the state of New York.

Contrary to what some have said, this does nothing to tear apart marriage, but actually allows a whole population of people to enter marriage, giving them the traditional rights and responsibilities of marriage, thus strengthening the role and place of marriage in society and the church. As one population within our society celebrates the right to enter the sacrament of marriage, this is a great time to celebrate marriage as the best context for sexual relations. the rest
Sex is good, and in marriage it is great. I wish to call all people to use their God-given gift of sexuality for relationships that are mutually fulfilling, joyful, committed for life, faithful and sanctifying, recognizing that there are stages on the way to discerning marriage, and accept that for most people sex is part of that discerning.

Study: ObamaCare costs grossly underestimated

Bill Bumpas
OneNewsNow
7/27/2011

New research suggests that assumptions made in ObamaCare about employee behavior aren't realistic and thus could cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Earlier this month, the non-profit Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released new research from economists at Cornell University and Indiana University that suggests the healthcare law could be quite expensive for the U.S. Mike Saltsman, an EPI research fellow, explains to OneNewsNow why the economists were so pessimistic.

"A lot of people who are currently insured by their employer under this new system may find it in their best interest to actually leave their employer's coverage and go get their insurance through the insurance exchange," he explains. "What that could mean is that a lot more people are sort of getting subsidized insurance coverage -- and it could mean a higher cost for taxpayers than originally projected." the rest

Hundreds of thousands of human embryos discarded

July 25th, 2011

The scale of wasted human embryos as a result of IVF treatment has been revealed after a written reply was given to a question asked in the House of Lords.

Department of Health figures show that over 30 embryos are created for every successful IVF implantation in a woman.

3 million embryos have been created for IVF purposes since 1991 when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act made the practice legal.

Of these, fewer than 100,000 have been successfully implanted and resulted in live births, nearly a million and a half have been discarded, around three quarters of a million have been frozen for later use and 100,000 were given for use in experiments where the embryos were destroyed.  the rest

UK: Doctors can pray with their patients, says medics group

Wed, 27 Jul 2011

GPs are free to pray with their patients as long as they are receptive to the offer, the UK’s leading medical defence group has said.

The Medical Defence Union’s new guidance quotes a senior figure at the General Medical Council (GMC) saying that a “tactful” offer to pray could be appropriate.

The news follows a number of cases where Christian medics have faced disciplinary proceedings for mentioning their faith at work. the rest

Mobile ultrasound unit rescues '2 babies & 2 souls' in 1 day

Jul 26, 2011
by Staff

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)--A mobile pregnancy care resource center may be relatively new for the Florida Baptist Children's Homes, but it already has become a strategic advocate for life and the health of the unborn.

"Two babies and two souls were saved" when the unit was stationed next door to a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Orlando in late June, Mary Lou Hendry, director of sanctity of human life for the children's homes, reported.

The two women intended to get abortions but instead, by divine appointment, each was able to see her baby on an ultrasound machine screen provided by gifts to the Psalm 139 Project of Southern Baptists' Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. the rest

Monday, July 25, 2011

We must not conceal from ourselves that true Christianity...

We must not conceal from ourselves that true Christianity brings with it a daily cross in this life, while it offers us a crown of glory in the life to come. The flesh must be daily crucified. The devil must be daily resisted. The world must be daily overcome. There is a warfare to be waged, and a battle to be fought. All this is the inseparable accompaniment of true religion. Heaven is not to be won without it. Never was there a truer word than the old saying, “No cross, no crown!” If we never found this out by experience, our souls are in a poor condition. ...JC Ryle image

Contracepting Conscience

by Helen Alvaré
July 25, 2011
The new, pro-contraceptive recommendations by the Institute of Medicine endanger the health and well-being of women.
Richard John Neuhaus once commented that the “philosophes” of the French Revolution would turn over in their graves to discover how the Catholic Church had become the chief defender of the place of reason in the public square in the late 20th century. Today in the 21st century it is the feminist revolutionaries of the 1960s who are squirming in their rocking chairs as the Catholic Church dares to defy “the establishment” to stand for the freedom of women and of conscientious objection to federal mandates.

The greatest attack on women’s freedom is last week’s recommendation by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that the new health care law should mandate “the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods [and] sterilization procedures” as “preventive services.” This means that every health insurance plan must provide these services without co-pays or deductibles. “Grandfathered” employer plans are exempted, but these lose their “grandfathered” status if the plans are significantly changed; HHS estimates that by 2013, about 88 million Americans’ preventive services coverage will be affected by federal decisions. The Secretary of Health and Human Services has solicited IOM’s recommendations and will render a final decision August 1.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded immediately that the new threat to religious conscience posed by this recommendation fails women. He noted further that the “FDA-approved” category includes even abortion-inducing methods (such as Ella), and that IOM’s report appeared to be driven by ideology, not science or care for women’s health.

If you want to give new meaning to the word “outsider” in Washington today, identify yourself prominently as a conscientious objector to birth control as a tool in the “war against unintended pregnancy.” A giant federal health care bureaucracy becomes your enemy. So does one of its closest collaborators, the self-described champion of all things female, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The IOM’s report gave Planned Parenthood everything it lobbied for—even the opinion that abortion, too, is a form of preventive health care, but one that the IOM believed it could not recommend in light of extant law. the rest
It is no surprise, then, that the rates of every outcome harmful to women—uncommitted sexual encounters, sexually transmitted infections, nonmarital births, and abortion—have climbed precipitously during the decades that the federal government has escalated both public and private support for contraception. Yet the IOM report—a report on women’s health—makes no reference to this substantial body of literature.

