Saturday, October 18, 2014

Albert Mohler: Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston—The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal

Friday, October 17, 2014

he scandal over the subpoenas issued to several Houston-area Christian pastors continues, even after the city refiled legal documents, removing the word “sermons” from the demand. They have clearly not removed the scandal from their city, and from the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. As the mayor’s own comments make abundantly clear, she stands at the center of the scandal.

When news broke earlier this week that the attorneys working for the City of Houston had issued subpoenas to pastors for sermons, I was fairly certain that some mistake had been made. When the actual text of the subpoena came to me, I could hardly believe my eyes. Here was a legal demand, sent to Christian pastors in the name of one of America’s largest cities, to surrender “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO (an anti-discrimination ordinance), the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

That subpoena is nothing less than ruthless thuggery, exercised by an elected public servant and her city attorney. And that thuggery has been done in the name of the people of Houston, Texas.

The controversy started when Mayor Parker, often described as the first openly gay mayor of a major American city, led the effort to adopt an anti-discrimination law that, among other things, allows transgender persons to file a complaint and bring charges if they are denied access to a bathroom. Several Houston-area pastors were involved in an effort to rescind the ordinance. They participated in a petition drive that would have put the question before voters, mobilizing their congregations on the issue. They were able to get more than the required number of signatures on the petition, but the city attorney ruled many of the signatures invalid due to technicalities. The city attorney intervened after the appropriate city official had already certified the petitions as adequate. This set the stage for the lawsuit, and the lawsuit set the stage for the subpoenas... the rest
At this point, it is five Houston pastors who are feeling the heat. But these subpoenas stand as a direct warning to every pastor, rabbi, minister, priest, and imam in America. You or I could be next.

This is how religious liberty dies. Liberties die by a thousand cuts. An intimidating letter here, a subpoena there, a warning in yet another place. The message is simple and easily understood. Be quiet or risk trouble.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Christians Can’t Accept Houston’s Intimidation Tactics Without Protest

By Mollie Hemingway
October 16, 2014

Now, something tells me that Mayor Parker and her cohorts don’t give a fig about whether they’re giving scandal, that is, leading others into corruption. But Christian pastors should care when politicians or other authorities are behaving scandalously.

Lee says, “So what?” to the subpoena. Here’s what: Christian pastors should not acquiesce in the expanding fight to destroy religious liberty and free speech. And they should stand up against laws and practices that might cause their brothers and sisters to be tempted to downplay their confession of faith or criticism of unjust governmental practices and unjust laws.
The public’s mostly negative response to the intimidation attempts seen in Houston was so pronounced that Parker now says she agrees with Alliance Defending Freedom that the subpoenas were overly broad. Heck, the whole thing’s so toxic that she’s even claiming she didn’t know about the subpoenas until shortly before she took to Twitter vigorously defending them. But don’t be surprised if these attacks on religious liberty and free speech don’t cause more people to question what we’re being forced to give up — and why — in exchange for expanding gay rights. the rest image

How Boko Haram's Murders and Kidnappings Are Changing Nigeria's Churches

Leading Nigerian evangelical says Christians won’t abandon the North.
In recent weeks, Boko Haram, the Sunni terrorist group in northern Nigeria, has doubled down in its ongoing killing spree, taking the lives of Christians by the hundreds and also declaring an Islamic caliphate in the region, local church leaders report.
In April, the group’s kidnapping of 276 girls, mostly Christians, from a school in Chibok drew global outrage. But 219 of those girls are still missing as are hundreds of other abducted children. The group has killed at least 2,000 Nigerians in the first six months of this year, according to Nigerian officials. In total, 650,000 people fled northern Nigeria to escape violence. Some 1,600 Nigerian Christians have died at the hands of Boko Haram and other groups, according to the Jubilee Campaign.
This week, at the six-month anniversary of the Chibok kidnappings, rallies have been held in Nigeria, the U.S., and other nations to press Nigeria's government to do more to rescue the kidnapped girls and suppress Boko Haram.
A leading Nigerian evangelical, Samuel Kunhiyop, author of African Christian Ethics,serves as general secretary of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), a 5-million-member denomination in Nigeria. ECWA has been doing frontline evangelism in Nigeria since 1954. In recent years, this group has planted hundreds of congregations in Muslim areas of Nigeria. Kunhiyop spoke with Timothy C. Morgan, CT's senior editor for global journalism.
Is Nigeria as bad as we read in news headlines?
It’s even worse. Hundreds of churches have been destroyed, over 50 in Kano alone. One church and ministry has been built seven times and destroyed seven times. Another has been built three times and destroyed three times. Pastors have been murdered in their houses. Another was murdered in the church during a prayer service.
The situation is much worse further north in Yobe and Borno states, the headquarters of Boko Haram. People have fled residences where their forefathers lived for generations. Christians have been the victims. the rest

