Saturday, April 06, 2013

Tim Keller: Every Good Endeavor

Hummingbird Slow Motion

A.S. Haley: The Church, (P)ECUSA, and the DFMS

April 5, 2013

I have been asked to explain the difference between "the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America" and the "Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America." In law, the first is a voluntary unincorporated association of dioceses; the second is a religious corporation, formed under New York law. A little history is in order.

You see, PECUSA originally came together as a common-law voluntary association of individual churches which constituted the successors, in each of the respective States represented, of the established Church of England. Those churches in each State became referred to as "dioceses", by analogy to the Church of England.

However, as a common-law association of dioceses, the Church could not hold title to any property, or receive gifts or bequests. At first this did not matter, because the individual parishes in each diocese held the title to their property, and received gifts and bequests. There was no need for the national Church to have any assets, since it consisted solely of a gathering which met for just ten days or so every three years.  the rest

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Scrolling around...April 4, 2013

Saudi Arabia declares destruction of all churches in region
Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, says, "The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia--the top Islamic official in the country of Saudi Arabia--has declared that it is "necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.'" Nettleton goes on to note that the report hasn't surfaced anywhere except on the Council on Foreign Relations Web site, which was then picked up by The Atlantic...

Schools push a curriculum of propaganda
...Higher education, from which much of such diversity and sensitivity nonsense trickles down, cries poverty while spending lavishly on administrative overhead irrelevant to its teaching and research missions...

New bird flu strain causes fourth death in China
...It is not known how people are becoming sick with the virus, and health officials and scientists caution that there are no indications it can be transmitted from one person to another. Scientists who have studied the virus's genetic sequence said this week that the virus may have mutated, spreading more easily to other animals and potentially posing a bigger threat to humans....

Get Ready for Obamacare Premium Defaults Exchanges coerce families living paycheck to paycheck to enroll in unaffordable plans...

The Most Dangerous Countries for Tourists, in Maps
The recent assaults in Brazil and India have raised questions about those countries' safety records. Here are the places where travelers should actually be wary...

Falling Fertility Rates Jonathan Last's recent book, What to Expect When Nobody's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster, notes that increasing college attendance, the delay of marriage, the birth control pill, religious participation, the rise of the thousand-dollar stroller and Social Security are some reasons fertility is falling, says Michael Rosen of the American...

America’s poverty rate is now at its highest level in two generations. Contrary to the American Dream of broad-based upward mobility, the United States ranks 10th out 12 OECD countries in social mobility. In addition, our country has the highest proportion of low-wage workers of any developed country — people who work hard but earn less than $10.50 an hour and are barely able to make ends meet...

Peggy Noonan Interrupts Blackout as Networks Continue to Ignore Abortionist's Trial  The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts still haven't covered the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell as of Monday morning. ABC, CBS, and NBC have maintained their coverage blackout despite the graphic witness testimony and the in-your-face courtroom antics of Dr. Gosnell's defense attorney during the first two weeks of the proceedings. The Philadelphia physician is charged with murdering seven newborn children at his decrepit abortion facility.

This glaring omission by the broadcast networks would have continued, if Peggy Noonan hadn't provided the first mention of the murder trial on Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC. The Wall Street Journal columnist spotlighted the "haunting and disturbing story of this doctor", and pointed out how coverage has been "hard to find."...

"Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world." So asserted German Chancellor Angela Merkel late last year, causing a stir. Merkel echoed a concern expressed by then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who warned in a 2011 speech that Christians face a "particularly wicked program of cleansing in the Middle East, religious cleansing."

Raping Women in the Name of Islam ...While jihadis in Syria are importing girls from Tunisia to satisfy their sexual needs, their colleagues in Libya are kidnapping and raping women.

Last week, the father of two British women of Pakistani origin said that his daughters were gang raped in front of him by Muslim fundamentalists in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi... 
New Fatwa Permits Rape of Non-Sunni Women in Syria

Tens of Thousands Baptized Catholics on Easter Sunday in Mainland China

A 'gray divorce' boom  ...The rise in "gray divorce" is a product of dramatic changes in the meaning of marriage in America over the last half-century. Today, we live in an era of individualized marriage, in which those who wed have high expectations for marital success. Americans expect marriage to provide them not simply with stability and security but also with self-fulfillment and personal satisfaction. Roles are flexible; the traditional breadwinner-homemaker model is no longer the status quo. Good spouses engage in open communication and are best friends. This is a high bar for many to achieve, let alone maintain over decades while juggling work and child-rearing...