Diocese of Long Island: Bishop Tanglefoot

Monday, July 25, 2011
Matthew J. Franck

I learned this morning from a friend of the pastoral letter recently issued by the Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano, the bishop of the Episcopal Church’s Long Island diocese, to be read aloud at all services on Sunday, August 7. The letter, an effort to adapt to the new law establishing same-sex marriage in New York, is such a welter of confusion it will take your breath away. One might say Bishop Provenzano is trying to make the best of a very novel situation, in a church that has already gone far in the “progressive” direction. But when you let the city of man tie your shoelaces, Bishop, you’re bound to find your feet tied together and forward movement very difficult.

The first half dozen paragraphs have their share of cringe-making turns of phrase. We’re told that a marriage can be solemnized in the Episcopal Church if it “conform[s] to the laws of the State and the canons of the Church.” Just which canons of the Church already contemplate the legitimacy of a same-sex union, he does not say–but I have not tried to keep up with Episcopal progressivism.

We are further reminded that in Episcopal doctrine, “the couple administers the sacrament [of marriage] to each other,” while the priest is “present to witness and bless, and, when included, celebrate the Holy Eucharist.” These practices will now be extended to “same-gender” couples, in “conformity with the timeless and universal theology of the Church concerning marriage.” How making way for men to marry men and women to marry women, in a “sacramental” rite of Christians, is in keeping with a “timeless and universal theology” that never heard of such things until just yesterday, the bishop never explains.

But it’s in the seventh and eighth paragraphs that the bishop trips and stumbles. Here’s the seventh:
As has always been the practice, no priest will be required to officiate at any particular marriage. It will remain the obligation and pastoral duty of our priests who will officiate at marriages (either gay or straight) to fully prepare all couples, whether gay or straight, for marriage in similar fashion. No one is entitled to have his or her marriage blessed by a priest of the Church, unless he or she is willing to profess to holding true the teachings of the Church regarding marriage. Clergy wishing to bless and celebrate the marriage of those previously married and whose spouse is still living, whether gay or straight, will require the permission of the Bishop Diocesan for such marriages, as in the past.
the rest

Conflict in NY -- religious beliefs, 'gay' agenda

Charlie Butts
 OneNewsNow
 7/25/2011 

Alliance Defense Fund is attempting to help New York clerks who -- on firmly held religious grounds -- don't wish to issue "marriage" licenses for homosexuals.

Same-gender marriage became legal Sunday in New York -- and Holly Carmichael, an attorney with ADF, says there is clearly in New York law a requirement that an employer provide a religious accommodation. That has been confirmed by the state Supreme Court.

“Even though the same-sex marriage law doesn't provide adequate protection, other laws in New York echo what their highest court has said and requires these religious accommodations for people who are caught between their beliefs and what their employer is asking them to do,” says Carmichael.

It would be up to the town clerk, however, to take the first step towards legal protection, she explains.

“A religious accommodation requires the individual to ask, in this case, the town board to make an accommodation,” the attorney states. “New York law also specifically allows clerks to delegate their authority for certain tasks, including issuing a marriage license, to a non-objector.” the rest

Cash for admissions scandal rocks Church of South India

July 24, 2011
by George Conger

Officials of the Diocese of South Kerala have been accused by an Indian television network of selling admissions to a church-affiliated medical school. The scandal over the sale of admissions has prompted a walkout of the opposition in the Kerala Assembly and appears to have implicated leaders of the Church of South India (CSI) in another corruption scandal.

Last week the Asianet broadcasting network reported that it obtained a list of 50 students admitted to the church-affiliated Dr Somervell Memorial Medical College located on the grounds of the London Missionary Society (LMS) hospital in Karakonam. However, the admissions list was drawn up two days before students sat for their entrance exams.

A reporter for Asianet, posing as an official of the Church of South India (CSI), contacted the students on the list and learned that each had made cash payments of up to Rs 50 lakh (£70,000) for a place in the college. However, the payments were not considered tuition payments and were “off the books.”
the rest

Church of Nigeria Consultation on Human Rights

July 25th, 2011
Anglican Mainstream

In 2010 Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria reacted to activism by United Nations bodies on behalf of homosexual rights by noting that this activism went beyond the issue of rights and appeared to support the advancement of homosexual lifestyles in Africa. He said that if the United Nations Organisation was now an organ for advancing homosexual lifestyle, it was time Nigeria pulled out of that organization to protect the moral health of Nigeria.

This raised the question of the relationship between Human Rights and the Church. The Church of Nigeria convened a National Consultation on Human Rights from June 27 to July 1 2011 in Abuja. Participants attended from South Africa, Sudan, Zambia, Mozambique, India, Brazil, the UK and the USA with High Court Judges, State Governors, two former Cabinet Ministers, archbishops and theologians from the Church of Nigeria.

Its communiqué ( see here) reports that the consultation was held to: protect the moral health of the Nation in the light of the UN Human Rights Groups’ approach to promoting vices as rights in Africa; undertake a comprehensive overview of the foundations and ideology of rights as globally understood; identify the role of the Church in shaping the discourse and policies on human rights in Africa; examine the Biblical resources for understanding human rights and how human rights are framed, promoted, protected and to some extent, violated within the context of the African culture.
The communique reports that “Each person is entitled to human rights just as he/she has a responsibility to respect the rights of others. Human institutions are called upon to preserve and implement them.”

