Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rev. Canon Phil Ashey: What should we do when Christians disagree – really

January 17, 2014

I am writing in response to an article published today by the Anglican Communion’s news office “What should we do when Christians disagree?”  by the Rev. Dr. Phil Groves, facilitator of the Continuing Indaba Project. In the article, Groves writes that when Christians disagree, “when disunity appears, facilitated conversations are the Biblical way forwards.”

With all due respect, his analysis misses the mark by a longshot.

First, he cites the disagreement between Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians 4:2-3 as the Biblical paradigm for all disagreement within the Church. But what about differences over Christian doctrine itself? In his landmark study Conciliarism: A History of Decision making in the Church (Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 56-60) Paul Valliere notes meticulously the doctrinal disagreements that gave rise to the Councils of the Early Church. Disagreements over doctrine often present themselves first as disciplinary issues– such as how do you deal with the “re-baptism” of people who vacillated or apostasized in the face of persecution (Council of Carthage, 256 AD), or how do you respond to public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions and the consecration as bishop of a person living in such a union? (Anglican Communion, 2003).

Groves seems to have forgotten his history. The crisis in the Anglican Communion since at least 2003 has been and continues to be over the very definition of the Gospel. Disagreements and innovations in the Communion have been described, time and again, as a crisis of Gospel truth. This is exactly what 1358 bishops, other clergy and lay delegates to GAFCON 2013 re-asserted unanimously in the Nairobi Communique (26 October 2013):

“In 2008, the first GAFCON was convened in order to counter a false gospel which was spreading throughout the Communion. This false gospel questioned the uniqueness of Christ and his substitutionary death, despite the Bible’s clear revelation that he is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). It undermined the authority of God’s Word written. It sought to mask sinful behaviour with the language of human rights. It promoted homosexual practice as consistent with holiness, despite the fact that the Bible clearly identifies it as sinful. A crisis point was reached in 2003 when a man in an active same-sex relationship was consecrated bishop in the USA. In the years that followed, there were repeated attempts to resolve the crisis within the Communion, none of which succeeded. To the contrary, the situation worsened with further defiance.” the rest
This is the heart of the new religion of reconciliation:  facilitated conversations (Indaba) that can have only two possible results:  eventual acceptance of the innovations, or a never- ending process of facilitated conversations, until all resistance is vanquished.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bishop Julian Dobbs Appointed To Lead CANA

January 17, 2014

The Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, Primate of all Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in consultation with the Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, has appointed the Rt. Rev. Julian M. Dobbs as Missionary Bishop of CANA.

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America, a missionary jurisdiction of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), and consists of congregations under diocesan structures. Bishop Dobbs will remain in his current role as Bishop of the CANA East Diocese while taking on the additional responsibilities of providing oversight and leadership to CANA’s overall ministry.

Archbishop Duncan commented: “I was officially notified by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of this appointment earlier today. I am delighted this appointment has been made. Bishop Julian already serves as a member of my Archbishop’s Cabinet, and has previously served on the Provincial Executive Committee, to which he was elected by Provincial Council. He is a great leader and will continue the process by which CANA is fully integrated into the Anglican Church in North America, at the same time that CANA’s important place as a missionary work of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is strengthened.”

Bishop Dobbs and his wife Brenda, have made their home in Northern Virginia since 2006. He was elected and consecrated as bishop by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in 2011, and is a member of the College of Bishops in Nigeria and also the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) where he is a member of the Archbishop’s Cabinet and the Governance Task Force and has also served on the Executive Committee.

Archbishop Okoh said, “On behalf of the Archbishops, Bishops, clergy and numerous members of the laity, including those in CANA, I commend [Bishop Julian Dobbs and his wife] to the prayers of the church for a fruitful ministry, dedication to God and loyalty to Him and His Church authorities.”

Registrar Abraham Yisa, Chairman of CANA’s Board of Trustees said, “We thank God for this appointment. We thank the Primate and the house of bishops of our church. Please let us commend the new Missionary Bishop, his wife and children to God’s care and keeping. I congratulate Bishop Dobbs on behalf of CANA Board of Trustees and all CANA congregations. Here

Rejoicing!!! -PD

Thursday, January 16, 2014

God thinks his choice is so important...

