Friday, October 10, 2014

Beware of manufacturing a God of your own...

empty pews
“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who has a heaven for every body, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all." ...JC Ryle image

AnglicanTV: Investiture for The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach


Oct 9, 2014

If you missed it yesterday...

Papal greetings for newest Anglican archbishop
Pope Francis has communicated his personal greetings and blessings for the new ministry of the Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America [ACNA].

Speaking to the congregation of over 1500 gathered at the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta on 9 Oct 2014 for the installation of Archbishop Beach as leader of the ACNA, the Anglican Bishop of Argentina, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Venables stated that he had received a telephone call last week from "Fr Jorge", the former Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Bergoglio -- now Pope Francis. Bishop Venables noted that he had long had a warm personal relationship with Pope Francis from his days as leader of the Argentine Catholic Church, and added Anglicans should rejoice in the current occupant of the chair of St Peter as he was a "Bible-believing, born again Christian."...

The ominous math of the Ebola epidemic; Focus on Children’s Rights; (Not) ‘Following Your Passion’...more

The ominous math of the Ebola epidemic
When the experts describe the Ebola disaster, they do so with numbers. The statistics include not just the obvious ones, such as caseloads, deaths and the rate of infection, but also the ones that describe the speed of the global response.

Right now, the math still favors the virus.

Global health officials are looking closely at the “reproduction number,” which estimates how many people, on average, will catch the virus from each person stricken with Ebola. The epidemic will begin to decline when that number falls below one. A recent analysis estimated the number at 1.5 to 2...

Photos: Living with Ebola in West Africa

CDC Director: We Have To Work Now So Ebola ‘Is Not The World’s Next AIDS’
...“I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” Frieden said before the heads of the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, according to AFP...

BP Agent: Nothing Done to Secure Border from Ebola, Apprehensions at 30% ...Cabrera said, “I agree with that 100 percent,” when asked whether he agreed with Marine Corps General John Kelly that there would be a “mass migration” to the US if the Ebola virus spread to Central America...

The New Focus on Children’s Rights
hat do donor conception, surrogacy, divorce, and adoption have in common? According to the newly-founded International Children’s Rights Institute (ICRI), they are all practices which violate the rights of children to be born free, to be raised by his or her biological parents wherever possible, and to have a knowledge of the heritage of his or her biological parents. Dubbed “Bonds that Matter” for its focus on these beginning-of-life issues, the ICRI’s inaugural conference gathered scholars, activists, and students from around the country to Simi Valley, California last Friday to discuss the various ways in which these four practices violate children’s rights.

First to speak was Alana Newman, founder of Anonymous Us and speaker on behalf of the many donor-conceived children and adults who, like herself, believe that their lives have been permanently affected for the worse by having been cut off from at least one biological parent. Beginning with her own personal testimony, Newman recounted the behavioral problems that she experienced after realizing that her biological father was paid for his promise to stay out of her life. Newman pointed out that not only do many donor-conceived adults suffer from feelings of worthlessness, grief, and shame, but all of them have no information about half, or all, of their genetic background...

Why Christians Should Listen to Mike Rowe on (Not) ‘Following Your Passion’
...Like all bad advice, “Follow Your Passion” is routinely dispensed as though it’s wisdom were both incontrovertible and equally applicable to all. It’s not. Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it. And just because you’re determined to improve doesn’t mean that you will. Does that mean you shouldn’t pursue a thing you’re passionate about?” Of course not. The question is, for how long, and to what end?

When it comes to earning a living and being a productive member of society – I don’t think people should limit their options to those vocations they feel passionate towards. I met a lot of people on Dirty Jobs who really loved their work. But very few of them dreamed of having the career they ultimately chose. I remember a very successful septic tank cleaner who told me his secret of success. “I looked around to see where everyone else was headed, and then I went the opposite way,” he said. “Then I got good at my work. Then I found a way to love it. Then I got rich.”…

Empty Places of Worship: Readers’ Pictures

The Criminalization of Heartland Christianity
The coercive program of homosexual liberation, cloaked as always in the language of love and justice, and backed ultimately by court edicts and intense political and social pressure, is now working its way into the American heartland, just as it is working its way into the church in this and other Western countries...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Rev. Canon Phil Ashey: Anglican Identity? Canterbury’s loss, not ours