“The Church’s commitment to human rights rooted in the Biblical founding of human dignity is amplified in God’s covenant promises and supremely revealed in the incarnation of Jesus as the true image of God. Our understanding of human rights must be measured by the Bible’s revelation of human worth. the rest

Norway grieves for massacre victims at memorial services

Monday, July 25, 2011

The mood was solemn across Norway on Sunday as the nation turned out to memorial services to remember victims of Friday’s twin terrorist attacks.

A memorial service at Oslo Cathedral was joined by members of the royal family and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Mr Stoltenberg told victims’ families: “We’re crying with you.”

He said: “Every single one of those we have lost is a tragedy in itself. Together the loss is a national tragedy.

“We are still struggling to understand the extent of this tragedy.
 the rest

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Devotional: Fear not the storm...

File:Backhuysen, Ludolf - Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee - 1695.jpg
Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings, and when Jesus is with you in the vessel, the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven. ...CH Spurgeon image

Phil Ashey+: Why does a 21 year old go to church?

(Part 1)
July 10, 2011

The following is from the Friday, July 8 edition of the AAC's Weekly Email Update. Sign up for the AAC's Email Update here.
[This is excellent-esp. Part III!-PD]

Dear friends in Christ,

Our family has just returned from a week-long visit with our son, Jake, in Chicago. We managed to see as much of Chicago as Jake could squeeze us into - Wrigley Field (the Cubs won!), Northwestern, the Magic Mile, Navy Pier, architectural tour up the river and out onto Lake Michigan, a comedy-improve show at the IO, and much more. The best part, of course, was just being together as a family, and with our children - hanging out, laughing, playing games and stealing away for one on one conversations and catch up time with each one.

One of the highlights came on our first day when Jake took us to the church he now attends in Chicago, Park Community Church. It is not an Anglican Church: it is a church plant some 13+ years old that has helped revitalize and transform one of the most challenging neighborhoods in Chicago, Cabrini-Green. Thirteen years ago Julie and I attended an urban missions conference at Moody Bible Institute and visited Cabrini-Green. At that time, it was an impoverished neighborhood marked by violence, drugs, despair and deteriorating housing projects. Where once stood burned out and decaying buildings now stand new townhomes and green spaces. This time I saw people walking their dogs and strolling with their children - still many blocks in need of renewal, but this time there is a palpable sense of a hope and a future. From conversations with an usher, I discovered that a number of young couples from Park have chosen to live in Cabrini-Green and raise their children in this neighborhood rather than the suburbs as a direct result of Park's commitment to invest in the community.

Like most 21 year olds, Jake lives a full life. He works full-time in a Starbucks and chose Chicago because it holds many opportunities for those who want to break into comedy and the arts (as he does). Between work, evening performances, events in the city and friends, he has very little discretionary time. So even though he has a solid foundation in Christ, Julie and I were impressed when he found this church on his own and committed to membership. Most Sundays he attends the "Near North Campus" where we worshipped together. It takes him 45 minutes - an L train ride, a bus ride, and a good walk - to get there. When he works on Sundays, he often attends the Saturday evening service. Most weeks he also attends a small group, part of the process for joining Park as a member. the rest

Part II     Part III

Canon Phil Ashey is Chief Operating and Development Officer of the American Anglican Council.

Anglican Report With Kevin Kallsen and George Conger

Saturday, July 23, 2011

57,000 Young People Protest Message at UN Conference on Youth

July 23rd, 2011 From C-Fam

Statement signed by 120,000 to be released on Monday:

“We do not agree with much of the document produced by governments for the High Level Meeting on youth,” says Tyler Ament, Director of the International Youth Coalition. “We also do not agree with the messages being put out by UN agencies like sex rights for young people and other objectionable ideas.”

Ament and his colleagues will present a Youth Statement to the UN and the World that has been signed by 120,000 people including 57,000 under the age of 30. “The Youth Statement recognizes the rights of parents and calls for policy makers to return to basics and get away from dangerous ideas that are harmful to young people,” says Ament. the rest

Boehner: Obama Kept Moving Goalposts in Debt Talks

Saturday, July 23, 2011By Susan Jones

(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker John Boehner, in a Friday evening news conference at the Capitol, said there are two reasons his debt-limit discussions with President Obama broke down.

“First, they insisted on raising taxes,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said. The Speaker said he and Obama “had an agreement on a revenue number,” which could be reached, not by tax hikes, but by a more “efficient” collection of the taxes that are due to the federal government.

“Let me just say that the White House moved the goalposts,” Boehner said. “There was an agreement, until the President demanded $400 billion more, which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the American people. I can tell you Leader Cantor and I were very disappointed in this call for higher revenue.” the rest

Catholic diocese offers to buy Crystal Cathedral

posted July 23, 2011
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — A Roman Catholic diocese made a $50 million cash offer to buy Southern California's financially struggling Crystal Cathedral, officials said Friday.

The Diocese of Orange said its proposal could pull the megachurch, which was founded more than 50 years ago by pioneering televangelist Rev. Robert H. Schuller, out of bankruptcy by the end of the year.

