Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lift up thine eyes, O watchman...

Lift up thine eyes, O watchman, the armies of the Lord
Are riding forth to conquest with buckler, shield and sword;
Glad tidings unto Zion, that valiant host shall ring,
And shout aloud, “Hosanna! The Lord, the Lord is King”;
And shout aloud, “Hosanna! The Lord, the Lord is King.”
 
What dost thou see, O watchman? What dost thou see afar?
“The gleaming of a banner, the rising of a Star.”
Then cry aloud, O watchman, with trumpet voice proclaim,
To all a full salvation, through Christ, the Savior’s Name,
To all a full salvation, through Christ, the Savior’s Name.
 
That radiant banner gleaming, that Star divinely bright,
Shall bear to every nation the blessèd Gospel light;
All kingdoms, crowns, and scepters, before the Cross shall fall,
And Christ shall reign triumphant, the King and Lord of all;
And Christ shall reign triumphant, the King and Lord of all.
-Fanny Crosby image

Friday, November 21, 2014

Anglican Unscripted Episode 139 - Rebooting Anglicanism


Nov 21, 2014

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, and Allan bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please donate at http://anglican.tv/donate

Rebooting Anglicanism without Canterbury.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Billy Graham: In Our ‘Lawless and Wicked Age; Grisly quotes from abortionists;...more

NC: More Magistrates Quit Over Same-Sex Marriage Issue than Previously Reported 
..."I explained to the judges that I could not continue to perform as a magistrate if it included doing something that was against my sincere religious beliefs," Kallam said at a rally supporting his decision to quit his job.

"I felt like to perform same sex unions would be in violation of the Lord's commands so I couldn't do that," said former Gaston Co. Magistrate Bill Stevenson after his resignation.

Time Warner Cable News has been able to determine at least 10 of the 16 magistrates who left last month, did so because they will not perform same-sex marriages.

"There were no offers to make any accommodations,” Kallam said. “I basically was told that you either do this or you will be suspended without pay and will then be dismissed."...

The Modern Supermarket Is a Miracle ...Sheer selection at the supermarket overwhelms. I was struck recently by the alarming number of items of whose history, use, and preparation I am completely ignorant. Pitted loquats are $3.19 a can, and whole lychees in syrup only two quarters more. Head cheese remains a mystery—and please, please don’t enlighten me. I have no idea what a yucca root is, but yucca’n get one for less than a buck a pound. I came home from the grocer’s a few weeks back and excitedly proposed to the dear wife that we work our way around the produce section and sample the unfamiliar wares. This culminated in my butchering a squishy, yellow, football-sized orb known as a crenshaw melon, which was underripe (how were we to know?) but still good...

Five quotes from abortion providers that show abortion’s grisly reality  For those of us who are active in the pro-life movement, and who know what an unborn baby looks like even at the earliest stages, it is hard to believe that so many people do not know that abortions often leave behind recognizable body parts. People really are uninformed about fetal development, especially in the first trimester. For example, this past May, pro-lifers responded with incredulity when comedian Sarah Silverman called unborn babies “goo.”

The next time one of your proabortion friends or family members makes a statement like Silverman’s, direct them to these quotes by three abortion clinic workers and two abortionists...

Billy Graham: In Our ‘Lawless and Wicked Age … We've Taught the Philosophy of the Devil  ... Reverend Graham’s commentary, first broadcast in August 1955, was published in the November 4,  2014 issue of Decision magazine, under the headline “Raising Children in a Godless Age.”

“Many Christian parents are becoming fearful that they cannot properly train their children in this lawless and wicked age,” and are asking, “What can I do with my son? My daughter?” said Rev. Graham.

“We are beginning to reap what has been sown for the past generation,” he said.  “We have taught the philosophy of the Devil, who says, ‘Do as you please.’ Behaviorism has been the moral philosophy of much of our education in the past few years.”...

New York, Great Lakes Snowstorm Leaves 7 Dead; More Snow Expected  A massive snowstorm has killed at least seven people and left many more stranded in their vehicles in Buffalo, New York, and affected several other Great Lake states, including northern Wisconsin and Michigan. Further snow is expected to hit Buffalo on Thursday, which was buried under six feet of snow and declared a state of emergency.

"This storm is an extraordinarily difficult situation, with snowfall that may break records. We are prepared, but we need residents to stay off the roads so that first responders can do their work and keep people safe," New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Anglicanism and women bishops: Hello ladies, goodbye Communion?

The Economist
November 19, 2014

Amid loud sighs of relief in many quarters, and muffled moans from a traditionalist minority, the Church of England has cleared the last procedural obstacle to the appointment of women bishops. At a meeting on Monday of the church's General Synod, only around 30 of the 480 people present raised their hands against the necessary change in canon law. This means that a woman could be wearing episcopal purple by the end of the year, and a lady could join the ranks of the "lords spiritual"—Anglican prelates who sit in the upper chamber of Parliament—by next spring.

