Saturday, August 25, 2012

Albert Mohler: 4 Responses to the Challenge of Same-Sex Unions

Aug 24, 2012

We are facing a true moral inversion — a system of moral understandings turned upside down. Where homosexuality was even recently condemned by the society, now it is considered a sin to believe that homosexuality is wrong in any way. A new sexual morality has replaced the old, and those who hold to the old morality are considered morally deficient. The new moral authorities have one central demand for the church: get with the new program.

This puts the true church, committed to the authority of God’s Word, in a very difficult cultural position. Put simply, we cannot join the larger culture in normalizing homosexuality and restructuring society to match this new morality. Recognizing same-sex unions and legalizing same-sex marriage is central to this project.

Liberal churches and denominations are joining the project, some more quickly and eagerly than others. The cultural pressure is formidable, and only churches that are truly committed to Scripture will withstand the pressure to accommodate themselves and their message to the new morality.

What, then, is the true church to do? the rest

Scrolling around...August 25, 2012

Anti-Obama Film 2016 Shocks Hollywood by Opening at #3 in the Country Overnight
But this has got to be eating away at Obama supporters in Hollywood...

Catholic innkeepers fined $30,000 and lose wedding business for not hosting reception for gender-segregated couple
What's the price for defending gender-integrated marriage?
How much did it cost a Vermont business to live out its faith?
The answer: $30,000.

American Pediatricians Endorse Circumcision
...A leaked copy of the new American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on circumcision, scheduled to be released on Monday, reveals a change in the prestigious medical body’s previous position (set in 1999) on the medical benefits of the procedure from “neutral” to “pro.” It details how a comprehensive evaluation of research from the last 15 years demonstrates that the medical benefits of circumcision—including “prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections”—outweigh the risks...

Abby Johnson: Clinic Workers Leaving Could Take Down Abortion
...“Planned Parenthood’s greatest fear is that clinic workers will leave and that they will come out against them and that they will air their dirty laundry, just like I did, and they will expose their secrets,” Johnson said...

No babies allowed at Democratic National Convention: feminists revolt
...“When the Democratic Party refuses to provide child care at the convention and denies automatic access for young children to join their moms who serve as delegates on the convention floor, an entire group of women are disenfranchised,” said Shannon. “Moms with young children 6 years of age and under who cannot be left at home, some of whom are breast-feeding, are relegated to second-class status within the Democratic convention.”...

Hollywood bailing on President Obama and the Democratic National Convention.

The Abortion Convention: Will Democrats turn opportunity into disaster?
...Still, we're inclined to agree that the Democrats are behaving recklessly in seeking to Akinize the GOP. They not only plan to put abortion at the center of their own convention--as the Washington Examiner reports, the list of speakers now includes the heads of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America, not to mention abortifacient poster child Sandra Fluke--but the Hill reports they also plan to break with tradition and wage "a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention."...

Radical Islam revives an ancient hatred
...You won’t have heard about this atrocious persecution. That’s because – forgive me – I’ve played one of the oldest tricks in the journalist’s book. For Jews, read Christians. For anti-Semitic, read anti-Christian. For synagogues read churches.

I hope Jewish readers won’t take offence: I’m not denying that actual anti-Semitism is spreading like a virus throughout Arab societies. It’s just that, if these attacks against Christians were being directed against Jews, the precedent of the Holocaust would shock the world into action.

This new persecution is the result of the simultaneous revival of militant Islam in many countries. We can say that with confidence. What we can’t say, however, is that there is a co-ordinated Islamic plot to exterminate Christianity as a stepping stone to a universal caliphate...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blue heron on the Seneca river

Blue heron

In flight

Wildflowers in the Montezuma preserve

8/24/12-Raymond brought back these pictures taken today while he was kayaking on the Seneca-Cayuga river.
(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Scrolling around...August 24, 2012

More than 2,200 hospitals face penalties under ObamaCare rules
A provision of ObamaCare is set to punish roughly two-thirds of U.S. hospitals evaluated by Medicare starting this fall over high readmission rates, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News...

Audio: Obama Says "That Fetus or Child" Was "Just Not Coming Out Limp and Dead"
Obama's argument: Trust the abortion doctor...

Over 12 thousand Christian faithful "starving" in the village of Rableh: humanitarian law is invoked
...For more than ten days the village of Rableh is subject to a strict blockade by armed opposition groups, which surround it on all sides. One of the leaders of a local parish, B.K., who requested anonymity for security reasons, told Fides that a few days ago three young men of the village were killed by snipers: George Azar 20 years old, another 21 years old, Elias Tahch Semaan, 35 years old, married and father of four children...

More Christian Colleges Sue Over Contraceptive Mandate
...The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana by attorneys of the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Grace College and Seminary in Indiana and Biola University in California...

