Saturday, February 01, 2014

Faith is not a pathetic sentiment...

 Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot understand what He is doing, but you know Him. Shipwreck occurs where there is not that mental poise which comes from being established on the eternal truth that God is holy love. Faith is the heroic effort of your life, you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God.

God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us, now He wants us to venture our all in abandoned confidence in Him. There are spots where that faith has not worked in us as yet, places untouched by the life of God. There were none of those spots in Jesus Christ’s life, and there are to be none in ours. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee." The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we take this view, life becomes one great romance, a glorious opportunity for seeing marvellous things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power. ...Oswald Chambers image

Canon Phil Ashey: The Bishops Have Spoken

Posted February 1, 2014

The Bishops of the Church of England have spoken.  In response to the Pilling Report recommendation that clergy and Parochial Church Councils (PCC’s) may “publicly mark” a civil partnership within the church, the bishops wrote:
“We accept the recommendation of the Pilling Report that the subject of sexuality, with its history of deeply entrenched views, would best be addressed by facilitated conversations, ecumenically, across the Anglican Communion and at national and diocesan level and that this should continue to involve profound reflection on the interpretation and application of Scripture. These conversations should set the discussion of sexuality within the wider context of human flourishing…”
The bishops also stated:
“…we are clear that the Church of England’s pastoral and liturgical practice remains unchanged during this process of facilitated conversation.

“No change to the Church of England’s teaching on marriage is proposed or envisaged. The House of Bishops will be meeting next month to consider its approach when same sex marriage becomes lawful in England in March…”
Does this mean that there won’t be any blessings of gay couples in the Church of England? Does this represent the bishops decisively rejecting these unbiblical innovations (pending facilitated conversations)?  In all likelihood, no.   I’m reminded of the saying, “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Remember,  the leadership of The Episcopal Church here in North America made exactly the same commitment with regards to the “official” teaching on marriage while at the same time permitting such blessings to take place–unofficially–in increasing numbers until there was no turning back. Traditional bishops in the Church of England ought to consider this and ask themselves:  is there any reason whatsoever that the same will not happen in the Church of England? the rest here

Uganda archbishop responds to Welby on anti-gay laws
The head of the Anglican Church in Uganda has given a critical response to a letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York warning that gays and lesbians should not be victimized...

ACNA catechism unveiled
The Anglican Church in North America is pleased to announce the release of To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism produced by the provincial Catechesis Task force.
Led by the Rev. Dr J.I. Packer, the Task Force has developed a unique and powerful resource for helping inquirers come to an understanding of the Christian faith, and for helping disciples deepen their relationship with God.  Written in a “Question and Answer” format, this Catechism, in the words of Packer, “is designed as a resource manual for the renewal of Anglican catechetical practice. It presents the essential building blocks of classic catechetical instruction: the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue). To these is added an initial section especially intended for those with no prior knowledge of the Gospel; as such, this catechism attempts to be a missional means by which God may bring about both conversion to Christ and formation in Christ.”...

To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Message from GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Here in Nairobi we are preparing with great anticipation for our second Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON 2013, and this is the first of what I intend to be monthly pastoral messages as we move forward together in the unfolding purposes of God.

I am confident that this great gathering of over 1,300 delegates will touch the lives of you all, whether or not you are able to be present, and will be a decisive moment in a movement which will shape the future of the Anglican Communion for generations to come.

The reason I have such confidence is not simply because of the commitment and energy that is going into the planning of this great occasion, but above all because God is faithful. At the heart of our gathering will be the Lord Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) and as we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to that purpose, we can trust in the promise that comes with the command, the promise of his presence ‘to the end of the age’ (v20).

Here in Kenya, we know the reality of this promise because we are a nation which has benefited profoundly from the East African Revival. The fires of revival spread spontaneously through East Africa in the 1930’s at a time when many of the churches were cold and formal, deeply shaping what it means to be a Christian and an Anglican here today... the rest

Gafcon archbishop chastises a pusillanimous Church of England

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cat battling the USPS

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When the knowledge of God doesn't exist anymore...

When the knowledge of God doesn't exist anymore there is no truth or mercy. God's Word is our only reliable source of truth and God's love is the only source of true mercy. We are now living in a day in which the knowledge of God is being suppressed there's an organized effort to remove the consciousness of God from our national life . The result is and will increasingly be less truth and mercy. Deception is on the increase and heavy cruel treatment of others is running rampant. 
...Chuck Smith image

A.S. Haley: Mere Anglicanism Conference: a Report

January 28, 2014

...All in all, this was one of the most satisfying and remarkable experiences of my life. To be in the midst of such intellects, to be able to interact with them and respond to their insights, all the while enjoying the company of kindred souls and friends whom I had previously known only at a distance, was a great blessing, for which I am deeply grateful to the Conference’s organizers and facilitators. This was not just “Mere” Anglicanism; this was Anglicanism at Its Top-level Best, for the Questioning Faithful. I have to believe that the clergy who attended came away with a multitude of facts and arguments with which to disarm skeptics and to strengthen their own pastoral abilities, while the lay attendees gained no less for their daily forays into the secular world...

 Full report here

National Defense Authorization Act; 5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church; Christ Called Me Off the Minaret; Secret abortion fees...more

Worldview Responses to the 2014 Grammys
Entertainment award shows aren't known as wellsprings of class and restraint, but after this year's particularly distasteful Grammys, we've assembled a crack team of worldview thinkers to offer perspective on what this means for our culture, and suggest ways families and churches can process the award show millions will be talking about for weeks to come...