The Alpha Course: British Christianity’s Biggest Success Story
...Having said that, most of the article is surprisingly positive, about the Alpha Course itself, and the man mainly associated with it, Rev. Nicky Gumbel. “Alpha males (!) … may not all clap happily and speak in tongues, but they are all part of an evangelical tide; a global Anglican phenomenon.” Now practiced in 169 countries, the Alpha Course is in the news because one of its alumni, Justin Welby, was recently consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury...

Albert Mohler: Bracketing Morality—The Marginalization of Moral Argument in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate   ...The “seismic shift” on the issue of homosexuality is a profound moral revolution as well.

And yet, what makes this moral revolution so vast in consequences and importance is this: the moral dimension has virtually disappeared from the cultural conversation. This is true, we must note, even among the defenders of heterosexual marriage.

This is not to say that those who now defend the natural and venerable definition of marriage deny the existence of a moral argument, nor to imply that they are anything less than fully in agreement with the historic and scriptural assessment of the Christian church that homosexual acts and relationships are sinful. We must, however, note that the current intellectual environment has forced them to leave the moral issue behind — far behind...

Pedophilia Is A Sexual Orientation Under CA Bill
California Congresswoman, Rep. Jackie Speier CA (D), wants to federalize a state law to prohibit counseling to change a person’s sexual orientation. That doesn’t sound that extreme, but pedophilia is a sexual orientation according to this bill as well.

Under the bill’s language, a mental health counselor could be sanctioned if there was an attempt to get a pedophile or gay individual to change his behavior or speak negatively about their behavior as it relates to sexuality...

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Take with you the joy of Easter to the home...

Take with you the joy of Easter to the home, and make that home bright with more unselfish love, more hearty service; take it into your work, and do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; take it to your heart, and let that heart rise anew on Easter wings to a higher, a gladder, a fuller life; take it to the dear grave-side and say there the two words "Jesus lives!" and find in them the secret of calm expectation, the hope of eternal reunion. ...John Ellerton image

Scrolling around...April 2, 2013

An Open Letter from Robert Gagnon: Does Leviticus Only Condemn Idolatrous Homosexual Practice?
..I could go on and easily show that your reading of other biblical texts, including the story of Sodom in Gen 19:4-11 (see now for this and Paul’s indictment of homosexual practice in Rom 1:24-27 (to say nothing of, Jesus’ teaching on a male-female requirement for marriage), ignores numerous weighty counterarguments against your claim that Scripture only clearly indicts specific cultic or exploitative forms of homosexual practice. Why would you bother to write (or a publisher to print) a book on the subject that systematically ignores the mountain of evidence from historical and literary contexts that challenges your prevailing perspective?

I find it puzzling that in your book you say that you were “disappointed” that the Bible didn’t “clearly answer” your question about the rightness or wrongness of committed homosexual relationships between consenting adults (187-88). As it is, I see no indication in your study of the most relevant biblical texts that you ever gave careful consideration to the biblical witness. One would think that for such an important issue you would have done so, all the more since you even wrote a book about your wrestling with this and related issues. It is not too late to do your homework on the subject; a belated enterprise, certainly, but not too late...

America in the Age of Myth
...You see, Obamism is an emotional flight from reality, completely unsustainable to the degree it is a paradigm for anything. It is mythical, this notion of borrowing vast amounts of money to grow government and subsidize a new cadre on government support, or demonizing millions as suspect for their success, or assuming that foreign nations react best to apologies, contextualization, and sermons, or wish to join in the cultural adulation of an American president. Putin could care less. Ditto the North Koreans.

In short, in this mythical age, we all know that Barack Obama won the Nobel Prize, but none of us quite know what for... image

Johns Hopkins Denies Pro-Life Club, Equates Them to White Supremacists  On March 12th, a pro-life group at Johns Hopkins University, Voice for Life (VFL), was denied the right to become an official student club by the Student Government Association (SGA) during a student Senate meeting, after having been recommended for approval by the SGA Appointments and Evaluations Committee.

At that same SGA meeting, though, another new group was approved called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).  Although SJP has a history of anti-Semitism and disruption on other campuses, the SGA decided that the students from JHU creating the group were separate from other campus affiliations, and they couldn’t be punished for potential violations.  Somehow, these standards were not applied to Voice for Life...

