Welcome to Transfigurations! This blog is intended to serve the orthodox Anglican community and the wider Christian community. We pray that all that is posted here will be faithful to the Scriptures as the inspired word of God, speak the truth in love, edify, bless and transform this local body of Christ, and be an impetus for revival, repentance, prayer and intercession!
Saturday, March 09, 2013
The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY...
The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prisonhouse, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy - deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy - in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Saviour, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man? ...Octavius Winslow image
And the Most Popular Show on Television Is…the Bible
This past Sunday the television industry felt the ground shake when the first installment of the History Channel’s five-part miniseries, The Bible, drew a whopping 14.3 million viewers. To put that in perspective, those are higher ratings than American Idol drew on Fox in the same week. Higher ratings than the premiere of Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. And it officially made The Bible the number one scripted cable broadcast of the year.
The news was apparently so astonishing it prompted Business Week to investigate exactly how the basic cable network pulled it off and inspired Time magazine’s resident T.V. critic, James Poniewozik, to ponder whether The Bible’s success will lead to further mainstream forays into religious-themed entertainment...
Colleges Bleeding Students to Buy Golden Parachutes for Administrators.
...College administrators have found an interesting new way to strike it rich: quitting their jobs. Upon leaving his role as executive vice president of NYU for a job with Citigroup in 2006, Jacob J. Lew (the current Secretary of the Treasury) took a $685,000 bonus from the university. Harold S. Koplewicz, an executive at the NYU Medical Center, got a $1.2 million severance after choosing to leave voluntarily. Given that NYU’s tuition and fees are among the highest in the nation, we’re curious how students who took out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans feel about their money going towards generous benefits and severance packages for administrators...
The conclave date was set during a meeting of the cardinals Friday in Vatican city, after five days of closed-door debate.
All 115 of the cardinals eligible to elect a new pope took part in Friday's meeting. They are all expected to vote during the conclave until one man receives at least a two-thirds majority, or 77 votes. Cardinals must be under age 80 to vote...
A vanishing generation
...I am now 61, and the proportion of citizens who remember a world where homosexuality was a weird rumor, shacking up was taboo, and abortion was scandalous is getting smaller and smaller. Normalcy for my juniors is not the same as normalcy for a sexagenarian. Moreover, my juniors are not bell-bottomed college rabble-rousers anymore—they are now the tenured professors, judges, and journalists...
How Liberty University Became the Largest Christian University
When pastor Jerry Falwell started Liberty University, he did not know it would become the largest Christian university in America. In recent years the school's enrollment has exploded. This week The Washington Post reported, "In the almost six years since Falwell’s death, Liberty University has doubled its student head count — twice."...
...‘Appalling’ waste and abuse in Iraq reconstruction.
“The extent of waste and abuse in the $60 billion of Iraq reconstruction funds coupled with the instability still evident in Iraq is appalling and highlights real failures of planning and execution that must be corrected to make U.S. foreign assistance a more effective tool for advancing the national interests of our country,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said....
A.S. Haley: ECUSA Loses (Tentatively) Its Summary Judgment in San Joaquin
March 6, 2013
This has been an unbelievable day for a (long-planned) vacation -- church litigation news has virtually prevented me from beginning to relax and enjoy it yet. When the news is favorable, however, I am the last to mind or complain about the burden of sharing it with you.
Thus it is that, as I was working on the immediately preceding post about the new federal case in South Carolina, my office forwarded the tentative ruling from the Fresno Superior Court on the motion for summary judgment which ECUSA and Bishop Lamb (now Bishop Talton) brought against Bishop John-David Schofield to recover all of the property of his Anglican Diocese.
The tentative ruling was to deny the motion -- meaning that the case will have to go to trial before it can be finally decided. In short the court held that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden on summary judgment: they failed to show, in effect, that a Diocese of the Church is prohibited from leaving it as a matter of law. ECUSA had tried all of its usual "hierarchical" arguments, but the Court indicates it is not inclined to buy them (again, this is its tentative ruling - I will have it posted later at Stand Firm, but for now, it may be read and downloaded at this link ... the restComments at Stand Firm
Anglican Ink: An Accord or Witness Tampering?
