Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scrolling around...May 11, 2013

Historic meeting between Pope and Coptic Orthodox leader
Pope Francis and the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, Pope Tawadros II, held a historic meeting at the Vatican on Friday.

The visit took place to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two Churches. In particular, it marks 40 years since the Coptic Orthodox leader Pope Shenouda III and Catholic head Pope Paul VI signed the Christological agreement between their Churches at the Vatican in 1973.

The Benghazi Scandal Grows
The State Department, the CIA, the White House...

Sympathy for the Devil: Equivocation on Boko Haram
...In their many publicly released statements and videos, Boko Haram has never declared poverty and marginalization to be a motive for their actions. On the contrary, they state clearly that their actions are a “jihad (Holy War).” They said that “Christians in Nigeria should accept Islam, that is true religion, or they will never have peace,” and that they “do not have any agenda” other than working to establish an Islamic Kingdom like during the time of Prophet Mohammed.”...

Is the US Selling Out the Middle East’s Christians?
Elizabeth Prodromou, a former Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, or USCIRF, has some harsh words for the commission’s annual report, issued last month. Prodromou sharply criticizes USCIRF and the entire U.S. foreign policy team for ignoring human rights violations endured by Orthodox Christians in the Middle East...

Britain's Feckless, Two-Faced Approach to Radical Islam
The planning of violent atrocities continues in Britain. The government has still failed to curb the spread of violent agitation, and a necessary, firm and united opposition to radical Islam remains lacking at the official level...

The United States has become a tool of Muslim Brotherhood expansionism. Obama helped the Brotherhood overthrow governments by political means, but now the Brotherhood is demanding military intervention to help a Brotherhood/Al Qaeda coalition take over Syria. And if Obama goes along with it, he will have turned the United States military into the mercenaries of the Muslim Brotherhood...

How Dallas Willard Befriended Rookie Pastor Richard Foster
He taught me to live into the rhythms of the Spirit.

Dallas Willard, a Man from Another 'Time Zone'
...Many of us in the church have been impacted by Dallas through his teachings and writings that are often categorized as being about 'spiritual formation,' although his real preoccupation and concern was focused on the 'kingdom of God', or what he would often speak about as the 'with-God life.' He said the four great questions humans must answer are: What is reality? What is the good life? Who is a good person? And How do you became a good person? His concern was to answer those questions, and live the answers, and he was simply convinced that no one has ever answered them as well as Jesus...

Challies: Ordinary: Christian Living for the Rest of Us
...Ordinary is Christian living for the rest of us. It is for people like me and, in all likelihood, people like you. It is for Christians who have tried to be more than ordinary and who just have not found what they have been looking for. It is for Christians who have never tried to be more than ordinary and who are content that way. It validates our sheer normalcy and refutes our desire to be anything greater than that.

It is about being ordinarily excellent, ordinarily passionate, ordinarily godly. It is about trusting that such ordinary saints are saints indeed, fully acceptable, fully accepted, fully pleasing to the One who created and called us...

John Piper: How Introverted Pastors Love
...“It’s amazing how many introverts go into ministry,” Pastor John said of himself and others. But it’s true. For many pastors, hanging out with people is physically draining. “A lot of people would say that’s a bad thing; you should repent of that and turn around and either do something else, or start loving to hang out with people.”...

Citrus Disease With No Cure Is Ravaging Florida Groves
Florida’s citrus industry is grappling with the most serious threat in its history: a bacterial disease with no cure that has infected all 32 of the state’s citrus-growing counties...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Anglican Unscripted Episode 71

May 10, 2013 

In this week's Episode your host talk about the latest legal heartbreak in California. Also this week, there is late breaking international news about a Bishop who accidentally invokes Scripture. AU's Legal segment covers all of the court cases in the US, and Kevin interviews David Jenkins about his lawsuit from Bishop Byrd.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Scrolling around...May 9, 2013

Dallas Willard (1935-2013): A Reader’s Appreciation
...Opening Willard’s book, I read: “The idea of having faith in Jesus has come to be totally isolated from being his apprentice and learning how to do what he said.” In that sentence, I felt, was my diagnosis. I had grown up in an Evangelical Christian home, I “had faith in Jesus,” but what I didn’t have was a sense of how Jesus’ life connected to the practical problems I faced in my day-to-day existence. I had imbibed what Willard memorably calls a “gospel of sin management,” a message that enabled me to be confident of post-mortem salvation but left me largely clueless as to how to handle my troubles as a teenager...