Stealth Fees Driving Up The Cost Of College
...A new report by ProPublica shows that several schools around the country say they're keeping down tuition costs. But at the same time, more and more fees are popping up on bills --- and those might not be part of the official price tag that prospective students look at....

Poll: Obama Support Dives After Sequester Flop
...These findings may reflect fallout over the sequester, the automatic cuts to defense and other discretionary spending that began March 1...

Former Abortion Worker: I Held Up Feet to Check the Dead Baby’s Age
...My official title at the mill was “health worker.” I did various duties-lab work, leading groups (deceiving women about their abortions), “advocating” (deceiving women during their abortions), and assisting the abortionist, which included helping during the abortion and checking to make sure all the parts of the baby were there in the collection jar afterwards. I will never forget, in the second-trimester abortions, holding those little feet up to a chart on the wall to make sure of the age of the baby.... image

Hobby Lobby gets boost in battle against abortion mandate
Hobby Lobby's legal battle against the abortion/contraceptive mandate received a boost Friday (March 29) when the full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear the company's case...

7 Church Ministry Models from Ideal to Awful
Small single-service churches . . . home churches with rotating locations . . . mega-churches with thousands of seats . . . large churches with home groups . . . mega-churches with multi-services at different times and days . . . multi-site churches with recorded messages and online campuses . . . multi-site churches with live feed from the main campus . . . multi-service churches with rotating preachers . . . single-service churches with rotating preachers . . .
When it comes to American church ministry models, if you can imagine it, it exists....

Krauthammer blames Episcopal Church, not Obama, for anti-conservative Easter sermon

On Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said it’s wrong to criticize President Barack Obama for attending an anti-conservative sermon by Rev. Luis Leon at Saint John’s Church on Sunday...

Monday, April 01, 2013

Scrolling around...April 1, 2013

Researcher: 1.72 Billion Abortions Worldwide Over Last 40 Years
Simon Rabinovitch in his article, “Data Reveal Scale of China Abortions,” reports that there have been 336 million abortions, 196 million sterilizations and 403 million intrauterine devices used in China since 1971. He notes that Chinese doctors every year abort roughly 7 million babies, sterilize nearly 2 million men and women and insert 7 million IUDs, though precise numbers are hard to come by. My first reaction to this news was horror and disgust. Remember that these numbers represent the actions of only one country, and its corrosive behavior against life...

The NY Times' Mortifying Easter Error: 'Resurrection Into Heaven of Jesus, Three Days After He Was Crucified'
The Times issued this correction:
An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the Christian holiday of Easter. It is the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, not his resurrection into heaven.

‘Stomp on Jesus’ Professor Put on Leave ‘for Safety Reasons’ as University Issues Second Apology
...However, Rotela said that he was suspended for refusing to stomp on the paper, after his teacher, Deandre Poole, the vice-chairman of the Palm Beach Democratic Party, had his class perform the exercise.

“He had us all stand up and he said ‘Stomp on it,’” Rotela explained. “I picked up the paper from the floor and put it right back on the table. I’m not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated.”

“Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value,” he said. “So, if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value.”...

28 teens arrested in Chicago after mob of 500 attacked women, police with ‘melee’ fighting in streets    Also... Holmes said that hundreds of teenagers took over the sidewalks on Chicago Ave., terrorizing shoppers. "You had over 300-400 teens just walking the streets," Holmes said. "Some of the citizens just enjoying the nice day out. You had a lot of mob action going on, but I'm shocked by the amount of the women teenagers that were assaulting people."...

The Economist Breaks with the Climate Orthodoxy
No subject has convinced me more that modern liberalism is the most primitive religious faith on the planet (possibly excepting Wahhabism) than man-made global warming, aka climate change.
So it was with some amusement that I read the other day that that most august of publications The Economist was having second thoughts

Obamacare was never going to reform health care and everyone paying attention knew it... Thus, its only conceivable purpose was to enable the Democrat party to dominate American politics. It would accomplish this by creating an entitlement upon which millions would come to depend and it would provide a custom-made mechanism for recruiting millions of new Democrat voters — the exchanges. Obamacare’s authors knew these“marketplaces” would be perfect for exploiting the Voter Registration Act of 1993....