The Crystal Cathedral is trying to sell the property and lease back portions of it for use for services to help erase a $36 million mortgage and settle nearly $10 million in unsecured debt. The church has been plagued by financial troubles after a disastrous leadership transition and a devastating slump in donations. the rest

150 human animal hybrids grown in UK labs

Embryos have been produced secretively for the past three yearsBy Daniel Martin and Simon Caldwell
23rd July 2011

Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ‘Planet of the Apes’ scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far. the rest
'Ethically it can never be justifiable – it discredits us as a country. It is dabbling in the grotesque.

‘At every stage the justification from scientists has been: if only you allow us to do this, we will find cures for every illness known to mankind. This is emotional blackmail.

‘Of the 80 treatments and cures which have come about from stem cells, all have come from adult stem cells – not embryonic ones.‘On moral and ethical grounds this fails; and on scientific and medical ones too.’

Friday, July 22, 2011

Devotional: The longer I live...

The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past - we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude - I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. And so it is with you - we are in charge of our attitudes. ...Chuck Swindoll image by Nisha A.

Church in Wales inquiry after rector burns Bible pages

22 July 2011

The Church in Wales says it is investigating after a Gwynedd rector burnt some pages from the Bible.

The Reverend Geraint ap Iorwerth of St Peter ad Vincula Church, Pennal, also cut up pages from the King James Bible to create an artwork.

Unveiling it at a church event, he said it revealed a "cruel and vile God".

The Bishop of Bangor said: "Destroying parts of the Bible we don't like is disrespectful and will offend many people."

Mr ap Iorwerth told BBC Wales he had burnt scraps of cut up the passages at the public event because he had been making a statement as part of an art experiment. the rest
He said he also planned to create a "wall of shame" at the church naming all of God's "cruel actions".

Gunman Opens Fire at Norway Youth Camp, Deaths Reported

By MARK SCHONE and JOSH HASKELL
July 22, 2011

A gunman dressed as a policeman opened fire at a summer youth camp on a Norwegian island near Oslo, according to media reports. Unconfirmed reports say that as many as five people have died, and a witness told Norwegian television of seeing 20 bodies on the shoreline.

Norwegian media reports say that a man of "Nordic" appearance has been arrested, and that police have control of the island of Utoya. A local police spokesman confirmed to al Jazeera that the suspect is in custody, and that he had been dressed as a police officer and had said he was at the camp to provide security.

Twenty ambulances and four ambulances were dispatched to the island to pick up the wounded. Some of the campers at the island jumped into the water to attempt to swim to safety. the rest

Deadly Explosion Rocks Oslo; Youth Camp Also Attacked

Blast witness: 'The explosion was immense'

Global Survey of Evangelical Protestant Leaders

 

Executive Summary

Download this report:
PDF (1.52MB, 118 pages)

Navigate this page:
Other Findings
About the Survey
The Global South and the Global North
Evangelical Beliefs and Practices
Tensions with Secularism and Modernity
Relations with Other Religious Traditions
Priorities and Strategies for Evangelization
Social and Political Attitudes
Roadmap to the Report

Evangelical Protestant leaders who live in the Global South (sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and most of Asia) generally are optimistic about the prospects for evangelicalism in their countries. But those who live in the Global North (Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) tend to be more pessimistic.

Seven-in-ten evangelical leaders who live in the Global South (71%) expect that five years from now the state of evangelicalism in their countries will be better than it is today. But a majority of evangelical leaders in the Global North expect that the state of evangelicalism in their countries will either stay about the same (21%) or worsen (33%) over the next five years. the rest

Oslo explosion kills at least 2

The downtown Oslo explosion, believed to have been caused by a bomb, also injures several and causes widespread damage. The blast was near Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's office, but he is safe.
By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
July 22, 2011

Reporting from London –— A massive explosion rocked downtown Oslo on Friday, killing at least two people, injuring several others and causing widespread damage in Norway's government center, news reports said.

The Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported that police believe the blast was due to a bomb. News agencies said the twisted, charred wreckage of a car could be seen close to the blast site.

The explosion occurred near Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's office, but Norwegian media said Stoltenberg was safe.

Video footage showed streets littered with shattered glass, documents and other debris as terrified people fled the scene to safety, heading away from Oslo's normally bustling downtown. the rest

The Midnight Adoption of Europe's Most Restrictive Religion Law

7/21/11
Joseph K. Grieboski

While Communism officially ended in Hungary more than 20 years ago, it appears the dictatorial mindset has not yet fully abated.

On July 12, the Hungarian parliament procured for the country the title of Worst Religion Law in Europe when it rushed after midnight to adopt its new "Law on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and on Churches, Religions and Religious Communities."

The passage of such a draconian religion law in Hungary is both saddening and disappointing. This law stands at odds with the newly drafted Hungarian Constitution this author openly applauded just months prior. Unfortunately, the law is a danger to all Hungarian society and a terrible indication of the state of democracy in the country.

More than three hundred currently registered religious organizations will be retroactively stripped of their status as religious communities and "de-registered" as religious organizations, losing key rights and privileges provided to favored Churches. Only 14 religious organizations will retain their registration status, while all others will be forced to "re-register." the rest

Report: China building electromagnetic pulse weapons for use against U.S. carriers

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
Friday, July 22, 2011

China's military is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan, according to an intelligence report made public on Thursday.

Portions of a National Ground Intelligence Centerstudy on the lethal effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons revealed that the arms are part of China’s so-called “assassin’s mace” arsenal - weapons that allow a technologically inferior China to defeat U.S. military forces.

EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast that knocks out all electronics, including computers and automobiles, over wide areas. The phenomenon was discovered in 1962 after an aboveground nuclear test in the Pacific disabled electronics in Hawaii.

