Saturday, August 10, 2013

Anglican Unscripted Episode 78

Aug 9, 2013

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

Silly Story Month
News from Sydney 08:06
Egypt and Zanzibar 12:06
AS Haley 18:03
Peter Ould 32:42
Closing and Outtakes 40:51

A.S. Haley: More Court Proceedings in South Carolina

August 9, 2013

The Episcopal Church (USA) and its remnant group in South Carolina, ECSC, are hanging on to a federal trademark infringement lawsuit by their fingernails. The attorneys appeared yesterday before Senior U. S. District Judge C. Weston Houck on ECUSA Bishop vonRosenberg’s motion for a preliminary injunction under the Lanham Act against Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. (For more background on the issues at stake, see this earlier post.)

As his counterpart in Texas saw the matter, so might Judge Houck: why bother to get into the messy details of a federal trademark action if the earlier case filed in State court will dispose of the matter? He indicated by a question that he was considering staying the federal action pending the outcome of the proceedings in State court. He said he would have a ruling out in “a week or so.”

Meanwhile, the State court case begun by the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence and his Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is moving forward, now that it has been remanded from Judge Houck’s court. The attorneys for all parties were in court on July 11 to discuss a schedule for the case with First Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein, who issued her order eight days later. The order ensures that the case will not dawdle, but will be ready for trial by the summer of next year.

ECUSA is seeking to add additional defendants to its counterclaim, namely, the individual trustees and members of the diocesan standing committee (as a prelude to naming the rectors and vestry members of 37 individual parishes—some 500 people in all—following the same punitive strategy it has tried in other cases). The court ordered that any additional response Bishop Lawrence’s attorneys wanted to make to that motion be filed by July 22, with ECUSA’s reply due 10 days later. Those papers have now been filed, and the parties await Judge Goodstein’s ruling on the propriety of trying to add any individual defendants to the case. the rest

Court Battle Over Who Is Bishop of Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina After Schism
...After hearing about an hour of arguments, Houck stated that he should have a decision as to the fate of the suit sometime in the next seven to ten days...

Attorneys back in court in S.C. Episcopal schism

Friday, August 09, 2013

Scrolling around...August 9. 2013

Marines Corps Threatened With Lawsuit for Citing ‘Lack or Loss of Spiritual Faith’ as Suicide Risk
The United States Marines Corps may soon be leveled with a lawsuit over language in one of its training documents, which cites “lack or loss of spiritual faith” as being a risk factor for suicide among soldiers.

According to reports, an anonymous soldier reported the clause found in a Marines Corps’ Force Preservation Program document to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). In a section outlining “potential risk factors,” a number of negative life circumstances are listed, including loss of a loved one, divorce, financial hardship, drug use and “lack or loss of spiritual faith.”...

IRS caressed liberals, harassed conservatives
According to Team Obama's "phony scandal" narrative, when the Internal Revenue Service processed 501(c)(3) tax-exemption applications, it equally tormented liberals and conservatives. No big deal, the argument goes. The IRS suffers from even-handed inefficiency rather than an un-American habit of slamming critics of the president of the United States.

Unfortunately for the Obamites, actual facts annihilate their institutional-incompetence defense. New data deepen the suspicion that the IRS is the latest and most worrisome weapon in the left's arsenal...

Vicar claims her rude bumper sticker is a 'vulgarity' not blasphemy
A vicar, who claims the former Archbishop of Canterbury has been in her car, is unrepentant about a rude bumper sticker with the letters WTFWJD - which stand for What The ---- Would Jesus Do...

Committee Head Covers Up “In Christ Alone” Controversy
...Mary Louise Bringle, chair of the committee that chose to exclude “In Christ Alone” from the Presbyterian Church USA’s hymnal is now claiming the word “satisfied” not the word “wrath” was the real reason for the decision...
Presbyterians' decision to drop song from hymnal stirs debate

Swiss asked to ditch God from national anthem
Switzerland is holding a competition to rewrite its national anthem because it currently focuses on God.

Over £7,000 is being offered as a prize for rewriting the song, which is called the Swiss Psalm.

The man in charge of the competition claims Swiss society is “religiously neutral”, but in a 2010 census two thirds identified themselves as belonging to a church...

Million dollar bond set for St James Newport Beach

By Richard Crocker
August 8, 2013

Dear Family of God,

As you are aware, St. James Church appeared in court this afternoon for a hearing concerning the resolution of our case after Judgment against us and before we embark upon a process to appeal that decision.

One of today’s key decisions was the bond amount required which would allow us to remain on our properties during appeal. The Judge set a very large bond amount (in legal terminology, an “undertaking”) of just under $1,000,000, which was far beyond what we considered appropriate or even possible. The alternative then left for us is that we will be required to move off the properties during the appeal process.