Russia to set up pregnancy centers as it seeks to decrease abortion rates
Population loss through abortions in the 1960s to 1980s cost Russia more than double the number of lives it had lost in the First World War, the Civil War and the Second World War combined.

Although during the last five years, the number of abortions in the country has decreased, it has not yet made much impact on Russia’s population growth. To address the issue, the Health Ministry plans to focus on setting up crisis centers for pregnant women and providing them with psychological help.

During the Soviet Union, abortion statistics were classified information. When they were revealed in the 1980s, it transpired that the country was one of the world's leaders in terms of the number of pregnancy terminations...

5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church
Let’s be honest, while there are some good reasons for leaving a church, there are a lot more bad ones. As a pastor, I hear some of them every now and then as people walk out the door. As a church planter, I hear them constantly as people walk in the door.

If you’re thinking about looking for a new church home, please don’t use one of these five reasons to make the jump...

Christ Called Me Off the Minaret
...After three years of investigating the origins of Christianity, I concluded that the case for Christianity was strong—that the Bible could be trusted and that Jesus died on the cross, rose from the dead, and claimed to be God.

Then David challenged me to study Islam as critically as I had studied Christianity. I had learned about Muhammad from imams and my parents, not from the historical sources themselves. When I finally read the sources, I found that Muhammad was not the man I had thought. Violence and sensuality dripped from the pages of his earliest biographies, the life stories of the man I revered as the holiest in history.

Shocked by what I learned, I began to lean on the Qur'an as my defense. But when I turned an eye there, that foundation crumbled just as quickly. I relied on its miraculous knowledge and perfect preservation as a sign that it was inspired by God, but both beliefs faltered.

Overwhelmed and confused by the evidence for Christianity and the weakness of the Islamic case, I began seeking Allah for help. Or was he Jesus? I didn't know any longer. I needed to hear from God himself who he was. Thankfully, growing up in a Muslim community, I had seen others implore Allah for guidance. The way that Muslims expect to hear from God is through dreams and visions...

Jan 14, 2014

Congress grants Obama 'free rein for martial law'
America officially became a police state on Dec. 19, 2013, according to critics of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill was fast-tracked through the U.S. Senate, with no time for discussion or amendments, while most Americans were distracted by the scandal surrounding A&E’s troubles with “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson. Eighty-five of 100 senators votedto renew President Obama’s power to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities, denying them of their fundamental right to due process. The new version of the NDAA had already been quietly passed by the House of Representatives. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges filed a lawsuit in 2012 against the Obama administration to challenge the legality of an earlier version of the NDAA. Now, several of the nation’s most-respected legal teams are asking the Supreme Court to take up the Hedges case challenging the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA because without review, the framework is in place for a police state. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists who report on terror-related issues, such as Hedges, for supporting enemy forces...

Michigan Passes Law Nullifying NDAA Indefinite Detention
On December 26, 2013, President Barack Obama took time off from his Hawaiian holiday to sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2014 into law. On that same day, a state governor denied the president the power to exercise many of the powers granted to him in the NDAA within the sovereign borders of the governor’s state.

Just after 4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan signed Senate Bill No. 94, nullifying sections 1021 of the 2012 version of the NDAA. “It is important to recall that indefinite detention first appeared in section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, which provided warrant for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens,” said Snyder.

Islamic Extremists in Nigeria Attack Christians at Sunday Worship Every Week in January
Fulani herdsmen raid villages in broad daylight; Boko Haram continues onslaught...

Secret abortion fees hidden in Obamacare premiums
Insurance companies working under the Obamacare umbrella have secretly added a surcharge to cover the cost of abortions, an apparent violation of federal law that forbids the practice, congressional leaders charge.

Consumers signing up for insurance in an Obamacare exchange won’t find a single sentence telling them that they will pay at least $1 a month to fund abortions...

Upsurge in gay people slows war on HIV in Kenya
...However, as Kenya hopes to move towards zero HIV infections from 100,000 annually, the gains made in the sector are being threatened by an upsurge in the number of gay people.

The practice is fast gaining currency in the country with more young people embracing it as it appears cool and trendy.

Gay shops, restaurants and nightclubs are being set up in the East African nation, attracting tens of young women and men into the practice that is largely viewed Western...

So what is happening with Anglican gay marriage?

January 28, 2014
By George Conger

Wire service reporting takes a special skill that not all writers posses. In less than 300 words, for most stories, a reporter must present the relevant facts and sufficient context to allow a reader to understand the story, while also be entertaining and interesting.

A problem arises when a wire service story substitutes news for analysis or opinion. While some stories are labeled news analysis or opinion — and as such it is proper to load a story with the author’s views of what should be rather than what is — when a news story substitutes opinion for journalism we have a problem.

An item from the Religion News Service that came across my desk yesterday illustrates this peril. In a story entitled “Church of England’s bishops defer gay marriage decision” that came in at a little under 300 words, RNS devotes only half of the story to reporting on what happened at the meeting of the Church of England’s House of Bishops and what they said and the balance to what RNS thinks we should think about the story.

And RNS neglects to mention the most news worthy portions of the report — that the bishops are hopelessly divided over the issue of homosexuality... the rest

Statement from the College of Bishops on the Pilling Report