The declassified intelligence report, obtained by the private National Security Archive, provides details on China’s EMP weapons and plans for their use. Annual Pentagon reports on China's military in the past made only passing references to the arms. the rest

Instant Churches Sprout in Public Schools, Skating Rinks

More public places transformed into Sunday house of worship
Thu, Jul. 21 2011
By R. Leigh Coleman
Christian Post Reporter

Churches are holding worship services in public places with greater regularity than some might think. It is not uncommon today to see portable church signs outside public buildings and schools on Sundays.

Thousands of believers today are gathering more often in public schools, skating rinks, parks and empty buildings to avoid the financial burden.

As additional housing opens and property rental fees go up, churches often rent non-traditional spaces until they can build a permanent facility or develop a congregation large enough to support one.
the rest

UK eugenic abortion stats released – thousands killed for Downs, cleft lip, club foot, etc.

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Thu Jul 21, 2011

(LifeSiteNews.com) – After a five-year legal battle, a pro-life group in the United Kingdom has succeeded in obtaining detailed statistics about eugenic abortions from the UK’s Department of Health (DoH).

26 unborn babies in the last nine years have been killed for having cleft lip or palate.

The statistics reveal that thousands of babies have been killed for eugenic reasons, some of them (26 in the last nine years) for as minor a condition as cleft lip or palate, seven of them in 2010. These abortions were conducted under “Ground E,” the rule that allows any child at any gestational age to be killed whom doctors believe have a “substantial risk” of having a “serious” disability.

The UK’s Department of Health has refused since 2003 to reveal details about the eugenic abortions that are being committed in the country, arguing that the women involved could possibly be identified. However, the campaign group ProLife Alliance went to court in 2005 demanding that the figures be released. The High Court ruled against the department in April this year, but the figures were only released earlier this month. the rest

Mid East Misogyny and the Plight of Muslim Women

By Ken Connor
Jul-02-2011

[S]ome things must be said, and there are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.” Ayan Hirsi

In her best-selling autobiography, Infidel, Somali-born writer, politician, and activist Ayan Hirsi catalogs a lifetime of grievances against the Muslim culture and religion. Throughout the book, Hirsi laments the West’s reticence to deal honestly with the egregious human rights abuses that routinely occur in the Muslim world, particularly against women.

No doubt when Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State, women around the world were inspired and encouraged. Finally, an advocate for women’s rights in the most powerful diplomatic post on earth! Surely Mrs. Clinton would leverage her new position to catapult women’s issues to the forefront of the international human rights debate.

Yet, as Maureen Dowd points out in a recent article, Mrs. Clinton’s performance on international women’s rights has been disappointingly muted. As it happens, Hillary is constrained by the same strategic interests that have prevented the United States from taking a bold position on human rights abuses in the developing world for decades. This is particularly true in regard to our relations with Saudi Arabia, where a recent campaign to raise awareness of the Saudi ban on women driving (only one of a long list of offenses) went largely unnoticed. the rest

It is a curious irony that feminists in the United States haven’t taken up the cause of Muslim women. The all-female Liberal activist group Code Pink has time to organize a flotilla protesting Israel’s blockade of the West Bank, but no time to stand up for an entire population of women (some of them Palestinians, no doubt) whose most basic rights are denied on a daily basis. Why the silence? Why the complicity?

On the other hand....
Muslim Woman Seeks to Revitalize the Institution of Sex-Slavery
...This week’s depraved anachronism comes from a Muslim woman—political activist and former parliamentary candidate for Kuwait’s government, Salwa al-Mutairi: She, too, seeks to “revitalize the institution of sex-slavery.”...

Canadian Lutheran Church splinters as it votes to allow same-sex ‘marriages’

by John-Henry Westen
Wed Jul 20, 2011

(LifeSiteNews.com) - The National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) gave an emotional homily Sunday concluding the July 14-17 ELCIC National Convention which approved both performance of same-sex ‘marriages’ in Lutheran churches and ordination of practicing homosexual clergy. “We have made some very difficult and gut-wrenching choices for the future of our church and its ministry,” said Bishop Susan C. Johnson, as she struggled to hold back tears. “Some of us will be leaving this convention elated, and some will, and have already, left despondent.”

The vote to permit conducting and blessing homosexual ‘marriages’ passed by a vote of 192 to 132. The vote to permit practicing homosexuals to be ordained as clergy passed 205 to 114.

While the ELCIC is the largest Lutheran body in Canada, the measure has split the group and been condemned by another Lutheran group in the nation. Leaders of Lutheran Church-Canada (LCC) issued a statement noting that the ELCIC is the only Lutheran church body in Canada “that has approved such a departure from accepted Christian teaching.” the rest

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Attack of the Urban Mosquitoes

Aggressive and Hard to Kill: Two Asian Cityslickers Swarm the East Coast
JULY 20, 2011

The latest scourge crossing the country has a taste for the big city.

The Asian tiger mosquito, named for its distinctive black-and-white striped body, is a relatively new species to the U.S. that is more vicious, harder to kill and, unlike most native mosquitoes, bites during the daytime. It also prefers large cities over rural or marshy areas—thus earning the nickname among entomologists as "the urban mosquito."