A second key decision in the case was how much longer we will be able to remain at 3209 Via Lido and our attorneys argued for, and obtained after closed-door negotiation, a stay of 45 days. This means we are able to remain on property, hold worship services, other events and do day-to-day church business until we must turn over the properties on or before September 21.

Brothers and Sisters, as difficult at this change may be, we want to transition well. Be assured, plans are already in place for our new worship location. I look forward to sharing more with you this Sunday, August 11, at a Parish Update in Trane Hall at 8:35 and 10:35 am. There, we will offer further details about our transition, the provision of office and midweek meeting space, the plan for responding with pastoral care for parishioners with anger, grief, or other concerns, and the variety of ways we will remain connected in this important time.

In closing let me say that this is not the last day for St. James, but it is a new day! Though it will take time to adjust to this change, our parish family, our mission, and our Savior will remain the same. "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, and today and forever." Hebrew 13:8

Let us ask God to deal graciously with the hurt of the moment, and then open our eyes to the new opportunities that await us!

May God bless you,
Pastor Richard

Judge again weighs issues in SC Episcopal schism
For the second time in recent months, U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck is weighing whether issues arising from the acrimonious Episcopal schism in eastern South Carolina belong in federal court.

As two bishops sat with their attorneys on either side of his Charleston courtroom, Houck heard about an hour of arguments Thursday on one bishop's request for an injunction against the other.

Charles vonRosenberg, the bishop of parishes remaining with the national Episcopal Church, wants the court to block Mark Lawrence, the bishop of churches that left last year, from using the name and the symbols of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

The conservative Diocese of South Carolina last year separated from the more liberal national Episcopal Church over a variety of theological issues, including the authority of Scripture and the ordination of gays. The breakaway churches sued in state court to protect the use of the diocesan name and half a billion dollars' worth of property...

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Scrolling around...August 8, 2013

The Very Hip Rev. Gary Hall
Liberal Episcopal Church elites often seem determined to fulfill caricatures of themselves. The Very Rev. Gary Hall, new dean of Washington’s prominent National Cathedral, does so fulsomely, gregariously, wonderfully in a recent Washington Post profile by Sally Quinn. They met in his favorite French restaurant near the magnificent Gothic edifice, which hosts so many solemn pageants of American civil religion.

Hall has made a splash in town by focusing on gun control and same sex marriage. He hosted a press conference soon after last year’s tragic school shootings in Connecticut. And he’s opened the cathedral for homosexual nuptials. Liberal Episcopalianism strongly emphasizes sexual liberation, and for Hall that liberation includes heterosexuals too.

“We have this cartoon in America where you grow up, get married and stay the same person,” Hall told Quinn. “For the church to say, ‘No sex before marriage,’ is not realistic,” claiming he has wed over 500 couples, only about five of whom were not already cohabiting, statistics exponentially beyond the national average. He wants the church to model “how to live a life of faithfulness and integrity” while evidently embracing the new permissiveness.

It’s all about moving with the times...

A Father Rescues His Child from Abortion

U.S. Failing to Address Terror Against Nigerian Christians, Warns Expert
As bombings against Christian churches in Nigeria continue, a religious-liberty scholar is calling on the U.S. government to recognize the scope of the persecution of Christians and take steps to end the violence.

Paul Marshall, senior fellow at the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, explained that Nigeria has experienced “increased religious violence and attacks on Christians for about 12 years.”

The religious-liberty expert told Catholic News Agency that the violence has been “worsening a great deal in the last three years, with the rise of Boko Haram, an al Qaeda-affiliated militia that has been targeting Christians, amongst others.”

But despite this rise in violence, he said, the U.S. government has yet to “recognize the religious element of the conflict” and take strong steps against the extremist organization...

Al Qaeda Flag Flies High Above Christian Churches
Days ago, al-Qaeda's Egyptian leader, Ayman Zawahiri, portrayed the overthrow of Muhammad Morsi and the Brotherhood as a "Crusader" campaign led by Coptic Pope Tawadros II who, according to Zawahiri and other terrorists, is trying to create a Coptic state in Egypt.

Since then, not only are Egypt's Christians and churches now being attacked in ways unprecedented in the modern era, but new reports indicate that al-Qaeda's black flag has been raised on some of them, specifically St. George Church in Sohag. Considering that it was al-Qaeda linked terrorists who initiated one of the bloodiest church attacks in recent history, the 2010 Baghdad church attack where nearly 60 Christians were slaughtered (click here for graphic images), that al-Qaeda is singling out Egypt's Christians bodes ill...

The Islamic terrorist organization's incitements against the Copts are just the latest to emanate from Islamists—from the top of the Brotherhood leadership to the bottom of the "Muslim street"—creating something of an "open season" on Egypt's Christians.