Posted October 9, 2014

“We just need to be very, very clear about this. There is no Anglican Pope. Decisions are made collectively and collegially and I am absolutely committed to not pre-empting what the primates choose to do.”  - The Most Rev. Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican Communion News Service, Oct 6, 2014)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been in the news lately. On the eve of the celebration of the growth of the Anglican Church in North America (488 new churches planted, increased membership and Average Sunday Attendance, poised to exceed the declining membership of the Anglican Church of Canada—if it hasn’t already, etc.) and the Investiture of its second Archbishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, the Archbishop of Canterbury had this to say about the Anglican Church in North America:

“The ACNA is a separate church. It is not part of the Anglican Communion… ACNA is clearly an ecumenical partner.  It is part of the Church of Christ in the world.”
 
When asked whether the ACNA can be a part of the Anglican Communion, or is that something for the future, ++Welby replied, “[that is] clearly something for the future.”

The “future” arrived less than 24 hours later when the Anglican Diocese of North West Australia, meeting in Synod, recognized the ACNA as a full member of the Anglican Communion:

“That this synod:
  • welcomes the impending investiture of the Most Reverend Dr Foley Beach, the Archbishop of The Anglican Church in North America;
  • recognizes the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) as a member church of the Anglican Communion, in full communion with Diocese of North West Australia; rejoices that the orthodox faith is proclaimed in word and deed through ACNA and its member churches;
  • continues with ACNA to pray for and call for repentance from those churches which have turned to a different gospel;
  • calls upon faithful Anglicans around the world to join us in joyful praise to God for the renewal and rebirth evident in ACNA and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.”

Actually, the “future” arrived in June 2008, when at the first GAFCON gathering of over 1000 Archbishops, bishops, clergy and lay leaders from the majority of the Anglican Communion, the GAFCON Primates called for the formation of a new “Anglican Province” in North America.  The future continued to unfold in April 2009 at a conference for leaders of the continuing GAFCON movement. There in London, the Primates who represent the majority of practicing Anglicans around the world recognized the Anglican Church in North America ‘as genuinely Anglican’ and called on all Anglican Provinces to ‘affirm full communion with the ACNA’...  the rest

The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey is CEO of the American Anglican Council

Church of England Vicar Promotes Christian Jihad in Iran

The Church of England and Moral Hazard
...What is surprising is that a vicar of the Church of England would attend a conference in Iran to speak to a group of anti-Semites on the subject of the Zionist lobby in England. Other attendees of the New Horizon conference in Tehran include a long list of Holocaust deniers and 9/11 truthers. The conference included a panel discussion called “Mossad’s Role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat” with the subheading “9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist ‘Public Myths.’”...

Lambeth/GAFCON rift
Just as the Great Rift Valley in east Africa continues to expand, so also the much smaller rift in the Anglican Communion continues to grow, with the progressive Western white Canterbury Communion on one side and the Global South GAFCON Communion on the other.  Hoping to bridge (paper over????) the widening split, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is in the midst of an 18-month global tour to visit all 37 primates of the Anglican Communion and convince them to buy into his future vision for the Anglican Communion.  With over a third of the primates (representing over of 60% of the Communion faithful) choosing not to participate in the 2011 Primates Meeting, ++Welby cannot risk calling another Primates Meeting, much less a Lambeth Conference, without a commitment from all primates on both sides of the divide to support and actively engage the Anglican instruments of unity as they are currently structured.   The more moderate Global South primates have declared these historic instruments to be “dysfunctional and no longer [having] the ecclesial and moral authority to hold the Communion together” (Communique,14 September 2011).   Even ++Welby himself, during his visit to the GAFCON 2013 conference in Nairobi, “conceded the existing instruments of communion were no longer fit for purpose in ordering the life of the Anglican world.”   The more outspoken GAFCON Primates Council recently issued a virtual death certificate for the Canterbury-led instruments in suggesting that “the GAFCON movement is emerging as a faithful instrument of unity capable of gathering the majority of faithful Anglicans in communion globally” (Communique, 27 April 2014).    It’s going to be a hard sell for the former-businessman-turned-archbishop...