The outcome of a January conciliation meeting concerning complaints involving the Episcopal Dioceses of Fort Worth and Quincy has been announced, following the written agreement of all parties and acceptance by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
“As a result of the process of Conciliation under Canon IV.10 of The Episcopal Church, the…Complainants and Respondents agree to this Accord on terms which promote healing, repentance, forgiveness, restitution, justice, amendment of life and reconciliation,” begins the Accord, which was signed by all parties in March 2013.
Even though there is agreement, the proceedings of the meeting, held according to Canon IV.10 on January 8 and 9 in Richmond, VA, as well as any documentation, presented remain confidential...
Top Episcopal Church Officials: We Love New York!
An Episcopal Church executive oversight group has unanimously recommended against re-locating the denomination’s headquarters from New York City, citing “justice concerns” among the chief reasons to remain at the church’s pricey Manhattan mid-rise.
Specific among the concerns were states with “regressive immigration laws, laws banning marriage equality, and laws that encourage gun violence.”
Among the 15 cities examined for a potential future headquarters were New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Minneapolis, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Charlotte, Ft. Lauderdale and Cincinnati. Eighty percent of Episcopal Church attendees live in the Eastern and Central time zones, with the report noting that the church’s population center is gradually shifting southward...
Gay couple exchanging vows at approved Episcopal church
After 15 years together, Jeff Meadows and Gary Patterson are days away from taking a few monumental steps down the church aisle. Their church? St. Stephens Episcopal Church, one of two in Texas authorized by the Episcopal Church USA to offer what's called "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant" ceremony.
"What St. Stephens is saying to the Houston community and the broader community is that you are welcomed here," said Patterson. "You're welcomed to come here and have your rite, have your union blessed, come to this fellowship, get to know the people and we will love you and take care of you."
Like a traditional Episcopal wedding ceremony, Meadows and Patterson will exchange vows, rings, and ask the congregation to support their union...
by David Mathis March 2, 2013 Spectacular glory awaits those who are joined to Jesus. Not only will we see him in all his glory — which might be thrilling enough — but we will share in his glory as he transforms “our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). Rightly did C. S. Lewis observe that “the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship” (The Weight of Glory, 45). This is the stunning doctrine of glorification. It’s almost too good to be true. Almost. If the Bible didn’t make it plain, most of us would insist such a wonderful destiny could never be ours. But text after text tells the story of the glory that will be ours in Jesus, the supremely glorious one. It’s the story of our glory in the story of his. the rest-lovely meditation!image
Albert Mohler: A Warped Worldview: Another Moral Effect of Pornography
...Put bluntly, our worldview is shaped by what we allow to enter our minds. Given the massive psychological and physiological effects of pornography on male users, we should hardly be surprised that exposure to porn is so closely associated with the development of a generally permissive sexual morality and, specifically, with increased support for same-sex marriage...
Unmasking the Grim Reaper's foot soldiers: Cuomo, Obama, and the rest of the Push-button Baal worshipers
...And now that we've descended further down the rabbit hole of atheism and barbarity, the mask is coming off. New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo (Remember Andrew Cuomo-the youngest HUD secretary in history gave birth to the mortgage crisis…) just recently bloviated about keeping people safe from imaginary "assault weapons," but then in a later speech advocated abortion almost without restriction. He repeated passionately, "It's her body, her choice!" — three times. Interestingly, this political tactic for manipulating the masses was recommended by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf: he said that the average person had a very short memory, so you must use pithy, catchy slogans and repeat them frequently. Hey, now we know why talk-show host Bob Grant dubbed Cuomo's father, a former NY governor, "Il Duce."