Pakistan: Muslims demand that 11-year-old Christian girl with Down's syndrome be punished for blasphemy
..If guilty of blasphemy, the child should be punished according to the laws of the country. This is a widespread view among Muslims in Pakistan, whether laymen or religious leaders, regarding the tragedy of an 11 year old Christian girl who is disabled and was recently charged under the "black law"...

UK: Life with an inner-city [Anglican] church

August 24, 2012

IN the heart of London, an Anglican leader – and former Whitehaven man – visits prisoners, helps the homeless and supports people in need.

The Rev Paul Sawrey is living and working in the notorious Kings Cross, where “world’s collide” and people from all walks of life mix.

He, along with his wife Katy and a group of friends, set up the community hub of Kings Cross Church (KXC) two years ago. In June, the 33-year-old was ordained at St Paul’s Cathedral as a pioneer minister – an unconventional role in the Church of England.

It means he doesn’t have a parish to look after and can hold church anywhere, not just in a traditional church building.

“Kings Cross Church is a completely new church plant,” he said. “We create a pop-up café before church and hang out together, we then go to the pub afterwards. It’s such a broad expression of church. We tend to be more informal and relaxed than a traditional Anglican church.”

The church, which currently meets in a former Welsh chapel based near Kings Cross and St Pancras station, is made up of a 300-strong congregation. Members are involved in a host of projects, from working in homeless shelters, cooking for ex-offenders and doing DIY for single mums. They work with gangs, in housing estates and pray with the police. the rest
For Paul, his role of assistant leader in the church is about reaching all areas of the community, by being part of the community. It is not a traditional Anglican church as many people would envisage. The average age of people going to Anglican churches in England is 53, whereas the average age of people going to KXC is 25.
Cardinal: disestablishment would benefit the Church of England

Reverend Bob Horrocks, Church of England vicar and part time nudist

Thursday, August 23, 2012

When we come to faith and grow in Christlikeness...

When we come to faith and grow in Christlikeness, the Lord pours more light into our lives and illuminates our circumstances. He does this to call us to partnership with him in transforming his creation. It is a call to thoughtfully and intentionally participate in Kingdom building. While he need not count on us, he delights to do so. We do this in loving response to all he has done for us, as a response to his grace. When we partner with him, we achieve great things for the sake of his Kingdom and the glory due his name. ...Jonathan S. Raymond
 image by Lars Kasper


August 23, 3012

Wisdom on Steroids: Conversations with J. I. Packer
Almost everything about J. I. Packer is counter-cultural. When asked a question, his answers tend to be 7-8 minutes long, and come out in full paragraphs. One of my favorite quotes from Packer is where he warns against the spirit of this age, which holds that “the newer is the truer, only what is recent is decent, every shift of ground is a step forward, and every latest word must be hailed as the last word on its subject.” Packer represents the opposite. He is “old school.” Listening to him talk is sometimes akin to hearing someone speak in your second language. You might understand what is being said, but you have to lean in and listen because the cadence and vocabulary are not your mother tongue. But I am convinced that we ignore the biblical, historical, theological, practical wisdom of this octogenarian to our peril.

I’m thankful Desiring God recently posted some clips of a conversation with Dr. Packer. I thought it might be helpful to collect them here.  [Several short videos here-excellent! -PD]

Walking toward Wellness: How Healthy Eating Informs Our Kingdom Work

Scrolling around...August 23, 2012

LATimes: As circumcision declines, health costs will go up, study projects
...If circumcision rates remained about 50% instead of the higher rates of years past, the lifetime healthcare costs for all of the babies born in a single year would probably rise by $211 million, the team calculated...

The Return of the Extended Family
  Millions of middle-aged people have had to find room in their homes both for their grown-up children and their elderly parents as traditional large households make a comeback, a study shows.

A Nation Adrift From the Rule of Law: We are losing sight of the basic principles that made us great in the 20th century.
...Though one might excuse departures from the rule of law at the height of a crisis, one would expect to see a prompt reversion to rule-of-law principles immediately thereafter. The most famous 20th-century illustration was the Supreme Court's invalidation, in the 1952 case Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, of President Harry Truman's attempt to take over the steel industry during the Korean War.
By far the most disturbing element of recent trends is that precisely the opposite seems to be taking place. The commitment of government officials to the rule of law has continued to crumble—even after the crisis has subsided...

Report Highlights Consistent Pattern of Hostility Toward Christians in US
A new 140-page report released by the Family Research Council and Liberty Institute reveals a pattern of hostility toward Christians and Christianity in the U.S. The report was released earlier this week and includes over 600 incidents over a 10-year period.
The attacks range from rulings from the judiciary branch to an elementary school student who was physically lifted from his seat and reprimanded for praying before eating his lunch. Yet another example shows a Christian couple was fired as apartment complex managers and forced to move because a painting with a Christian reference was displayed in their office...

