Saturday, November 02, 2013

Giver of all, another day is ended...

Giver of all, another day is ended and I take my place beneath my great Redeemer's cross, where healing streams continually descend, where balm is poured into every wound, where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood, assured that Thou seest in me no spots of sin. Yet a little while and I shall go to Thy home and be no more seen; help me to gird up the loins of my mind, to quicken my step, to speed as if each moment were my last, that my life be joy, my death glory.

I thank Thee for the temporal blessings of this world—the refreshing air, the light of the sun, the food that renews strength, the raiment that clothes, the dwelling that shelters, the sleep that gives rest, the starry canopy of night, the summer breeze, the flowers' sweetness, the music of flowing streams, the happy endearments of family, kindred, friends. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort. My cup runs over. Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies. Thy hand bestows blessings: Thy power averts evil. I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces, the full warmth of faith, the cheering presence of Thy Spirit, the strength of Thy restraining will, Thy spiking of hell's artillery. Blessed be my sovereign Lord! -Puritan Prayers image

Sea Change in the Anglican Communion; Episcopal Church down 24% in ten years

30 Oct 2013
By the Rev. Prof. Stephen Noll

The Lambeth Resolution led to a decade of strife within the Communion as the North Americans flatly rejected its norm and now are on the brink of providing official same-sex marriage rites. In the UK, same-sex marriage has now been signed into law by the Queen, and the Prime Minister vows to export it to the  Commonwealth partners. While the Church of England has not approved same-sex marriage, the Archbishop of Canterbury argues that same-sex civil unions are a neglected moral obligation: “It is clearly essential that stable and faithful same sex relationships should, where those involved want it, be recognised and supported with as much dignity and the same legal effect as marriage” (Speech in House of Lords, 3 June 2013).

But isn’t sex outside marriage “incompatible with Scripture” (1998 Lambeth Resolution I.10; cf. Resolutions III.1 and III.5)? Indeed the larger question underlying the sexuality debate entails the authority of the Bible. To which question Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori replies, channeling her inner Humpty Dumpty: “When I use the Word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” Or so it seems, as Bishop Schori interprets St. Paul’s exorcism of a slave girl, oppressed by demonic and human masters (Acts 16:16-18):

Paul can’t abide something he won’t see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it. It gets him thrown in prison. That’s pretty much where he’s put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she, too, shares in God’s nature, just as much as he does – maybe more so!
Permit me, as a biblical scholar and defrocked (by TEC) priest, to protest: that an apostolic leader can twist the text of Scripture and rebuke St. Paul as she does is emblematic of the false Gospel rampant in her church, and that she remains unrebuked by and in good standing with her elders in the Communion is emblematic of the utter dysfunction of that body. In what sense can one call it a “Communion” when such denial of the faith passes for normal? the rest

Chris Sugden: 'Proud to be at GAFCON'
Those who attended GAFCON in Nairobi have begun reporting back...

Episcopal Church down 24% in ten years

Gafcon looks to the future
AT THE second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), held this week in Nairobi, the General Secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, the Rt Revd Dr Peter Jensen, said that the "future" of Anglicanism had "arrived" - and it was GAFCON.

The sentiment was apparently shared by most of the 1352 delegates from 40 countries, including more than 100 from the UK. Women clerics from Africa and the United States worshipped with conservative Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics (Comment, 18 October).

"We believe the apostolic faith," Dr Jensen said in the opening session, "and we do not believe the faith of those who contradict the Bible, and who deny the uniqueness and supremacy of Christ."...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bishop John-David Schofield: October 6, 1938 - October 29, 2013

October 29, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is with a heavy heart but a joyful spirit that I must share with you the passing of our beloved brother, the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield. Bishop Schofield died peacefully at home sometime last night sitting in his favorite green chair and was found this morning by friends. My heart is heavy because I am selfish and desire my brother by my side, but also joyful because I know that at this moment he has heard the words of our Lord, "Well done good and faithful servant." I can picture +John-David sitting at the banquet table of our Lord with his sister and parents who have gone before him.

As I write this note to you all I am in Rome with my wife, but will be returning home as soon as humanly possible. Dean Carlos Raines has anointed Bp. Schofield and begun the sad task of making funeral arrangements. We have nothing specific to share with you at this moment, but will let you know as soon as possible what the arrangements are for Bp. Schofield's funeral.

God Bless you all!

Bishop Menees

"Oh God whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of thy servant John-David, Bishop, and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever." Amen

Monday, October 28, 2013

If He prayed who was without sin...

If He prayed who was without sin, how much more ought sinners to pray; and if He prayed continually, watching through the whole night in uninterrupted petitions, how much more ought we to watch nightly in constantly repeated prayer! ...St. Cyprian image

Haley on Obamacare; Mohler on marriage and family; Three-parent embryos....

Ecumenism in the Chaplaincy
Last week I was sitting in my office at the chapel when one of our chaplain assistants came in and told me that an Airman was on his way in and wanted to talk with a chaplain. He wanted to know if I was available to see this particular Airman. I said that I was, but inquired further if the Airman expressed any denominational preference. “Did the Airman want to see a particular kind of chaplain?” The chaplain assistant assured me that the in-bound Airman didn’t have a preference; he just wanted to see a chaplain.

When he finally arrived and was escorted into my office, we were both a little surprised that we knew each other. “Oh, hi, Father,” he said. I, likewise, addressed him by his name and invited him to take a seat. This particular Airman is a practicing Catholic and attends Mass faithfully each week. We went through the counseling session and I believe I was able to help him. Furthermore, I think he was appreciative that it was I, his priest, who was the one available to meet with him. Still, the question hit me, almost immediately, “Why didn’t he ask to see the priest?” Was his request to speak with “any chaplain” an endorsement of the high quality of the chaplains we have on our staff, or in the Air Force in general, or an open-minded act of ecumenism; or was it rather a sign of the creeping religious indifferentism that affects so many people, especially in the younger generation?...