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Anglican Unscripted Episode 130 - Archbishop Beach Investiture

Published on Oct 15, 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

00:00 Kevin and George discuss the response to Archbishop Beach's Investiture

Episcopal Church Continues Shedding Members

October 14, 2014
by Jeffrey Walton

A U.S. denomination that prides itself on inclusivity is including significantly fewer people in its 2013 membership and attendance figures.

Episcopalians have been captivated in recent weeks by an unfolding meltdown at the denomination’s General Theological Seminary, but statistics released this week by the Episcopal Church’s Office of Research reveal that the wider denomination is also struggling to find its footing. The church has faced steep losses since the early 2000s with a perfect storm of changing demographics, low fertility and departures by traditionalists.

The 2013 reporting year saw a continuation of the downward trend, with a membership drop of 27,423 to 1,866,758 (1.4 percent) while attendance dropped 16,451 to 623,691 (2.6 percent). A net 45 parishes were closed, and the denomination has largely ceased to plant new congregations.

The new numbers do not factor in the departure of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, of which the church continues to report over 28,000 members and over 12,000 attendees, despite the majority of South Carolina congregations severing their relationship with the Episcopal Church at the end of 2012. If South Carolina departures were factored in, the membership loss would be closer to 50,000 persons.

The decline offers contrast with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which reported growth in membership, attendance and number of congregations in its 2013 statistics this June. ACNA was formed in 2009 by departing Episcopalians who disagreed with the liberalizing direction of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church.

While the Episcopal Church has established a continued pattern of steady decline since the early 2000s, the unbroken trend is relatively recent: the church lost only 18,000 members in the 1990s, a plateau that dropped off about the time Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was consecrated the church’s first openly partnered gay bishop. Overall, the church has declined from a high of 3.6 million members in the mid-1960s to 1.8 million today, even as the U.S. population has more than doubled. The church has lost a quarter of its attendance since 2003...  the rest
The size of the average Episcopal parish has now dropped to 61 persons from 64 in 2012, while 69 percent of congregations now report less than 100 attendees. Only 4 percent of parishes report attendance of over 300 persons. Fifty-Three percent of Episcopal congregations report that they are in decline.

The Anglican Church in North America and the Anglican Communion

GlobalView from Bishop Bill Atwood
posted October 15, 2014

A “Communion” is a relational network of churches and people who are “in Communion.” What that means in the literal sense is that they have Eucharistic fellowship, in other words, they have Holy Communion together. In the case of Anglicanism, it has been expanded to include a number of institutional protocols, but the heart of the arrangement is the ability to share Holy Communion.

When the Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) moved away from Anglican faith and practice (especially in regard to sexual practice), many provinces broke Communion with them. The previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and the current one, Justin Welby remained in Communion with TEC and the ACoC. They also have put heavy emphasis on the institutional structures. When many people in the US and Canada separated from TEC and the ACoC, the institutional structures did not respond. The GAFCON Provinces were quick to recognize the new Anglican Church in North America. Very shortly after that, the regional fellowship called the Global South recognized the ACNA as well.

Recently, in response to questions from the Church of Ireland Gazette, the Archbishop of Canterbury stated that the Anglican Church in North America was not part of the Anglican Communion. It was a very bad week to posit that. Some very significant things happened that demonstrated that most of the Anglicans in the world do not agree with his assessment.

Shortly after the TEC House of Bishops met in Taiwan, a group went to West Malaysia. They announced that they had heard the consecration of a new assistant bishop was about to take place and they were there to participate. Leaders in the Anglican Church in Malaysia said, “You are welcome—to our country. You cannot participate in the service however, because of the actions you have taken to tear the fabric of the communion and you remain unrepentant. We are not in Communion with you, so you cannot participate in the service.” 