"Part of the reason it is called 'tiger' is also because it is very aggressive," says Dina Fonseca, an associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University. "You can try and swat it all you want, but once it's on you, it doesn't let go. Even if it goes away, it will be back for a bite." the rest image by Sean McCann
These urban mosquitoes are what entomologists call "container mosquitoes." Instead of marshes and natural bodies of water, both Asian tiger and rock pool mosquitoes can breed in small, artificial containers, such as tires, toys, cans and concrete structures. "A rule of thumb for container mosquitoes is: Water plus seven days equals mosquitoes," Dr. Fonseca says.

Chinese Catholics on edge of schism

posted July 21, 2011
By Francesco Sisci

BEIJING - The latest choice is Joseph Huang Bingzhang, 43. On July 15, he was ordained as bishop of Shantou in the southern province of Guangdong, next to Hong Kong, without papal approval.

Pope Benedict XVI reacted the day after, saying he was deeply saddened. Without papal blessing, the appointment was illegitimate, and the new bishop and all bishops who took part in it willingly, under no duress, should be automatically excommunicated.

As some 140 new bishops are expected to be appointed over the next few years, and the bilateral mechanism between China and the Holy See for agreeing on the choice of new bishops is breaking down, then the possibility of an objectively schismatic Church of China is becoming quite real. the rest

New York Bishop Orders Gay Clergy to Marry

Tue, Jul. 19 2011
By Swani Swanigan
Christian Post Contributor

In the wake of gay marriage soon becoming a legal institution in the state of New York, the Episcopal Bishop of Long Island, has ordered that homosexual priests wed their partners.

Long Island Episcopal Bishop Lawrence Provenzano has put his foot down against gay clergy who residing in homosexual relationships, and has given a nine month deadline for them to either get married or stop living together, according to the News Observer.

“I need to be mindful that the church has always asked people to live in committed monogamous, faithful relationships. I won’t allow heterosexual clergy to live in a rectory or church housing without the benefit of marriage. When one puts it in that context, then you see how it all begins to make sense,” said Provenzano. the rest
“Now that the state is recognizing civil marriage, we as priests, perhaps deacons too, who are in committed relationships, have a choice: we either live what we preach to become civilly married or we live apart,” he said.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Komen Sends Millions to Embryonic Stem Cell Research Centers

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews
7/19/11

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has long upset pro-life advocates for denying the abortion-breast cancer link and sending millions to the Planned Parenthood abortion business. New information shows Komen also supporting centers engaging in embryonic stem cell research.

As LifeNews.com reported last year, Komen spokesman John Hammarley confirmed 20 of Komen’s 122 affiliates have made donations to Planned Parenthood and, in 2009, those contributions totaled $731,303. The Komen spokesman also confirmed Komen affiliates contributed about $3.3 million to the abortion business from 2004-2009.

Now, Karen Malec of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer has spent time examining Komen’s 990 Forms for the IRS for 2010 and she found that Komen has active relationships with at least five research groups or educational facilities that engage in embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of unborn children in their earliest days for stem cells that have yet to help any patients. the rest

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pro-Gay Marriage Video Mocking Christians Leaves Christians Speechless

Mon, Jul. 18 2011
By Jeff Schapiro
Christian Post Contributor

A website in support of gay marriage in Minnesota has come out with a new vulgar video in which actors mock and slander Christians and even show two young boys kissing each other.

The purpose of the website F**H8.com is to raise money for Minnesotans United for All Families, an organization whose goal is to defeat the proposed ban on same-sex marriage that the state's voters will decide on in 2012...

...The video on the site is a parody of gay marriage opponents, mocking them for wanting to maintain traditional family values. It features men and women dressed in bright colors, some of the men in nothing more than a T-shirt and brief underwear, who finish each other’s sentences and jokingly comment on why gay marriage is wrong. the rest
The site takes critical aim at Christians in particular, with actors in the video portraying Christians as mindless followers of church laws. One girl, twirling her hair, sarcastically says that homosexuality is wrong “because the Bible tells me so.” It also displays a string of actors completing each other’s sentences, saying that that the Bible “tells me it's okay to sell my daughter into slavery and to stone people that work on Sunday. So it's great for making laws.”

Albert Mohler: Reparative Therapy, Homosexuality, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Each U.S. presidential election cycle brings its own set of unexpected issues, and the 2012 race already offers one topic of controversy that truly sets it apart — a debate over forms of therapy that attempt to change an individual’s sexual orientation.

Known as reparative therapy or sexual orientation conversion therapy, these approaches seek to assist individuals in changing their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. The cultural and political debate over reparative therapy emerged when a clinic run by Marcus Bachmann, husband of Republican candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, was accused of offering treatment and counseling intended to change sexual orientation.

Virtually all of the secular professions that deal with sexual orientation are stalwartly opposed to reparative therapy, or to any attempt to change one’s pattern of sexual attraction. Indeed, these groups hold to an inflexible ideology that insists that there is absolutely nothing wrong with homosexuality. These groups include, for example, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of Social Workers, among many others. the rest
The normalization of homosexuality simply cannot be accepted by anyone committed to biblical Christianity. The new secular orthodoxy demands that Christians abandon the clear teachings of Scripture, and Christians must understand that the sinfulness of all homosexual behaviors is not only a matter of biblical authority, but also of the Gospel. To deny that sin is sin is to deny our need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians cannot accept any teaching that minimizes sin, for it is the knowledge of our sin that points us to our need for atonement, salvation, and the forgiveness of that sin through the cross of Jesus Christ.