Albert Mohler: Sneering at Parents, Hiding Behind “Science”—The Emergency Contraception Controversy
Looking for evidence that our society is losing its mind? Just look at the controversy over so-called “emergency contraceptives” and a federal judge’s effort to make these drugs available, over the counter, to girls of any age.

Last month, Judge Edward Korman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York handed down an order forcing the Food and Drug Administration to make emergency contraceptives, sometimes called the “morning-after pill,” available without a doctor’s prescription or parental permission to girls without any restriction on age.

Judge Korman’s order would open the door for girls as young as 10 or 11 to obtain the morning-after pill without any involvement by either a doctor or a parent. That same girl, of course, could not be given an aspirin in a school clinic without parental permission, much less a simple antibiotic like penicillin. Nevertheless, this federal judge ruled that girls and women of any age must be allowed over-the-counter access to emergency contraceptives...

One of the more remarkable aspects of Francis’ pontificate has been his rhetorical style. Whereas Benedict XVI generally spoke in carefully crafted Latin paragraphs, Pope Francis has adopted a more casual style of Italian—often speaking without prepared notes. Most notable of all, Francis has gone about coining striking phrases that capture spiritual concepts in contemporary terms...

China may not overtake America this century after all
Doubts are growing about whether China can pass the US to become the world's biggest economy this century amid warnings that the country’s 30-year miracle is nearing exhaustion...

'Stop Being a Baby'-Infanticide and the infantilization of women
...All beliefs and intuitions about whether and when abortion is moral or immoral amount to a priori assumptions, although one hopes such assumptions would be informed by an informed understanding of reproductive biology. If you do not think abortion is immoral, it follows that a woman who seeks or obtains an abortion is not morally culpable. To put it more precisely, it follows that seeking or obtaining an abortion cannot be a sufficient condition for moral culpability.

But Myers is making a far broader claim. He is asserting that a woman's seeking an abortion is sufficient to establish that she is not culpable for any consequences that proximately result from her "choice," including the deliberate killing, after birth, of the baby she sought to abort. Myers is, in other words, positing that women who seek abortions are categorically free of culpability.

That is the sort of moral immunity we normally extend to persons who lack the capacity to understand either the consequences of their actions or the difference between right and wrong: very young children, extreme mental defectives and, more controversially, the severely mentally ill. In absolving women seeking abortions of all moral culpability, then, Myers is infantalizing them. Yet even Myers's dubious premise, that women seeking abortions are innocent by definition, does not lead to his monstrous conclusion, that Gosnell is innocent...
Celebrated abortionist Carhart jokes about breaking babies apart with pickaxes and drill bits

Late-Term Abortion Doc Caught Comparing Unborn Baby to “Meat in a Crock Pot”

The mass exodus of Christians from the Muslim world
A mass exodus of Christians is currently underway. Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other.

We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world, much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian, came into being.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said: “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.” In our lifetime alone “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.”...

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Backyard garden...

Some shots of our spring garden...

Bleeding heart

Cardinal on the cupola of our garage
Pictures by Raymond Dague

Monday, May 06, 2013

Scrolling around...May 6, 2013

Albert Mohler: Confessional Integrity and the Stewardship of Words   ...Theological education is a deadly serious business. The stakes are so high. A theological seminary that serves faithfully will be a source of health and life for the church, but an unfaithful seminary will set loose a torrent of trouble, untruth, and sickness upon Christ’s people. Inevitably, the seminaries are the incubators of the church’s future. The teaching imparted to seminarians will shortly be inflicted upon congregations, where the result will be either fruitfulness or barrenness, vitality or lethargy, advance or decline, spiritual life, or spiritual death.