The visit was part of TEC’s initiative to demonstrate that they are fully part of the Communion and are in relationships with other Anglican Provinces. The tactic has been used in a number of places in Africa where they visit, are received with hospitality (because that is the culture of those people), and then take pictures to demonstrate that there are no significant issues even though there may be disagreement over things like sexuality.  the rest
Here’s the rub: The Anglican Communion is not going to re-align, it has re-aligned. It is true that the structures have not yet caught up with that reality, but the re-alignment has taken place. Increasingly, those who pursue the liberal agenda of TEC and insist on maintaining partnership with them are finding that the fruit of their actions will continue to be increased marginalization.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Discipline practically has disappeared...

My violin
We must face the fact that many today are notoriously careless in their living. This attitude finds its way into the church. We have liberty, we have money, we live in comparative luxury. As a result, discipline practically has disappeared. What would a violin solo sound like if the strings on the musician's instrument were all hanging loose, not stretched tight, not "disciplined"? ...AW Tozer image

Anglican Unscripted Episode 129

Published on Oct 14, 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

00:00 The Papal EarthQuake

Interview with ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach

posted October 14, 2014

The ACNA was formed in 2009. The investiture service for the Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach was held last week in Atlanta. Here

ISIS Threatens To 'Conquor Rome,'-sells Yazidi girls for $1,000; The Commodification of Children...more

ISIS Threatens To 'Conquor Rome,' Raise Black Flag Above Vatican  ...An excerpt from the hate-filled article reads, “Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader and kill him,” urging Muslims to “kill every Crusader possible.”

Report: Islamic State sells Yazidi girls for $1,000, Yazidi boys forced to train to become ISIS militants  A new report released Sunday provides more details on how Islamic State militants are inhumanly treating their captives of religious minority groups, more specifically the Yazidis. The report finds that militants are forcing preteens, teenagers and grown women into forced marriages and sex slavery, while forcing detained Yazidi men to convert to Islam and young Yazidi boys to train to become ISIS fighters.

On Aug. 3 when ISIS captured much of northern Iraq including the Yazidi religious minority town of Sinjar, they took hundreds of Yazidi men, women and children hostage. The report released by The Human Rights Watch  is based on interviews with 16 escaped Yazidi captives, dozens of family members of ISIS detainees and two current ISIS captives. The interviews shine light on the brutal living conditions and requirements for Yazidi people under ISIS captivity...

The decades-old treatment that may save a young Dallas nurse infected with Ebola  In late July, when it looked like Dr. Kent Brantly wasn’t going to make it, a small news item escaped Liberia. It spoke of Brantly’s treatment – not of the Ebola vaccine, Zmapp, which Brantly later got. But of a blood transfusion. He had “received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly’s care,” the missive said.

Now months later, Brantly, who has since recovered from his battle with the virus, has passed on the favor. A 26-year-old Dallas nurse named Nina Pham, who contracted the illness while treating the United State’s first Ebola patient, has received Brantly’s blood. It’s not the first time it has been used to treat Ebola patients. Recovered Ebola victim Richard Sacra got it, as well as U.S. journalist Ashoka Mukpo, who last night said he’s on the mend...

Christian college forms board to review policy prohibiting homosexual behavior  A Christian college in Massachusetts has announced that it will take at least a year to review its policy prohibiting homosexual behavior in light of scrutiny from a local accreditation board.

Gordon College near Salem recently issued a statement that included an outline from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) following its discussion as to whether the college’s policy violates the organization’s accreditation standards. The policy also forbids fornication, drunkenness, profanity, blasphemy, lying and other behaviors that are contrary to biblical law...

The magazine’s name, Dabiq, is derived from a town in northern Syria where, in 1516, the Ottomans defeated the Mamluks, establishing the last Islamic caliphate...
Excuse me, my baby is the wrong color: The commodification of children This latest story from our brave new world may blow your mind, so I'll read straight from the Chicago Tribune: "A white Ohio woman is suing a Downers Grove-based sperm bank, alleging that the company mistakenly gave her vials from an African-American donor, a fact that she said has made it difficult for her and her same-sex partner to raise their now 2-year-old daughter in an all-white community."...