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Anglican Unscripted Episode 127


Oct 8, 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. Please donate at http://anglican.tv/donate

00:00 Who among us is Anglican

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

When prayer is at its highest...

God's Grace
Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God’s voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him. ...William Barclay image

A.S. Haley: Scalia’s Prophecy Fulfilled (Sub Silentio)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sub silentio (literally, “under [the cloak of] silence”) is a legal term of art for the technique of a court that, say, wants to accomplish something like the overruling of an earlier case—without having to admit in express words what it is doing. For whatever political or collegial considerations prevail at the moment, the court finds it more “convenient” to stop short of saying what it is doing, while doing it nonetheless. Then, either a few (or even many) years later, the court can “discover”, say, that the case of W. vs. X was in fact overruled, sub silentio, by the case of Y vs. Z.

Courts also understandably shy away from overturning their own prior decisions. As Justices O’Connor, Kennedy and Souter noted in declining to overrule Roe v. Wade in the later case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 844, 112 S.Ct. 2791, 120 L.Ed.2d 674 (1992), “Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt.”

Today the United States Supreme Court in effect overruled, without saying so, its earlier holdings in which it expressly declined to declare that homosexuals enjoyed a “fundamental right” to practice their lifestyle without State interference. And the most remarkable thing is that it did so sub silentio, without even issuing any written opinion!

The Court accomplished this astonishing feat by the simple tactic of exercising its power to review lower court decisions. It denied review of decisions by three different Circuit Courts of Appeal striking down bans on same-sex marriages in the states of Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia (three cases) and Wisconsin. Those seven decisions are now final, and mean that the same courts could in the future strike down similar laws in six other States within their jurisdictions: Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming... the rest

They Are Coming for Your Children-Teacup totalitarians target Connecticut home-schoolers

By Kevin D. Williamson
October 7, 2014

Home-schoolers represent the only authentically radical social movement in the United States (Occupy Wall Street was a fashion statement) and so they must be suppressed, as a malevolent committee of leftist academics and union bosses under the direction of Governor Dannel Malloy is preparing to do in Connecticut, using the Sandy Hook massacre as a pretext. The ghouls invariably rush to the podium after every school massacre, issuing their insipid press releases before the bodies have even cooled, and normally they’re after your guns. But the Malloy gang is after your children.

Malloy’s committee on the Newtown shootings is recommending that Connecticut require home-schooling families to present their children to the local authorities periodically for inspection, to see to it that their psychological and social growth is proceeding in the desired direction. For anybody even passingly familiar with contemporary government schools, which are themselves a peerless source of social and emotional dysfunction, this development is bitterly ironic.

Adam Lanza was the product of madness, but he also was very much a product of the public schools and their allied institutions. He was briefly — very briefly — homeschooled after his parents had exhausted every other option. His mental troubles began long before he was home-schooled and were in fact well known to and documented by the various credentialed authorities under whose management he spent his youth, from his kindergarten therapists to the scholars at Yale’s Child Study Center. Far from being removed from the public system, Lanza was still attending student club meetings at Newtown’s high school just before the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School...  the rest

Monday, October 06, 2014

Where we are anchored in God...

finding a way
For a spiritual life is simply a life in which all that we do comes from the centre, where we are anchored in God: a life soaked through and through by a sense of His reality and claim, and self-given to the great movement of His will. ...Evelyn Underhill image

Albert Mohler: The Vindication of Antonin Scalia-A Sad Milestone for Marriage and Morality

US Supreme Court
Monday, October 6, 2014

A giant milestone in the moral revolution passed today when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down every single appeal from several states on the issue of same-sex marriage. This decision not to take at least one case under consideration stunned both sides in the same-sex marriage battle. Last weekend’s edition of USA Today featured a front-page story that declared the virtual certainty that the Court would take at least one of the cases and declared same-sex marriage to be “a cause whose time has come.”