Sadly, the landscape is littered with theological institutions that have poorly taught and have been poorly led. Theological liberalism has destroyed scores of seminaries, divinity schools, and other institutions for the education of the ministry. Many of these schools are now extinct, even as the churches they served have been evacuated. Others linger on, committed to the mission of revising the Christian faith in order to make peace with the spirit of the age. These schools intentionally and boldly deny the pattern of sound words in order to devise new words for a new age — producing a new faith. As J. Gresham Machen rightly observed almost a century ago, we do not really face two rival versions of Christianity. We face Christianity on the one hand and, on the other hand, some other religion that selectively uses Christian words, but is not Christianity...

Doctors warn of 'aggressive' new sexually-transmitted superbug
...The antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea HO41 was reportedly discovered in Japan two years ago in a 31-year-old female sex worker.
"This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly," Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, recently told CNBC. "Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days. This is very dangerous."...

Dear Mr. President
...Mr. President, we are at opposing sides. I did not vote for you, but I heard you many times talk about how we needed to come together. Like it or not, you are my leader, and I try. I hold your office in high esteem, and I am called to pray for whoever holds that office. I try to raise my children to at least see the other side and seek to understand it. I believe in education, not indoctrination. Always seek to walk in another's shoes. I don't believe that you need to agree with someone's point of view to have compassion for that person.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I was when I heard your speech recently at a Planned Parenthood event. You did not seek to see our side. I know you don't want to work with our side, but I had hoped that at least you would try to see it. In the speech, you could have said "I'm grateful it wasn't in a Planned Parenthood clinic where Gosnell worked. Your clinics are sterile and safe. He broke several laws put in place for the safety of women, and I hope he is punished to the full extent of the law." That's what I was honestly expecting from you. Acknowledging the horror while holding to your pro-choice stance and still worshipping Planned Parenthood.

Instead, you called out states that would put any restrictions on abortion clinics. Apparently, the laws Gosnell broke were ones you didn't think should have been there in the first place. Those laws were restrictions on abortions to protect women, and you said in this speech that those types of laws were bad. I ask you, Mr. President, do you believe this Gosnell situation was good for women?

That was your statement we've been waiting for. Then you flippantly threw around God's name, and asked him to bless the work of abortion.

You said people sought to restrict women and take away their choices.

Mr. President, I don't believe you understand. I don't believe you want to understand, or seek to understand...

How The Benghazi Talking Points Were Changed
The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes obtains a timeline briefed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence detailing the revisions made to the CIA’s talking points on the Benghazi consulate attacks...

Growing religious intolerance, not just dictatorships but also Western countries  The picture the U.S. commission on international religious freedom (USCIRF) is painting in its report on religious freedom in the world, is getting gloomier and gloomier. The USCIRF is an independent federal consultation body established by the International Religious Freedom Act, to monitor religious freedom violations on an international level. Its annual report for 2013 is now out and gives an overview of the state of religious freedom throughout the world, as well as listing the governments that commit the most serious violations against religious freedom...

Blast hits Catholic church in northern Tanzania
A suspected bomb blast struck a Catholic church in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha on Sunday, police said, wounding a number of people...

Gosnell 'Story' Not New, Babies Born Alive Left to Die for Years
...Creger states that interviews in 1983 with Department of Human Resources (DHR) officials revealed no clear rules for treating infants who had survived abortions. As a result of her expose, Midtown Hospital was asked by DHR to draft new guidelines for caring for surviving babies, though the decision as to how to handle a born-alive infant was ultimately left to the physician...

NFL to re-educate and counsel players on homophobia

Life in the Ruins, and the Dangers of a Euphemism Addiction
...Mollie Hemingway writes for the Get Religion blog, which monitors and analyzes media coverage of religion. She made it her mission a few weeks ago to get the mainstream media talking about the horrific conditions in Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion clinic, on display during the man’s recent trial. After five weeks of testimony, both sides rested in the ongoing trial this Monday. Hemingway talks about the media and the trial and the implications of this all...