Surrogacy: The twenty-first century’s new baby-making  Pro-surrogacy groups argue it’s time the law recognizes some women as breeders...

The Strange and Radical New World of 3-D Printed Body Parts  A few years ago, if a horrific infection ate your jawbone, doctors had to build makeshift mandibles from your fibula, a process that left you sliced open as surgeons painstakingly whittled away at replacement bone. Yech.

Today they can just hit Control-P: Based on MRI and CT scans of your busted-up body parts, hyperspecialized 3-D printers produce custom replacements, no sculpture skills required. As biomedical engineer Scott Hollister says: “We don't all have to be Michelangelos anymore.” And in October, engineers, medical device makers, and doctors will meet at the FDA in Maryland to discuss regulations for an industry that's growing—one printable bone at a time...

LGBT activists laud ‘new direction’ of Vatican Synod on the Family  The Vatican’s Synod on the Family is giving homosexualist activists the “crack” they have sought in the Church’s doctrine on sexuality, at least according to Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry.

New Ways, a group that has been banned by the Vatican and several US bishops, has been in Rome for the past week for their “alternate” synod, a series of meetings by those who want to see the Church accept homosexuality or otherwise change its teaching on sexual issues...

NYT: At the Vatican, a Shift in Tone Toward Gays and Divorce  In a marked shift in tone likely to be discussed in parishes around the world, an assembly of Roman Catholic bishops convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican released a preliminary document on Monday calling for the church to welcome and accept gay people, unmarried couples and those who have divorced, as well as the children of these less traditional families.

The bishops’ report, issued midway through a landmark two-week meeting, does not change church doctrine or teaching, and will now be subjected to fierce debate and revision at the assembly...

The 20 Photographs of the Week

Monday, October 13, 2014

Anglican Unscripted Episode 128

Published on Oct 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. Please donate at

00:00 AS HALEY and the SUPREMES

Forget The War On Christmas, The War On Advent Is Worse

Fourth of Advent Wreath
October 9, 2014
By Mollie Hemingway

...But what about the War on Advent? This is the war that really perturbs those of us who are liturgical Christians.

Let’s cover the basics. Christmas is one of Christianity’s most well known seasons. It begins — note, it begins — on Dec. 25 and lasts 12 days. Perhaps you have heard of the 12 Days of Christmas? That would be referring to the 12-day season of Christmas, which begins on Dec. 25, the Nativity of our Lord. Advent is the season directly preceding Christmas. It’s a period of preparation and prayerful contemplation. Advent begins on the Sunday nearest November 30, which is the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and covers four Sundays. The length of each Advent season can and does vary slightly. The hymns of preparation for this season are just wonderful — possibly the best of the church year — and include the Great O Antiphons, “Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending,” “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came,” “Savior of the Nations, Come” and many, many more.

Even though Advent is marked in this country by millions of Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians and many other Christians, it’s almost invisible in media coverage and cultural celebrations. And Christmas, in this country, “ends” on the day it begins for Christians, which makes things weird. The season after Christmas, by the way, is Epiphany. A traditional time of celebration was the night before Epiphany, the 12th night of the Christmas season. Perhaps you’ve heard of the play “Twelfth Night” by Señor William Shakespeare? There you go.

So if you really want to fight on the right side of the War on Christmas, you also have to fight on the right side of the War on Advent, OK? This will require something we’re very bad at in this country: a modicum of restraint and patience... the rest image
Advent is for preparation. Christmas is for partying. So that means Christmas parties should take place during Christmas. Christmas parties should not take place during Advent. You get 12 full days when hardly anyone is working to party all you want. Use them.

More pictures-Installation of ACNA Archbp. Beach

Pictures by Raymond Dague (Click to enlarge) 

Streamed live on Oct 9, 2014
Video Index

00:55:44 Primates Bless and Receive Archbishop Beach
01:13:48 Archbishop Beach's Sermon
02:37:36 Papal Greeting

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Archbishop Foley Beach Installation pictures

Pictures by Raymond Dague (click to enlarge)