A.S. Haley: Finally: a Clear Explanation of What’s Unfixable about Obamacare
...“Horrific management” does not begin to describe the problems with Obamacare. They began with a bill that was passed solely by Democrats in Congress, in violation of the rules and without any opportunity to read what was in it, and that had been drafted mostly by the lobbyists for, among a myriad of special interests, Big Insurance and Big Pharmaceutical—who wanted to ensure that their clients would gain, and not lose, from the politically popular (but financially very costly) changes being made in coverage requirements.

They continued with a hare-brained scheme to subsidize the huge increase in costs by forcing everyone to purchase the new insurance, so that premiums paid by the young and healthy would offset the premiums for those with pre-existing conditions and other health disabilities. Enforcement would also be supported by the fact the insurance companies would have to cancel millions of existing policies in order to replace them with ones having all the fillips and curlicues required by Obamacare...

No, You Can’t Keep It
Ultimately, the only way to allow people to keep (and buy) the insurance they want is to repeal the law and foster a true market in health insurance. Until then, the wrecking ball of Obamacare swings.

Obama admin. knew millions could not keep their health insurance
...Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”...

Creation of Human Embryos With Three Parents Facing Massive Opposition

Albert Mohler: A Clear and Present Danger: Religious Liberty, Marriage, and the Family in the Late Modern Age — An Address at Brigham Young University
...Heterosexuals did a very good job of undermining marriage before same-sex couples arrived with their demands. The marriage crisis is a moral crisis and it did not start with same-sex marriage, nor will it end there. The logic of same-sex marriage will not end with same-sex marriage. Once marriage can mean anything other than a heterosexual union, it can and must mean everything. It is just a matter of time.

Of course, one of the issues we must confront is the fact that marriage is a pre-political institution, recognized and solemnized throughout history by virtually every human culture and civilization. But we are living in an age in which everything is political and nothing is honored as pre-political. In the recent words of Justice Antonin Scalia, we are all now waiting for the other shoe (or shoes) to drop.

This has all been made possible by a breakdown in the immune system of human society—and this breakdown was no accident. Immunologists will explain that one of the wonders of human life is the fact that each of us receives from our mother an amazing array of defenses within our immune system. Throughout time, we develop further immunities to disease, or we grow sick and vulnerable. A severely compromised immune system leads to chronic disease, constant vulnerability, and potential death. If this is true for an individual, it is also true of a society or civilization.

We have forfeited our immunity against the breakdown of marriage, the family, and integrity of human sexuality. We can point to others who have been the prophets and agents of this self-injury to society, but we must recognize that we have all contributed to it, in so far as we have embraced essentially modern understandings of love, romance, liberty, personal autonomy, obligation, and authority...

Teaching Children Death Panels: School Pushes Euthanasia Assignment on Kids
...When news about the assignment spread, people invoked the “death panels” that figure in the debate over health care reform. While understandable, making that connection misses a far larger and more pernicious point.

The assignment was a lesson in utilitarian ethics, the kind made famous—or infamous—by Princeton professor Peter Singer. The students were being taught to value a person’s worth and dignity on the basis of what kind of contribution they could make to society.

And it’s a lesson they took to heart: The students’ choices reflected the person’s social prestige and/or age. The top three were the doctor, lawyer and teacher. The bottom three were the college student, ex-convict, and the disabled person...

Brain bending Honda car commercial...

Behind the scenes...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Gafcon roundup...

NAIROBI: "On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand"
...For the more than 1300 evangelically driven GAFCON delegates here who are several decades older, the singing of Stand up, stand up for Jesus, are words with meaning, especially in the face of bitter persecution. There was no equivocation, no second-guessing, or no doubts. Before the Throne of God I Stand, In Christ Alone and the more sturdy and robust, what the Aussies call rugby hymns, like Faith of our Fathers and Be Thou my Vision and Lift high the Cross, thundered through the cavernous nave of the cathedral.

These evangelical Anglicans are in the vanguard of the explosive growth of Christianity in the Global South that would make Augustine proud. Now they are the majority in the Anglican Communion. They stand on the front line of a vigorous and dynamic growing church and nothing will stop them or hold them back. They are sweeping across the deserts, plains and mountains of Africa telling the timeless story of Jesus to anyone who will listen, including Muslims, animists and those with no religion at all.

When they turn their eyes westward, they are shocked and stunned by what they see and hear. They view the West as having largely lost the plot, swept away by a sea of moral relativism and post modernism leading to doubt, despair and unbelief.

They marvel that it was Western missionaries who brought the gospel to them a century ago, bringing liberation from sin and death, with an authoritative and binding Bible that they now hold tightly. Now they watch with incredulity and despair as the West gives it all up for immoral sex and with it a compromised theology of uncertainty and doubt...Virtueonline

The Faces of GAFCON
At Lent and Beyond: The photographers recording the GAFCON II conference this past week deserve a huge SHOUT OUT and a sustained wave of applause for capturing so many just absolutely STUNNING images.

These pictures bring to life just what it means to be One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – a people bought by Christ to be His own from every tribe, tongue, people and nation.

Here are 30 or so of my favorite pictures from the week...(Please check these out, the pics are awesome! -PD)

Top 10 Things You May Not Have Expected About GAFCON
The Global Anglican Future Conference is meeting this week in Nairobi, Kenya, gathering together almost 1,400 delegates from across over 40 countries and 27 Anglican provinces. Here is our top 10 list of the things about GAFCON you might not expect...