But Cuomo the Younger has plenty of company. When Barack Obama infected the Illinois Senate, he voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) and inveighed against it on the Senate floor — on more than one occasion. And understand this law's purpose. It would sometimes happen that a baby was born alive during a botched abortion, and, well, a good contract killer always finishes the job. So these poor children would be left to die of exposure, perhaps in lonely, soiled storerooms. And BAIPA would have prohibited this. But Push-button Obama?...
Albert Mohler: Adultery: When Law and Morality (used to) Agree
...Throughout most of human history, morality and law were united and in agreement when it came to the reality of adultery and the larger context of sexual immorality. Laws criminalizing adultery were adopted because the society believed that marriage was central to its own existence and flourishing, and that adultery represented a dagger struck at the heart of the society, as well as the heart of marriage.
Marriage was not considered merely a private arrangement. Every society regulates marriage, and most have adopted clear and punitive sanctions against adultery. But the moral and cultural revolutions of the past several decades have shifted the meaning of marriage from a public institution to a private contract...
Obama: Children Do Not Need-and Have No Right to-Mothers
...The Justice Department presented its conclusions about parenthood in rebutting an argument made by proponents of Proposition 8 that the traditional two-parent family, led by both a mother and a father, was the ideal place, determined even by nature itself, to raise a child.
The Obama administration argues this is not true. It argues that children need neither a father nor a mother and that having two fathers or two mothers is just as good as having one of each...
The God of Silver Linings
...A telling scene: On Halloween, Tiffany and Pat meet at a diner, ostensibly to eat but in reality to connect, to try to figure each other out. But they arrive tense and feisty. Then the waitress shows up: she’s dressed in costume. As a devil. Her pen is a pitchfork.
It is a brilliant scene for how much it simultaneously conveys. It is ironic, cruel and funny. For the waitress, the devil is garb to mark a holiday. But her insouciance only highlights how serious a matter the devil is: In the glare of Pat and Tiffany, we know the demonic is no costume. Evil lurks, both without and within. It may come as a disguise, but the disguise is a disguise. The movie’s irony makes it clear: Unless you’re vigilant, the devil will be right there, ready to take your order.
Much of the rest of the movie is a prolonged exorcism. It is about expelling demons.
Papal vote preparations start in earnest at Vatican
Preparations for electing Roman Catholicism's new leader begin in earnest on Monday as the College of Cardinals opens daily talks to sketch an identikit for the next pope and ponder who among them might fit it.
The idea is to have the new pope elected during next week and officially installed several days later so he can preside over the Holy Week ceremonies starting with Palm Sunday on March 24 and culminating in Easter the following Sunday...
With Passover Approaching, a Plague of Locusts Descends Upon Egypt As if we hadn't already seen enough Biblical events this year, a plague of over 30 million locusts swarmed over Egypt's cities and farms just three weeks before Passover begins. But put your apocalyptic fears to rest. This happens every year as part of the locusts' natural migration pattern, though this year's swarm is especially large. That doesn't mean Egyptians aren't freaked the heck out by millions of nasty bugs buzzing through the air at all hours of day and night, possibly descending upon the agriculture fields where they're known to destroy entire crops, just like in the actual Passover story.
The crops are so far safe, Egyptian officials assured the public. As the plague made its way from the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia at the end of last week and this weekend, though, Egyptian Agricultural Minister Salah Abdel Moamen explained the situation to the country in a calmly worded statement. "The current inspection teams at areas targeted by locusts did not witness swarms damaging a single inch of crop," said Moamen. He added that the locusts are "sexually immature and do not depend on plants for energy since they mainly rely on fat stores."...
Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh: Our stand against same sex marriage stands
by Sylvester Okoruwa
Monday, 04 March 2013
THE Anglican Metropolitan Archbishop and Primate of Nigeria, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, has declared that there is no going back by the Anglican Church of Nigeria on its opposition to same sex marriages.
He spoke at the consecration of three new Anglican bishops last Sunday, at the Cathedral of St. Jude, Ebute- Metta, Lagos State.