Prayer Vigil Shuts Down UK Brothel
...Thus began a month of prayer, with a small group posted across the street from the brothel each night, praying for those inside. “When we were praying, there was this sense that ‘We’re not alone in this,’” says Elyse. “Even when pimps were angry and telling us to leave, I had no reason to be afraid. God was in our midst.”
One particularly painful night came one week into prayer when the team witnessed young girls being delivered to the brothel. “It’s the difference between watching a documentary and seeing it right before your eyes,” says Elyse.
A month after praying began, the signs were removed, a notice was put on the door, and the brothel was shut down. The team couldn’t believe it at first; they continued to pray another night before actually reading the sign on the door that confirmed it. Elyse smiles as she remembers her team’s response. “We were kind of like ‘Whoa! It actually worked!’”...

Unearthed Video Shows Obama Supporting Late-Term Abortions
OBAMA: “I am pro-choice.”
REPORTER: “In all situations including the late term thing?”
OBAMA: “I am pro-choice. I believe that women make responsible choices and they know better than anybody the tragedy of a difficult pregnancy and I don’t think that it’s the government’s role to meddle in that choice.”...

Report: Multisite Churches Number Over 5,000, on the Rise
..."Of the 621 new churches started since January 2008 at least 50 percent or more were multisites," said Shockley.
"Of the 1,000 new churches we intend to start between 2013-2016 we are targeting 60 percent to be multisites, extensions or satellites of a vibrant existing UMC."...

Prelate laments desecration of churches in Cyprus
...Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that 120 churches have become mosques, museums, or storage facilities and that Turkey is attempting to eliminate Christianity in the area...

‘Fetal Flaw’: the new eugenics rising
This year has seen a rash of medical studies reporting on developments in cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) prenatal testing. Not too long ago, one commentator cautioned that as prenatal genetic testing becomes more pervasive, our society risks developing a “eugenics common sense.” The reporting on the new cffDNA testing suggests that some have already developed this sensibility...

Robert George: The Coming Pro-Abortion Spectacle in Charlotte
It looks like the Democratic Party’s leadership has decided to make the Party’s fierce commitment to protecting abortion against meaningful legal restrictions of any kind and extending its availability a, if not the, central theme of its national convention...

Americans Having Fewer Babies Crimping Consumer Spending
...“Children are really expensive,” Mollen said, and the 2008 financial crisis shows the importance of building a nest egg. “Retirement is not an option for a lot of folks.”
Mollen isn’t alone, as Americans have had fewer babies each year since the 2008 financial meltdown, with births falling to a 12-year low in 2011, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The low birth rate and reduced immigration resulted in the smallest gain in population since World War II, which may hurt spending on everything from Huggies diapers to pregnancy kits, child care and education...

CAMPAIGNERS yesterday called for new curbs on online pornography as it emerged the number of children facing sexual assault charges has more than doubled over the last year.
Official figures also revealed that rape charges against underage boys had reached a five-year high...

Beware of Anglicans Bearing Gifts

By the Rev. Canon Phil Ashey
August 21, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I had intended to write this week on the role of the Primates’ gatherings as a body of governance, and, specifically, with regards to their role in guarding the faith and order of the Anglican Communion.However, just this month Secretary General Kenneth Kearon of the Anglican Communion spoke with The Episcopal News Service, the public relations arm of The Episcopal Church (TEC). In the interview, Canon Kearon made several interesting remarks about the proposed Anglican Covenant and The Episcopal Church USA’s refusal to take a position on it at their General Convention, a gathering similar to a provincial synod, in July. Here is a portion of the the article:

Kearon said he also is “very impressed” with the extent to which the Episcopal Church has taken seriously the Anglican Covenant, a document that initially had been intended as a way to bind Anglicans globally across cultural and theological differences.

Through Resolution B005, the Episcopal Church declined to take a position on the Anglican Covenant at this time but committed to remaining a part of the process and to continuing to monitor the ongoing developments.”

Remember, of course, that it was TEC’s consecration of a non-celibate homosexual as bishop that precipitated the Anglican Communion crisis in faith and order, the Windsor report, and the proposed Anglican Covenant. At their July General Convention, TEC approved provisional rites for same-sex blessings. This, as with their consecration of now two non-celibate homosexual bishops, is in direct violation of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) which clearly sides with the Biblical definition of marriage. These acts were also in direct violation of the “moratoria” proposed in the Windsor report.Secretary Kearon goes on to say of TEC and others opposed to the Covenant: the rest
If you are an Anglican reading this message, do you know who the representatives from your Province to ACC-15 are? Are they prepared to vote their conscience, informed by God’s word, rather than endless “dialogue” in small groups? Are they willing to stand up and challenge false teaching and ongoing violations of Anglican Communion faith and order? Pray for your Province's representatives that they would be able to stand firm for the faith once delivered.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Scrolling around...August 20, 2012

Apple is now the most valuable company of all time.
...The stock recently rose 1.8% at $660, pushing Apple’s market capitalization up to $619 billion, FactSet data show. The previous historical record for top market cap belonged to Microsoft, whose market value topped out at $616.3 billion in December 1999, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices...