Planned Parenthood Investigation Launched
...Disclosure of the investigation comes at a time when Planned Parenthood's use of government funds is drawing closer scrutiny. Only a week before, one of the affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) agreed to an out-of-court settlement of $4.3 million for alleged Medicaid fraud. Other Medicaid fraud suits are pending against Planned Parenthood, the country's leading abortion provider.

Upon learning of the GAO's decision to investigate, Southern Baptist ethicist Russell D. Moore commended government officials "for asking how public funds are spent by the abortion lobby."

"For years, the abortion-rights movement has told us they are about 'choice' and 'getting the government out of their lives,'" said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "And yet, taxpayers have no choice in their hard-earned dollars subsidizing industries many of us consider to be horrific violators of human rights.

"A thorough investigation would be a good first step to examining our national conscience about what we're paying for, and why," he said in a written statement for Baptist Press. "The abortion industry is big business of the most sordid sort. They certainly don't need a taxpayer bailout."...

Turkish gov’t is building a $100M mosque in Maryland
Turkey’s Islamist government is constructing a massive $100 million, 15-acre mosque in Lanham, Md., that is expected to “become the largest and most striking example of Islamic architecture in the Western hemisphere” by October 2014...
In May, Turkey Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan placed a ceremonial stone at the construction site. Now the five-building project known as the Turkish American Culture and Civilization Center is well underway in the town just outside Washington, D.C., with a population of about 10,000....

Sowell: Busybody Politics
It is hard to read a newspaper, or watch a television newscast, without encountering someone who has come up with a new "solution" to society's "problems." Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than there are problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today's problems are a result of yesterday's solutions.

San Francisco and New York are both plagued with large "homeless" populations today, largely as a result of previous housing "reforms" that made housing more expensive and severely limited how much housing, and of what kind, could be built.

The solution? Spend more of the taxpayers' money making homelessness a viable lifestyle for more people...

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Lord reveals his glory...

The Lord reveals his glory in the presence of chosen witnesses. His body is like that of the rest of mankind, but he makes it shine with such splendor that his face becomes like the sun in glory, and his garments as white as snow.

The great reason for this transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.

With no less forethought he was also providing a firm foundation for the hope of holy Church. The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as his gift. the members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head.

The Lord had himself spoken of this when he foretold the splendor of his coming: Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Saint Paul the apostle bore witness to this same truth when he said: I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not to be compared to the future glory that is to be revealed in us. In another place he says: You are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

This marvel of the transfiguration contains another lesson for the apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with him. This was in order to fulfil exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says: Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified. What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony, and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?

The writings of the two testaments support each other. The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling him under the veils of mystery. As Saint John says: The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of the prophecy through his presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.

In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.

No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.

When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears: This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him. -Leo the Great Art

Monday, August 05, 2013

Scrolling around...August 5, 2013

Agnus Dei: Presbyterian hymnal fight makes news
..What followed was a fascinating discussion of atonement theories and God’s love, featuring Protestants, Pope Benedict XVI and church fathers alike.

You could also read about this hymnal debate in Christianity Today and throughout the Christian press and blogosphere. It was huge news and a major point of discussion.

Everywhere, that is, except for in the mainstream media...

Bali: Charismatic churches surge in growth amid a devout—and sometimes violent—Hindu majority
...Christianity in Bali is now growing faster than the population in Indonesia. In the past 15 years, immigration of Christians from other parts of Indonesia and active crusades to encourage conversions of native Balinese have contributed to the growth...

UK’s biggest ‘fatberg’ discovered in London sewer
..."While we've removed greater volumes of fat from under central London in the past, we've never seen a single, congealed lump of lard this big clogging our sewers before.

“Given we’ve got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we’ve encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such berg in British history.

“The sewer was almost completely clogged with over 15 tonnes of fat. If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston.

“It was so big it damaged the sewer and repairs will take up to six weeks...

Same-Sex Couple to Sue Church of England for Marriage Rights
Following legislation that permits same-sex “marriage” in the U.K. yet prohibits the Church of England from performing the ceremony, two men are planning to sue to be able to marry in their church.

“We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized — in that sense it is a big step. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do,” Barrie Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle Aug. 1.

“We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize as practicing Christians.”

Georgette Forney: From Abortion Regret to a Life of Redemption and Pro-Life Leadership
Regrets — everyone has them and one of the true indicators of a person’s character is how well he or she can learn from his or her mistakes, failures and errors and move forward to a productive and meaningful life.

A person may be defined by his or her regrets, being ever-crushed under the magnitude of those errors, or one can, with God’s grace, use those experiences to be a blessing to others. One lady who has done just that is Georgette Forney.

Finding herself pregnant as a 16-year-old high-school junior in Michigan, Mrs. Forney made an all-too common decision — she had an abortion and afterwards went to her sister’s house to spend the night so that her mother wouldn’t know what she’d done. She woke up the next day and said, “Yesterday never happened.” For 19 years she continued that denial until randomly looking through the high school yearbook that she’d come across while cleaning house...