Pope tells Argentine Bishops to use doc restricting communion for pro-aborts  ...The text states in paragraph 436 that "we should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals."

Pro-life activists were thrilled at the election of Pope Francis given his strong defence of life as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. His decision to bless a child-in-the-womb as one of his first public acts, was also a great sign of hope. Last month, Pope Francis’ Good Friday Stations of the Cross included prayers for conversion for those who promote abortion and euthanasia...

A.S. Haley: Judge's Ruling in St. James Case Puts Cloud on Many Former Episcopal Properties in California

May 2, 2013

So according to Judge Dunning's May 1 ruling, the trust imposed on all Episcopal parishes in California may only be dissolved in the manner by which it was imposed in the first place -- by a canon duly enacted by General Convention.

Do you understand now the huge impact this ruling could have if it is affirmed on appeal?

According to it, since no sale of any California property owned by an Episcopal parish ever received any release of the Dennis Canon by General Convention, then all of those properties that have been marketed and sold since 1980 -- parking lots, rectors' residences, and auxiliary properties, to say nothing of church buildings themselves -- are still subject to the Dennis Canon trust, no matter what any diocesan bishop or standing committee purported to allow. They were not the General Convention.

To reach her ridiculous conclusion, therefore, that no one diocesan or standing committee may waive or release the Dennis Canon on behalf of any Diocese, or on behalf of the national Church, Judge Dunning has managed at one stroke to cloud the titles of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pieces of property sold and conveyed by Episcopal parishes in California since 1980.

And that is just one problem with her seriously flawed decision, which relies upon circular reasoning and deliberate misreadings of parish governing documents, as well. The decision is not only a travesty of justice, but as I say, it should make title companies all across California fear for all of the various policies they have issued to buyers of church property since 1980.  the rest

GAFCON 2013: Nairobi, Kenya, 21st-26th October 2013

May 4, 2013

The Second Global Anglican Future Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, 21st-26th October 2013. The focus will be on our shared Anglican future, as we engage with the missionary theme, ‘Making Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.’

The first conference, GAFCON 2008, was held in Jerusalem. GAFCON gave birth to a movement, the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. The aims of the GFCA are to proclaim and defend the apostolic gospel within and beyond the Anglican Communion and to recognise and share fellowship with orthodox Anglicans globally, especially those who have been disaffiliated by false teaching and behaviour.

We continue to face the triple challenge of sceptical secularism, militant religion and compromised Christianity. GAFCON 2013 has been summoned so that GFCA can help both plan for and experience the future of the Communion of which we, with many others, are part.

The invited delegates, laity, clergy and bishops, are united by their commitment to the Jerusalem Declaration and Statement as well as the aims of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. They will assemble to listen to God, to pray, to deliberate, and to plan about the Anglican future, seeing it as a great spiritual and missionary fellowship, energised by the defence and proclamation of the gospel.

The General Secretary of the GFCA, Archbishop Peter Jensen said, ‘God is establishing new churches creating new believers and transforming lives. Our hope for the future is in him. Our aim is to move forward confidently, to plan and experience in fellowship a future for Anglicans in which his Word is honoured and our witness is clear. We are looking forward with great expectation to seeing God at work as we meet in Nairobi.’ Gafcon site

Sunday, May 05, 2013

CANA East Inaugural Synod May 2-4, 2013

Raymond and I attended the CANA East Inaugural Synod in Philadelphia.  Here are a few of the pictures that Raymond shot during this time.  -PD

 CANA East Synod
 Bp. Julian Dobbs
 Fr. Brian E Smith interviews Fr. Gus Calvo
 The charter
 Prayer time
 Laying on of hands
 Presenting the Bible
 Bp. Bena preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit
 Bishops confer
 The bishop and the newly ordained
 The Bishop and Chancellor Raymond Dague
 Offertory dance
 Conga drums
 Joyful choir
Pictures by Raymond Dague
(click on picture to enlarge)