Nigeria: Armed Muslims attack church and police station
AGI, August 20: Abuja - This morning an armed commando attacked a Catholic church and a police station in Damagun. The city lies 30 km from Damaturu, the capital of the Federal State of Yobe, in North-Eastern Nigeria. The attack, local authorities explained, was fended off by the police forces that had been deployed in the area after a car-bombing attack against a school on Sunday...

Newsweek: Obama’s Gotta Go
...Mitt Romney is not the best candidate for the presidency I can imagine. But he was clearly the best of the Republican contenders for the nomination. He brings to the presidency precisely the kind of experience—both in the business world and in executive office—that Barack Obama manifestly lacked four years ago. (If only Obama had worked at Bain Capital for a few years, instead of as a community organizer in Chicago, he might understand exactly why the private sector is not “doing fine” right now.) And by picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney has given the first real sign that—unlike Obama—he is a courageous leader who will not duck the challenges America faces.
The voters now face a stark choice. They can let Barack Obama’s rambling, solipsistic narrative continue until they find themselves living in some American version of Europe, with low growth, high unemployment, even higher debt—and real geopolitical decline.
Or they can opt for real change: the kind of change that will end four years of economic underperformance, stop the terrifying accumulation of debt, and reestablish a secure fiscal foundation for American national security...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II (morph sequence)

This is a video tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on achieving 60 years as the constitutional monarch of the Commonwealth realms, and head of the Commonwealth of Nations, head of state of the Crown dependencies and British Overseas Territories, Supreme Governor of the Church of England and in many of her realms she carries the title Defender of the Faith.

Scrolling around... August 19, 2012

Obama camp - We are intentionally limiting crowd size at rallies
The presumptive GOP presidential and vice presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan are attracting thousands of supporters to their campaign rallies since Mr. Romney named Mr. Ryan to the bottom of the ticket. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has taken notice of the massive crowds at the Romney Ryan stump speeches and sent out an urgent e-mail to their supporters, reported The Washington Examiner last week.
However, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not drawing the crowds they once could. The New York Times reported that the Obama campaign said that it is intentionally limiting crowd size at their events because of security and cost...

The amazing little story that didn't happen on Obama's big bus trip
President Obama was back in Iowa for several days this past week. He has winning memories there. But the fact that an incumbent president feels it necessary to invest three of only 79 precious remaining days there says how close the presidential race now is.
Obama's experienced advance team had a bunch of flubs. That farm family with all the windmills that President Quixote loves to laud turns out to be Republicans and informed reporters after Obama's visit that he sure wasn't getting their votes this time...

Code Pink members attend We Are Woman rally in vagina costumes
...Representatives of Code Pink, NOW, Planned Parenthood and Rock the Slut Vote were scheduled to speak on the west lawn of the Capitol, addressing the issues of reproductive rights, equal pay and the Equal Rights Amendment...

California law barring parents from 'curing' gay children moves through legislature
A first-of-its-kind state law that would restrict parents from trying to "cure" their minor children's same-sex attractions seems headed to the governor's desk.
If both state houses can agree on the final language, the legislation, which would ban all sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) treatment for minors, will be sent to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature sometime in September. But, so far, there has been no indication from his office on whether he will sign the bill into law...

Atheists claim Ground Zero cross sickens them
A lawsuit that challenges the placement of the cross at the site of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center alleges atheist plaintiffs have suffered serious physical and mental illness because the religious symbol has made them feel excluded...

NYT: Obamacare 'Ambiguity' Could Make Health Care Too Costly for Millions
The New York Times reports that an “ambiguity” in President Obama’s signature health care law may make the Affordable Care Act unaffordable for millions of American workers and their families.

Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Okoh Says North America is Fertile Soil for the Gospel

CANA, ACNA, GAFCON is way forward for the Anglican Communion says Primate
By David W. Virtue
August 18, 2012

VOL: Archbishop Okoh, The Nigerian Anglican Church's proxy church - the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is now well established. Are you happy with the progress CANA is making in establishing an orthodox Anglican footprint on North American soil?

ARCHBISHOP OKOH: We praise Almighty God for the ministry of CANA which was established by the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion] in 2005 in response to the divisive actions of The Episcopal Church. We are moving from strength to strength with a firm focus on Gospel mission. Churches and dioceses are being planted, well trained candidates are being ordained, the historic Gospel is being faithfully proclaimed and people are responding to the love of God through the ministry of CANA congregations. Interview here