He said that no amount of pressure from any quarter could sway the church on the controversial issue, which he emphasised, was against the scripture.
Okoh warned people to be wary of ongoing campaigns by promoters of the practice which was now in vogue among Anglican priests and others in Europe, stressing that the practice specifically contravened the law of marriage as instituted by God.
He also said such sustained campaign in the United States, Europe and some political forces in Nigeria to force “us to accept and approve same sex marriage” was misplaced. the rest
“We are proud to say we stand by our belief in the true word of God, as we will never be part of such unholy practice presently destroying the Church of God in Europe,” Ukoh said.
'The Bible' Actor Diogo Morgado: How Can You Play the Son of God? You Can't
...Morgado, who grew up in Portugal, described his homeland as a religious country. He said he was not only challenged by the role, but was humbled at being selected for the part. "How can you play the Son of God? You can't," he told the crowd. "What I had the privilege of playing was simply the words of Christ and taking the journey of the scriptures."...
The 10-hour, 5-part TV miniseries "The Bible" will premiere tonight on the History Channel at 8/7c.
Albert Mohler: The Christian Leader in the Digital Age
The Digital Age is upon us. In the span of less than three decades, we have redefined the way humans communicate, entertain, inform, research, create, and connect – and what we know now is only a hint of what is to come. But the greatest concern of the church is not a technological imperative, but a Gospel imperative.
The digital world did not exist a generation ago, and now it is a fundamental fact of life. The world spawned by the personal computer, the Internet, social media, and the smart phone now constitutes the greatest arena of public discussion and debate the world has ever known.
Leaders who talk about the real world as opposed to the digital world are making a mistake, a category error. While we are right to prioritize real face-to-face conversations and to find comfort and grounding in stable authorities like the printed book, the digital world is itself a real world, just real in a different way...
The two are quick to note that they prefer the term “after-birth abortion” as opposed to “infanticide.” Why? Because it “[emphasizes] that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.”...
Sowell: Shepherds and Sheep
...Implicit in the wide range of efforts on the left to get government to take over more of our decisions for us is the assumption that there is some superior class of people who are either wiser or nobler than the rest of us.
Yes, we all make mistakes. But do governments not make bigger and more catastrophic mistakes?
Think about the First World War, from which nations on both sides ended up worse off than before, after an unprecedented carnage that killed substantial fractions of whole younger generations and left millions starving amid the rubble of war.
Think about the Holocaust, and about other government slaughters of even more millions of innocent men, women and children under Communist governments in the Soviet Union and China.
Even in the United States, government policies in the 1930s led to crops being plowed under, thousands of little pigs being slaughtered and buried, and milk being poured down sewers, at a time when many Americans were suffering from hunger and diseases caused by malnutrition...
The jeers grew so loud toward the end of the Queens parade that mayoral candidate and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn appeared to break away from the mayor to march separately....
Botched Late-Term Abortion Lands 14th Woman in Hospital Since 2008
“Today’s incident further emphasizes the dangers of late-term abortions that are being done in inadequately equipped outpatient clinics without proper monitoring by abortionists who have a long history of injuring women,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. “Late-term abortions are too dangerous to tolerate and it is past time to pass legislation that will ban this barbaric procedure for good.”
About Paul Ehrlich and ‘The Most Spectacularly Wrong Book Ever Written’
...Certainly, Ehrlich’s book was “spectacularly wrong,” and he was a ubiquitous media presence in the late 1960s and ’70s, appearing repeatedly as a guest on The Tonight Show, among other high-profile venues. However, Jonathan Last is incorrect to say that “one guy, Paul Ehrlich” was responsible for all this disinformation about demographics.
No, ultimately, that “one guy” is John D. (David) Rockfeller III, who became obsessed with neo-Malthusian worries about overpopulation in the 1930s. Ehrlich was merely one of the chief propagandists who helped popularize bad ideas Rockefeller promoted for decades...