"Why Anglicanism?" Compilation Booklet Now Available

VirtueOnline
By John A. M. Guernsey
July 19, 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A compilation booklet of our written essay and lecture series on the meaning of Anglicanism, along with a study guide for personal reflection or group study, is now available. The articles inside the "Why Anglicanism?" booklet come from a variety of different leaders, ranging from Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America and social critic Os Guinness to many of our own rectors. We are indeed blessed to be able to learn from gifted leaders as we explore the meaning of Anglicanism and its promise for the future.

As we embrace our new role as a diocese within the Anglican Church in North America, there is no better way to shape our future than to reflect on the rich history and founding principles of our shared Anglican expression of faith.

As Bishop Bena said, "This booklet is the work of many minds and hearts. These essays will be of assistance to you and to me as we wrestle with just who we are as Anglicans. Together, the essays make up a beautiful tapestry of Anglicanism. May you be blessed as you read and reflect on the words of faith poured into the following pages."

We encourage you to use the booklet and share it with others. Our hope is that all who read this booklet will gain deeper understanding of the Anglican faith and, in so doing, draw closer to Christ our Lord.

For the printable "Why Anglicanism?" booklet, please click here.

To read the text online, click here.

Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. John A. M. Guernsey Bishop,
Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic

Pope accepts Philadelphia archbishop’s resignation: Archbishop Charles Chaput to succeed him

By Associated Press
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Philadelphia archbishop Justin Rigali, sending him into retirement as the archdiocese faces accusations that it covered up a long-running priest sex abuse scandal.

The pope has named Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput to succeed him.

The brief Vatican announcement Tuesday said the resignation of the 76-year-old Rigali was for reason of age. He submitted it on his 75th birthday in April 2010, as required by church law, but the pope did not immediately act on it. the rest

From Anglican minister to Catholic priest - a historic first for Scotland

19 July 2011
By John Ross

RELIGIOUS history has been made with the first ordination of a former Anglican clergyman in Scotland into the Catholic priesthood.

Father Len Black, 61 and a grandfather of two, was ordained into the priesthood this weekend, at a ceremony at St Mary's Church in Greenock performed by Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley.

He is the latest former Anglican clergyman in the UK, and the first in Scotland, to be ordained into the Roman Catholic Church under the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the body set up earlier this year by Pope Benedict XVI to receive those leaving the Anglican Church because of the consecration of women bishops.

Father Black was an Episcopal minister for 30 years before converting to Catholicism. Until recently he was the minister at St Michael and All Angels in Inverness and was also the regional dean of Forward in Faith, the leading group of traditionalist Anglicans. the rest

NYT: True to Episcopal Church’s Past, Bishops Split on Gay Weddings

By SHAILA DEWAN
July 18, 2011

The Episcopal Church, which has been strained by gay-rights issues since the election of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire eight years ago, is now divided over how to respond to the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York.

As a result, gay and lesbian Episcopalians will be allowed on Sunday to get married by priests in Brooklyn and Queens, but not in the Bronx or Manhattan or on Staten Island; in Syracuse but not in Albany.

That is because the church has not taken a firm position nationally on same-sex marriage, leaving local bishops with wide latitude to decide what priests may do when the law takes effect in New York State. In the state, with six Episcopal dioceses, the bishops are split: two have given the green light for priests to officiate at same-sex marriages, one has said absolutely not, two are undecided and one has staked out a middle ground, allowing priests to bless, but not officiate at, weddings of gay men and lesbians. the rest

Monday, July 18, 2011

AnglicanTV: Anglican Something - Something Anglican



Canon George Conger and Kevin Kallsen discuss todays news around the communion. This week they discuss Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori, the ABC and COE, and AMIE.

AnglicanTV

Book: And the Spirit Led Me: Walking with God through a Church Disaster

Posted July 18, 2011

(from the jacket...)
This book is an important read for anyone whose church is struggling with the issue of homosexuality. It is a true story of a part-time seminary student, who successfully challenged the old and refuted science in the Episcopal Church’s theological explanation for consecrating a partnered gay bishop.

Only as her own faith grew was she given a voice to tell the leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion what she had learned. But first she had to learn how to forgive those who had injured her as she lived in an angry, polarized church.

Even as she was called forward, eerily timed deaths and a life threatening illness plagued her. At the same time, she made shocking discoveries about the politics in our society that masquerades as science, and even more shocking discoveries of underhanded politics in the church.
(I'm in the midst of reading this-so far, it's a fascinating account of Jackie's first hand experiences in dealing with the issues listed above, but also about her efforts to maintain her Christian walk with integrity. -PD)

Here at Amazon

Giant replica of Noah's Ark rises in Hong Kong

by Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post
Monday, July 18, 2011

The first actual size replica of the ark Noah built on God’s command before the Great Flood is finally open to the public to give them the hope of a new beginning as they visit this island in Hong Kong.

Part of an evangelical Christian theme park located on Ma Wan Island and rising next to a huge suspension bridge and one of the world’s busiest waterways, the Noah’s Ark can now have visitors, The Christian Broadcasting Network reported Friday.

Christian organisations, funded by an evangelical Chinese businessman and his two brothers, known as the Kwok brothers, built the ark as per the dimensions given in the Book of Genesis, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. A partner in the project was the government of Hong Kong, a special administrative division of the People’s Republic of China. the rest
The ark was envisioned by an 8-year-old girl. “She drew a little picture, her dad took it. The government officials loved it and from there on the architects and the engineers developed the plan,” Mathew Pine, the manager of the Noah’s Ark theme park, told CBN.