Well, same-sex marriage may well be an issue whose time has come in the culture, due to the massive moral shift that has taken place over the last few decades, but the nation’s highest court has decided that now is not the time for it to take up such a case. Faced with the opportunity either to stop same-sex marriage in its tracks or to hand down a sweeping decision tantamount to a new Roe v. Wade, the Court took a pass.

Some will argue that the Court’s decision was a strategic choice intended to preserve its dignity and stature. Already, many defenders of natural marriage are doing their best to argue that the Court’s refusal to take a case is better for the cause of marriage than a sweeping decision in favor of same-sex marriage. The proponents of same-sex marriage had hoped for just such a decision, and attorneys were jockeying for position, wanting to be the lead counsel for the “gay marriage Roe decision.” But make no mistake, the proponents of same-sex marriage won this round, and they won big. They did not get the sweeping coast to coast ruling they wanted, but what they got was an even faster track to the same result.

Had the Court taken one of the cases, the oral arguments would not have taken place until early 2015, and the decision would not have been likely until the end of next June. Until then, same-sex marriage would be on hold to some degree. Now, the Court’s decision to allow lower court rulings to stand sends an immediate signal — it is full steam ahead for same-sex marriage coast to coast... the rest image

Explosion at Iran Nuke Site Kills Two, Iran Says

Site suspected of housing clandestine nuclear activities
By Adam Kredo
October 6, 2014

A large explosion at a suspected nuclear site in Iran has reportedly killed two people and prompted speculation of sabotage at a military site long suspected of housing Tehran’s clandestine nuclear activities, according Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO), which operates under the country’s Ministry of Defense.

One explosion rocked a production plant late Sunday night in east Tehran, near the Parchin nuclear site, according to Farsi language reports in Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.

The explosion at a facility referred to as a “production plant” caused a fire that killed two workers, according to Fars, which cited information provided by Iran’s DIO.

Fars first reported news of the explosion, claiming that it took place at an “explosive material factory” near Parchin... the rest

Massive blast reported at suspected Iranian nuke facility

Ukraine Christians Threatened with Firing Squads; Religiously Omnigender Bathroom Justice; Urgent Mission of Theological Education...more

Ukraine: Christians Threatened with Firing Squads, Pastors Held Hostage Reports are surfacing that rebels are threatening churches, interrupting services and even holding pastors hostage in eastern Ukraine...

Religiously Omnigender Bathroom Justice
Recently Harvard Divinity School posted signage outside one of its bathrooms advertising it as transgender/omnigender friendly. The sign inclusively included icons for male, female, and a combo of the two, plus handicapped. Harvard Divinity proudly tweeted its embrace of gender fluidity.

“Awesome!” tweeted Reconciling Ministries Network, the unofficial LGBTQ caucus of United Methodism. Awesome indeed.

They say that, historically, what happens in Harvard’s bathrooms will soon occur in bathrooms nationwide! So expect gender neutral bathroom justice to spread as the urgent cause du jour among justice-minded United Methodists...

Albert Mohler: Faith on Earth—The Urgent Mission of Theological Education ...Consider the current predicament of Christianity. We are witnessing the inglorious end of a civilization birthed by the Christian faith. We are tracing the accelerating secularization of our own society. In the Middle East, Christianity is disappearing on the ground. Historic Christian communities in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and elsewhere are being decimated and destroyed—scattered by violence and threats of genocide.

In Europe, the historic base of Christian culture and Christian missions, the European Union is so embarrassed about its Christian heritage that it refused even to acknowledge this truth when it framed its charter. Christianity is disappearing or declining under the dhimmitude of Islam and the domination of secularism. Church buildings in Britain, Canada, and elsewhere are now routinely transformed into nightclubs, pubs, or even mosques. The European elites are so distant from living Christianity that they have virtually no memory of it and American elites are rushing to Europeanize our national intellectual life.

Cultural Christianity is disappearing as fast as a morning mist, providing the church the opportunity and challenge to make clear once again the radical difference between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the wisdom of the world...