 Jonah teaches us that this storm, whose physical causes are the same as those of all other storms, is there only for Jonah and because of Jonah. It has other effects. It sweeps the coasts, disperses fish, causes ships to founder. But its purpose is to smash inflexible Jonah. Thus the elements and many men, especially the sailors, are engaged in the adventure of Jonah with him and because of him. One sees here the weight and seriousness of vocation. God thinks his choice is so important, and takes the one elected so seriously, that he brings nature into play to see that this man fulfills his vocation. ...Jacques Ellul image

Hiring Professors Who Want To Teach; Common Core Sexualizes American School Children; PP Won't let Lawmakers See Their Curriculum...more

President Obama: “I’ve got a pen…”
We have a Constitution.

Archbishop Chaput to Lead 3,000 Philadelphians in D.C. March for Life

Small, New University Does Something Radical -- Only Hires Professors Who Want To Teach And Only Admits Students Who Want To Learn
...But just because much of our higher education system is now a poor value for students who really want to study, we shouldn’t think that worthwhile schools have disappeared. In fact, just a few years ago, a new, very small university was created — t he University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) – that does just what a college is supposed to do.

While online education is getting most of the attention these days when the subject of change in higher education comes up, UMR shows that the old-fashioned professor-facing-students-in-a-classroom model can be reworked so that it gives serious students a true education at reasonable cost...

Common Core Sexualizes American School Children
Newburgh New York school district yanked a ninth grade book considered by teachers to be “pornographic.” An Arizona mother launched an avalanche of protest that forced Arizona schools to pull an eleventh grade book that portrays teens in a sado-masochistic relationship. A Catholic school superintendent admits there were two first grade books about families—that included pictures of homosexual pairs—listed on the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative website, a resource for Catholic schools nationwide. These “family” books—The Family Book and Who’s in a Family—were removed from the website after parental protest.

Across the nation, in public and Catholic schools, parents and teachers have found sexually inappropriate materials in the exemplars recommended by Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In some cases the offending material is removed. In others, parents are offered “opt out” choices for their children. However, the question that looms large is, why has so much disturbing material been systematically built into the CCSS recommended texts? Should a small cadre of unelected ideologues have nationwide power to decide that American first graders should be exposed to homosexual “families,” or, that ninth graders be given pornography in the guise of literature? These questions and the examples outlined below shout for parental scrutiny and a return to local control of school districts...

Planned Parenthood Denies Lawmakers’ Request to See Its Graphic Sex Ed Curriculum
...After parents told state representative Bob McDermott about Pono Choices—the program that teaches middle school students about same sex relationships and oral and anal sex—McDermott attempted to get copies of the entire curriculum from the state department of education, but incredibly, his request was denied. He then approached the University of Hawaii, which received, in partnership with Planned Parenthood, almost a million dollars in a teen pregnancy prevention grant to develop and implement the program. The state legislator was once again turned down. He was instead invited to review the curriculum under supervision, which he declined...

Six-Year-Old Girl Rebuked by Teacher: 'No Talking About Bible in School'
Brynn Williams was interrupted and rebuked by her teacher at an elementary school in Temecula, California last month while giving a speech for a school assignment on Christmas family traditions about her family's celebration of Jesus Christ's birth...

TEC denied again by Judge in attempt to seize Diocese of SC identity

15 Jan 2014
Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck issued a sharply worded ruling today that rebuffed efforts by The Episcopal Church to sidestep a South Carolina Circuit Court injunction preventing the denomination from seizing the identity and symbols of the Diocese of South Carolina.

In his ruling, Judge Houck said, “It appears Bishop [Charles G.] vonRosenberg is using the motion to express his disagreement with the Court’s ruling and to ‘rehash’ previously presented arguments. … As such, Bishop vonRosenberg’s motion is improper and reconsideration is not justified.”

Bishop vonRosenberg had asked Judge Houck to effectively overturn a state court injunction preventing him and his followers from claiming to be the Diocese of South Carolina.

“We are grateful Judge Houck saw through The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) efforts to distract from the real issues in this case,” said Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese. “Their attempt to claim violation of trademark rights was little more than a stalling tactic.