U.S. extends embassy closings; warnings renew debate over NSA data collection
The closing of U.S. embassies in 21 predominantly Muslim countries and a broad caution about travel during August that the State Department issued on Friday touched off debate Sunday over the National Security Agency’s sweeping data collection programs.

Congressional supporters of the program, appearing on Sunday morning talk shows, said the latest rounds of warnings of unspecified threats showed that the programs were necessary, while detractors said there was no evidence linking the programs, particularly the massive collection of cell phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans, to the vague warnings of a possible terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, there were no reports of violence or unusual activity in any of the countries where the United States had kept its embassies and consulates closed when they would have ordinarily been open on Sunday...

How Did Rich Connecticut Morph Into One Of America's Worst Performing Economies?
...Although Connecticut lacks a major high tech region, there’s a concentration of executive talent capable of managing large organizations. Many are in financial services.

Despite these attractions, during the past two decades some 300,000 more Connecticut residents have moved out of the state than have moved in. This compares with the current population of about 3.5 million.

Why the exodus?...

AM Radio, Signing Off
...AM’s apologists place blame on societal trends and changing technology. “This is a simple situation,” contends Michael Harrison of Talkers magazine. “It’s not like AM has been doing something to drive away listeners or has been doing something wrong.” If AM hasn’t made mistakes, then what lessons has it to learn? Harrison points to the “economic considerations” of broadcasters. “Things get old. Things get efficient. Things get corporatized.” Indeed they do... image

Here Is Your Big Brother News Of The Day

NYC Wants To Ban ‘Dinosaur,’ ‘Divorce,’ Other Words From School Tests
...The New York City Department of Education is waging a war on words of sorts, and is seeking to have words they deem upsetting removed from standardized tests.

Fearing that certain words and topics can make students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests.

The word “dinosaur” made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like, WCBS 880-s Marla Diamond reported. “Halloween” is targeted because it suggests paganism; a “birthday” might not be happy to all because it isn’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses...

'Blizzarding:' Obama's plan to plow under GOP critics
This is no snow job: President Obama's grassroots organization has developed a plan called 'blizzarding' for his supporters to plow into neighborhoods and communities to sock GOP critics of Obamacare, gun control, and climate change as part of its "Action August."

While other elements of Obama's Organizing for Action are planning high-tech and expensive assaults in August on GOP lawmakers, the 'blizzarding' strategy calls on small groups or even individuals to promote the president's agenda with a door-to-door campaign followed by hyped up social media...

U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans
A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don't know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence - information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses...

Albert Mohler: What’s Missing from this Picture?—Fertility on the Rise, Worldview on Display    
...So, there are other factors in play here. And church attendance is one that plays an identifiable role. As Sam Sturgeon commented, “Much of the downturn in births is related to economic factors, but economic factors do not affect the fertility decisions of all parents or future parents. We started to wonder about various groups that might make fertility decisions based on other factors, and religious persons seemed to be a natural group, so we explored this with the data.”

He then added: “Partly because religious communities provide a family-friendly context to the women who attend them, religious women are more likely to have children and to bear a comparatively high share of the nation’s children, compared to their less religious or secular peers.”

Is anyone surprised? And yet, even as this report reveals that religious factors are in play in reproductive decisions, the influence of religion is explained only in terms of the fact that “religious communities provide a family-friendly context to the women who attend them.”...

The Complacent Christian

Tim Challies
August 5, 2013

I often regret making broad statements, but I think most Christians in North America and the rest of the developed world will probably agree with a statement like this one: There is too much complacency in our lives and in our churches. I recently received a question from a group of pastors who had been discussing this topic: “How do you deal with complacency in your own life and in the life of your church?” They had various answers for the first part of the question, but found themselves stuck on the second half. I thought I might take a shot at it.

But first, we do not want to be Christians who are un-complacent. The Christian life is not avoiding negative qualities as much as it is pursuing positive qualities. Therefore, we want to be Christians who are zealous, for zeal is the opposite of complacency. “Zeal” is a word that was once an important part of the Christian vocabulary, but has since diminished.  the rest image
Zeal is like a flame that brings a pot to a boil—it causes our affections for God to come to a boil so that we pursue what delights him and fight against what dishonors him. Zeal is spiritual heat, spiritual energy that flows out through the godly characteristics of love, joy, hope, peace, and so on. It is not a grace on its own as much as it is a quality that affects every part of the Christian life, making us zealous in the way we love, zealous in the way we express hope, zealous in every area and every characteristic and every fruit of the Spirit.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Afraid? Of what?

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour’s face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;
Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven’s rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?
-E.H. Hamilton image