‘Back-up husbands,’ ‘emotional affairs’ and the rise of digital infidelity  ...A new study by researchers at the University of Indiana found that Facebook users in relationships frequently use the site to keep in touch with “back-burners” — exes or platonic friends they know they could connect with romantically, should their current relationships go south. Men have back-burners at roughly twice the rate of women, the study found. But among both genders, the practice is widespread: On average, respondents in relationships said they had romantic or sexual conversations with two people (!) besides their current partner...

Neurologist Says Jahi McMath is “Alive” and “Awake;” Videos Show Her Responding

Breaking: Supreme Court Refuses to Rule on Gay Marriage

By Greg Stohr
Oct 6, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected calls for a nationwide ruling on same-sex marriage, a rebuff that lets gays marry in as many as 11 new states and leaves legal uncertainty elsewhere.

The denial today of seven pending appeals defied predictions. Advocates on both sides had urged the justices to resolve the issue following a wave of lower court rulings that the Constitution guarantees same-sex marriage rights.

The rejection lets three federal appeals decisions take effect, legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. Six other states -- Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina -- will likely follow because they fall under the jurisdiction of those appellate courts. the rest

Who or what defines the Anglican Communion?

Mark Thompson
6th Oct 2014

In an interview with the editor of the Church Of Ireland Gazette (Canon Ian Ellis), the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, has given his opinion on what defines a church as part of the Anglican Communion, and therefore, by implication, what is critical for Anglican identity.

In the interview he remarked that on his tour around the provinces of the Anglican Communion he has discovered that virtually everywhere the definition of being part of the Anglican Communion has been ‘being in communion with Canterbury’. He was, apparently, surprised to hear this, but it is equally clear he was glad to hear it. This is obvious when, a little further into the interview he insists that the Anglican Church of North of America (ACNA), is not a part of the Anglican Communion but a separate church. ACNA could be, and perhaps already is, an ecumenical partner with the Anglican Communion but it cannot be considered a member of the Anglican Communion because (and this last bit is the implication of what he said rather than his own words) it is not in communion with Canterbury, it has not been recognised by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself.

This is a gigantic slap in the face to the Primates who represent the vast bulk of practicing Anglicans around the world and who, meeting in London in April 2009, recognised the Anglican Church in North America ‘as genuinely Anglican’ and called on all Anglican Provinces to ‘affirm full communion with the ACNA’. The churches which make up this new province are very largely refugees from the Episcopal Church (TEC) and its liberal and extraordinarily litigious Presiding Bishop (Ms Katherine Jefferts Schori). Many have suffered the loss of their property and the vilification and deposition of their leaders but were prepared to endure this rather than surrender to the revisionist theology and practice of TEC.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s insistence on communion with his office as a—if not the—defining characteristic of Anglicanism ought to come as no surprise. It is an institutional and process-driven answer to the question of Anglican identity from one who has shown himself to be more comfortable thinking in those categories than in theological ones. It makes the matter a simple one, one which can avoid divisive questions about whether a particular group has remained faithful to the confessional formularies (the 39 Articles and the books of Homilies, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal) or obedient to the Scriptures in matters of theology and Christian discipleship. Of course, it is not hard to see why avoiding those questions is desirable, especially to someone committed to maintaining some semblance of unity in a global institution which has been tearing itself apart for the past thirty years or more. Archbishop Welby has an impressive record in dispute resolution and he knows that institutional inclusiveness is a more achievable goal than theological agreement and a common commitment to biblical patterns of discipleship... the rest
We must deny categorically and in the strongest possible terms that communion with the see of Canterbury is the determining factor when it comes to Anglican identity. It is not and never can be. A church, diocese or national body does not have to be in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury in order to be a legitimate member of the Anglican Communion, especially if a majority of other Anglicans around the world recognise it as part of our fellowship. Anglican identity is fundamentally a matter of certain theological commitments, anchored ultimately in the authority of Scripture as God’s word written (Article 20), together with an agreement to operate with a common pattern of church government (the threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons). The Anglican Church has always been confessional in nature, as witnessed by the history of subscription to the Articles, which began in the time of Cranmer and continues around the world today. Ordination for Sydney Anglicans, for instance, still includes wholehearted assent to the 39 Articles of Religion.

Archbishop of Canterbury Sees Little Hope for ACNA Being Part of the Anglican Communion