“It’s understandable that TECSC wants to postpone the adjudication of the actual issues involved, but we’re confident the courts will not be distracted,” Lewis said.  “Sadly, all the legal shenanigans simply add to the tens of millions of dollars the denomination has spent on legal bills aimed at bullying disaffected members to remain with TEC.” the rest

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A.S. Haley: San Joaquin Trial Concludes; Judge Sets Briefing Schedule

January 15, 2014

The trial in the case of Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin vs. Schofield finished in Fresno Superior Court on Monday, with the videotaped testimony of Bishop John-David Schofield played in a courtroom packed with both his admirers and his opponents. (Bishop Schofield passed away at his home last October, but his testimony had been preserved in 2011 in anticipation of the trial.)

At the conclusion of his testimony, both sides rested—the plaintiffs declined to put on any rebuttal evidence—and the court then put questions to counsel in lieu of closing arguments. Judge Donald Black began by asking the plaintiffs point-blank: “Can you show me just where in the Episcopal Church’s Constitution and Canons it says that a member diocese may not amend its constitution so as to remove its accession clause?”

(The former Diocese of San Joaquin, under the leadership of then-Bishop Schofield, had voted on December 8, 2007 to amend its constitution and canons to replace language acceding to ECUSA’s constitution with language that affiliated the Diocese with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Since then, the Diocese has called itself “the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.” However, when the newly formed rump Episcopal diocese brought this lawsuit in April 2008, it did not join the Anglican Diocese as a defendant, but only its bishop and its subsidiary property-holding entities.)

The plaintiffs’ counsel, of course, could point to no such language, because it does not exist. And with that one question, Judge Black put his finger on the crux of the case.

The Anglican parties contend that their 2007 amendments to disaffiliate from ECUSA were fully proper and valid under California secular law, as well as not contrary to any language in ECUSA’s governing documents. the rest

A Canterbury Tale: Gerald Bray on Gafcon II and the future of the Anglican Communion

14 Jan 2014
Gerald Bray

GAFCON II has come and gone, and a great time was had by all 1300 participants, including over 300 bishops, who represented twenty-eight of the Anglican Communion’s thirty-eight provinces. It sounds impressive and in many ways it was, but statistics of this kind conceal as much as they reveal. Many of the bigger African provinces turned out in force, but representation from the developed world was patchy and at the episcopal level almost non-existent. Much as it wants to be a movement for the renewal of worldwide Anglicanism, GAFCON is a bit like the curate’s egg—good in parts. Its leadership is committed, its followers are loyal and expectant, but its influence remains limited to the sorts of people who would support its aims even if it did not exist. It has not yet reached out beyond its predictable support base, and unless it does so, the energy that has gone into it will be dissipated and it will go the way of other initiatives that never got anywhere.

Having said that, there is no denying that GAFCON has come a long way in a short time. The improvised character of GAFCON I has gone and in its place has come a much more sophisticated and responsible organisation. No other group of Anglicans could stage an event with as broad a participation, and that alone ought to persuade people to take it seriously.

Unfortunately, things do not work like that in the real Anglican world. The archbishop of Canterbury could not attend but he was good enough to find time in his diary to make a quick trip to Kenya just before it opened, and to send greetings to it on a video that was played to the assembled delegates. He meant well, and those who met him testified to the warm relations that they had with him. Unfortunately everything he said and did betrayed the fact that the English church establishment had been outflanked and had effectively missed the bus. The official communiqué from Lambeth Palace stated that the main reason for the archbishop’s visit to Kenya was to express solidarity with the victims of the Westgate Shopping Centre atrocity the previous month, but laudable though sympathy for them was, it was an implausible excuse. The archbishop did not rush off to Peshawar to show his support for Christian victims of Muslim terrorism in Pakistan, nor would anyone have expected him to.