Piper’s Final Weekend as Pastor
...It’s the end of an era — the era of Piper as local-church pastor — but God willing, just the beginning of a new season of ministry...

Albert Mohler: Of First Importance: The Cross and Resurrection at the Center
...Paul points directly to the events of the cross and resurrection of Christ. He is not concerned with just any gospel, but with the only gospel that saves. This is “the gospel I preached to you,” Paul reminds the Corinthians. The same Paul who so forcefully warned the Galatians against accepting any false gospel reminds the church at Corinth that the very “gospel I preached to you” is the gospel “by which you are being saved.” Their stewardship of the gospel is underlined in Paul’s words, “if you hold fast to the word I preached to you.”...

Planned Parenthood official defends post-birth abortions
If a child is born alive following a botched abortion, should the abortionist be required to try to save its life? According to a Planned Parenthood lobbyist, the child's right to life after birth should also be a matter of choice...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 69

Mar 29, 2013

In this week's Anglican Unscripted your hosts discuss what Marriage is... and what Marriage isn't -- and with a combined total of 50 years Marriage experience -- you are in safe hands. This is also Holy Week and this gives Kevin and George a chance to look around the Communion to discover how clergy are celebrating.

Some around the Anglican Communion have been told that the Episcopal Church doesn't sue anybody... well the Episcopal church made it very clear this Easter season that is just wrong; and Kevin and AS Haley discuss the latest barrage from 815 and how it effects every vestry member in the Diocese of South Carolina. Kevin, George, Allan, and Peter pray that this Easter brings you into a closer walk with the Man who left the tomb empty.

Bp. Julian Dobbs: Easter message 2013

The Resurrection of Our Lord
March 2013

Christ is Risen Indeed!

After the long darkness of Lent, the brief exaltation of Palm Sunday, and the sorrow of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, Easter morning dawns. Lilies, trumpets, spring clothes, ancient cantatas, the 'Hallelujah Chorus', the first light, fire, water, oil, bread, wine and... an empty tomb. Jesus is alive today! The Christian community gathers around a set of symbols that indicate the season has changed, that New Life has come.

Christians gather together this Resurrection Sunday morning because of the unshakeable conviction of Jesus' early followers that something unprecedented and amazing had occurred very early in the morning on the Third Day.

The real issue of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The New Testament speaks of the resurrection as a matter of first importance. (1 Corinthians 15:3) It is a key issue. What we believe about Christ and His resurrection impacts everything else we believe as Christians. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, the Christian faith is a foolish fantasy. The Apostle Paul's logic is blunt and direct: "If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty...and we are found false witnesses of God." 1 Corinthians 15:14. It is as simple as that!

Thanks be to Almighty God that there is an empty tomb in Jerusalem today; that Jesus Christ is risen from the grave! the rest

Archbishop Of Canterbury Justin Welby: Let's Disagree Gracefully On Gay Marriage

Easter Messages from across the Anglican Communion

Russian Orthodox warns Church of England
The Russian Orthodox Church recently warned the new head of the Church of England about the possibility of allowing female bishops, saying it could break the unity among the churches...

Obama Attends Easter Service; Pastor Accuses Conservative Christians of Racism in Sermon
At an Easter Sunday service attended by President Barack Obama and his family, the pastor in his sermon accused politically conservative Christians of being misogynist, racist and anti-immigrant.

"It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back ... for blacks to be back in the back of the bus ... for women to be back in the kitchen ... for immigrants to be back on their side of the border," the Rev. Luis León preached at St. John's Episcopal Church, according to a pooled press report...   Also: Mark Tooley: Politicizing Easter at Church of the Presidents

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

What shall I give you, Lord,
in return for all Your kindness?
Glory to You for Your love.
Glory to You for Your mercy.
Glory to You for Your patience.
Glory to You for forgiving us all our sins.
Glory to You for coming to save our souls.
Glory to You for Your incarnation in the virgin's womb.
Glory to You for Your bonds.
Glory to You for receiving the cut of the lash.
Glory to You for accepting mockery.
Glory to You for Your crucifixion.
Glory to You for Your burial.
Glory to You for Your resurrection.
Glory to You who were preached to men and women.
Glory to You in whom they believed.
Glory to You who were taken up into heaven.
Glory to You who sit in great glory at the Father's right hand.
Glory to You whose will it is that the sinner should be saved
through Your great mercy and compassion.
...Ephraem of Syria image