'Gay marriage' already affecting NY Christians

Charlie Butts
OneNewsNow
7/18/2011

A New York town clerk is refusing to turn her back on her faith and comply with the state's new homosexual "marriage" law.

Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), tells OneNewsNow that Laura Fotusky feels she would be "compromising her moral conscience by licensing same-sex couples."

"She has realized that she is going to have to choose between her faith or supporting her family -- between God or her job," McGuire explains. "In light of this recent enacted legislation regarding same-sex marriage, she said, 'I cannot put my name on those marriage licenses' and has been forced to resign her position." the rest

Flavor company that uses embryo cells hides partner company names

by Kathleen Gilbert
Fri Jul 15, 2011

(LifeSiteNews.com) – A biomedical firm that uses fetal cell lines in flavor technology has removed from its website the names of organizations that use their products, according to the pro-life group Children of God for Life (COGFL).

Senomyx has been called out by the organization for using HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells in the research and development of their artificial flavor enhancers, despite a pro-life consumer backlash.

Among Senomyx’s partnering companies is PepsiCo, which has been targeted for boycott based on its use of the flavor technology. In a recent response to customer letters, PepsiCo noted, “With respect to the flavor discovery research with Senomyx, we utilize techniques that have been the gold standard for several decades.”

COGFL responded, however, that the statement only further inflamed the public’s moral concerns. the rest
“If this ‘gold standard’ is no big deal, then why are they trying so hard to hide the truth?” asked COGFL Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge. “PepsiCo and Senomyx have done everything in their power to trivialize what they are doing, when in fact what they are doing is only further damaging their public image.”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

CANA Council 2011 Pictures

CANA Missionary Bp. Martyn Minns

CANA bishops


Church of the Epiphany Ordination Service

Organist's perspective

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

Candidates prostrate themselves

Examination of Ordinands

Laying on of hands

Archbp. Okoh

Raymond and I attended CANA Council 2011 at the Church of the Epiphany in Herndan, VA.  Most of these pictures were taken during the service on Saturday, July 16th, where three priests and three deacons were ordained. Click on pictures to enlarge.

(Pictures  by Raymond Dague)

Apologist Josh McDowell: Internet the Greatest Threat to Christians

Sat, Jul. 16 2011 By Anugrah Kumar
Christian Post Contributor

Atheists and skeptics now have equal access to our children as we have, which is why the number of Christian youth who believe in the fundamentals of Christianity is decreasing and sexual immorality is growing, apologist Josh McDowell said.

“What has changed everything?” asked the apologist from Campus Crusade for Christ International as he spoke on “Unshakable Truth, Relevant Faith” at the Billy Graham Center in Asheville, N.C., Friday evening. His answer was, the Internet.

“The Internet has given atheists, agnostics, skeptics, the people who like to destroy everything that you and I believe, the almost equal access to your kids as your youth pastor and you have... whether you like it or not,” said McDowell, who is author of two books on Christian apologetics, More than a Carpenter and New Evidence that Demands Verdict.

The belief or worldview, McDowell said, forms values, which in turn drive one’s behavior. The worldview “is where we are falling down the most anywhere in the world.” So what is the prevalent worldview in America today? “There is no truth apart from myself,” that’s what even many young “evangelical, fundamental, born-again Christians” believe, he said.  the rest

Russia Enacts Law Opposing Abortion

By SOPHIA KISHKOVSKYJuly 15, 2011

MOSCOW — President Dmitri A. Medvedev has signed into law the first steps intended to restrict abortion since the collapse of communism, the latest salvo in what is beginning to resemble the fierce divide over abortion in the United States.

The changes require abortion providers to devote 10 percent of any advertising to describing the dangers of abortion to a woman’s health, and they make it illegal to describe abortion as a safe medical procedure.

Tighter restrictions on abortion may follow after Parliament considers a separate health bill in the autumn. the rest

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Devotional: The aim of the spiritual saint...

The aim of the spiritual saint is "that I may know Him." Do I know Him where I am to-day? If not, I am failing Him. I am here not to realize myself, but to know Jesus. In Christian work the initiative is too often the realization that something has to be done and I must do it. That is never the attitude of the spiritual saint, his aim is to secure the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances he is in. ...Oswald Chambers image

Questions remain for Nevada on abuse case

July 14, 2011
by George Conger

The Bishop of Nevada has issued a statement asserting that his predecessor did not violate canon law by receiving the Rev. Bede Parry into the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. However, anti-abuse activists have lambasted Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s continued silence in the affair, and have warned the Church that silence will not end questions on what she knew, and when she knew it.

In a strongly worded statement released on July 5, Bishop Dan Edwards stated the decision to receive Fr. Parry was not taken alone by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in 2004, but was “a multi-level decision which meticulously followed the applicable canons.”

However, some of the facts laid out by Bishop Edwards conflict with statements given by other participants in the Parry affair. The bishop, who has declined to respond to questions from The Church of England Newspaper, has also sidestepped the issue of what his predecessor knew about Fr. Parry, as well as why the bishop and diocese felt free to ignore its own guidelines on sexual misconduct when it received the former Roman Catholic priest.

Bishop Edwards stated the diocese’s clergy selection board, the Commission on Ministry, knew of the “incident of ‘inappropriate touching’ that allegedly occurred with a young man in his late teens. That incident was not covered up.” the rest