Unless of course, GAFCON had been meeting there at the same time…In the end things got so bad that Lambeth Palace was citing the baptism of Prince George as a reason for the archbishop’s non-attendance, as if the royal family would not have been willing to find a more convenient date for the ceremony. The impression left is one of incompetence and dysfunctionality in which almost any excuse to downplay the significance of GAFCON has been eagerly seized on and exploited for far more than it is worth... the rest at Anglican Ink

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The New Age of Christian Martyrdom; Communism and the Environment

Kirsten Powers: The New Age of Christian Martyrdom
Lions have been replaced by firing squads and concentration camps as record numbers of Jesus’ worshipers are persecuted from Syria to North Korea.
The concept of Christian martyrdom may seem like something from a bygone, uncivilized era when believers were mercilessly thrown to the lions. Not so. This week, Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, reported that Christian martyrdom has grown into a pervasive and horrifying human rights crisis. 

In their annual report of the worst 50 countries for Christian persecution, Open Doors found that Christian martyr deaths around the globe doubled in 2013.  Their report documented 2,123 killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. In Syria alone, there were 1,213 such deaths last year. In addition to losing their lives, Christians around the world continue to suffer discrimination, imprisonment, harassment, sexual assaults, and expulsion from countries merely for practicing their faith...

If You Think Communism Is Bad For People, Check Out What It Did To The Environment
...When the Berlin Wall came down and the Iron Curtain was finally lifted to expose the inner workings of communism to Western eyes, one of the more shocking discoveries was the nightmarish scale of environmental destruction. The statistics for East Germany alone tell a horrific tale: at the time of its reunification with West Germany an estimated 42 percent of moving water and 24 percent of still waters were so polluted that they could not be used to process drinking water, almost half of the country’s lakes were considered dead or dying and unable to sustain fish or other forms of life, and only one-third of industrial sewage along with half of domestic sewage received treatment...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 89

Jan 13, 2014
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.

Show Index
00:00 2013 year in review
13:47 Our 2014 Predictions
22:14 Conversation with Archbishop Duncan
42:04 AS Haley on how to sue yourself
52:31 Closing and Bloopers

Monday, January 13, 2014

Insurance companies bailout ($1.071 trillion); Voter fraud; The End of Morality Laws? Not Exactly...more

Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare
Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.” How can this be? Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them. The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.

For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation.  Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies.  It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes).  It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses...

Voter fraud in Texas and New York
...New York City’s watchdog Department of Investigations has just provided the latest evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest. DOI published its findings two weeks ago in a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures...

Albert Mohler: The End of Morality Laws? Not Exactly
...Turley wants the law to continue to have sanctions against bestiality and incest. Why bestiality? Well, he says, there are obvious consent issues and very real harm. What about incest? He says laws against incest are not morality laws, but rather matters of health. Well let’s look at that for just a moment. That’s an argument that has been used before, but it can’t hold water. What about couples who are beyond the ages of childbearing? The medical issues related to incest have to do with a far-greater likelihood of genetic abnormalities in the offspring of closely-related couples. But if those closely-related couples—brother and sister, mother and son, father and daughter, or any kind of permutation thereabouts—if that intimate pair is beyond the age of childbearing, then what is the medical issue? It disappears. Nevertheless, Mr. Turley is not advocating the striking down of laws against incest. Why? It is because what he’s actually promoting is the progressive striking down of one set of laws and then another: first the laws against same-sex marriage; then the laws against plural marriage. Even he wants some morality laws to remain, but he claims to celebrate the end of all morals legislation...

A defining moment for the court
...Monday’s argument will be another manifestation of America’s intermittent efforts to tame executive power, efforts that predate nationhood: The Declaration of Independence is a menu of complaints against “a long train of abuses and usurpations” by “the present King of Great Britain.” The present president’s cavalier approach to statutes (as with his unilateral rewriting of the Affordable Care Act) and the Constitution (see four paragraphs above) make Monday’s argument important...

Two Christian centers attacked in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka
A group of extremist Buddhist monks and laymen attacked two Christian religious centers yesterday in Hikkaduwa, local media reported...

Why Egypt's Christian Families Are Paying Ransoms
...Coptic bishop Kyrillos of Nag Hammadi, 300 miles south of Cairo, recently held a press conference to complain of 34 kidnapping cases in his diocese since the revolution. Of these, 11 were returned after ransom payments, which totaled $435,000...

the-funniest-notes-from-kids-struggling-to-express-their-emotions (6)
The 35 Funniest Moments When Kids Decided To Be Brutally Honest Just for a good laugh...