This was a big but expected landmark; a Synod vote two years ago, in which the measure narrowly failed to gain the approval of lay delegates, looks in retrospect like a rather weird anomaly. The change was overwhelmingly favoured by the leadership of the church, the clergy (one-third of which is female), and by public opinion—which matters for a church which aspires to be spiritual voice of a whole nation, however diverse or secular. The feelings of low-church evangelicals who oppose women bishops have to some degree been assuaged by a promise that one of their number will be appointed to high office; among high-church opponents, quite a few have taken up an offer to join the Roman Catholic church. So hard-line opposition to ladies in purple has gradually faded.
 
If this week is remembered as an important one by church historians, it may be for a different reason: it was the moment when the archbishop of Canterbury finally acknowledged that the Anglican Communion, the global family of churches numbering about 80m of which he is head, may be impossible to hold together.  the rest

Islam comes to the National Cathedral; The closing of the Oxbridge mind; Three parent babies are unsafe, warns top US scientist...more

Islam comes to the National Cathedral
...Meanwhile, the Episcopal Church blindly, blithely thinks the cathedral’s Islamic service “demonstrates an appreciation of one another’s prayer tradition.”

In fact, it is against Islamic law for Muslims to hold Christianity or Judaism in the same regard the Episcopal Church is now showing Islam. Indeed, Islamic law “abrogates” (cancels) Christianity and Judaism as “previously revealed religions (that) were valid in their own eras,” but are no longer -- not after the advent of Islam in the 7th century.

I am quoting above from “Reliance of the Traveller,” the authoritative Sunni law book, which, in explaining the “finality” of Islam (page 846), asserts that it is “unbelief (kufr) to hold that remnant cults now bearing the names of formerly valid religions, such as ‘Christianity’ or ‘Judaism,’ are acceptable to Allah” post-Mohammed. (“Unbelief,” meanwhile, is an act of Islamic apostasy and punishable by death.) Clearly, no devout Muslim can show “appreciation” for the “prayer tradition” of a “remnant cult.” The sharia textbook is definitive about this point, adding: “This is a matter over which there is no disagreement among Islamic scholars.”

Not surprisingly, then, Ebrahim Rasool’s prayer-service statement conveys no interfaith reciprocity. Instead, he presses the need to “embrace our humanity and to embrace faith” -- not “our faiths” (plural). As usual, Islamic “outreach” is a one-way, non-ecumenical street.

But how could it be otherwise, according to Islam’s own teachings? Islamic expert Andrew Bostom notes that the Koranic prayers Muslims recite daily and specifically on Fridays “include, prominently, Koran Suras (chapters) 1, 87 and 88.” Sura 1, verse 7, he notes, is repeated up to 17 times per day by observant Muslims. It calls on Allah to guide Muslims “to the straight path, to the path of those you have blessed, not those who incurred (Your) wrath, nor of the misguided.” The former group (“wrath”) is Jewish; the latter (“misguided”) is Christian.

This is not exactly a “prayer tradition” that encourages the “appreciation” Episcopalians undoutbedly expect...

The closing of the Oxbridge mind. Better not to debate controversies such as abortion   Not for the first time, a college at a top UK university has completely shut down an attempt to organise a balanced debate on abortion.

Are the students running scared of possible credible opposition to their ‘abortion is the answer to everything’ mindset, by closing down all conversation with those who disagree, rather than engaging with it?

Or are they simply unaware (despite being – apparently - among the brightest students in the UK) that by shutting down any views other than their own that they are being both intolerant and utterly illiberal?...

Three parent babies are unsafe, warns top US scientist...‘The gap I’m talking about is about how much pre-clinical scientific work needs to be done before scientists or someone on the FDA would feel comfortable that we’re assured of safety.’

Asked whether it would be justifiable to permit the procedure to go ahead on compassionate grounds, Professor Snyder said it should not be allowed until all the extra research is completed.

He said: ‘We don’t know whether these changes will be passed to future generations.’...

Smile, You’re Speaking Emoji: The rapid evolution of a wordless tongue  ...It’s easy to dismiss emoji. They are, at first glance, ridiculous. They are a small invasive cartoon army of faces and vehicles and flags and food and symbols trying to topple the millennia-long reign of words. Emoji are intended to illustrate, or in some cases replace altogether, the words we send each other digitally, whether in a text message, email, or tweet. Taken together, emoji look like the electronic equivalent of those puffy stickers tweens used to ornament their Trapper Keepers.

And yet, if you have a smartphone, emoji are now available to you as an optional written language, just like any global language, such as Arabic and Catalan and Cherokee and Tamil and Tibetan and English. You’ll find an emoji keyboard on your iPhone, nestled right between Dutch and Estonian. The current set is limited to 722 symbols—these are the ones that have been officially encoded into Unicode, which is an international programming standard that allows one operating system to recognize text from another. (Basically, Unicode is the reason that the text message you send from your iPhone is legible to someone with an Android phone and vice versa.)... 😉

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Prayer in the Facebook Age

facebook-mobile-app-640x340
by Mark Bauerlein
First Things
 
 
Excerpt:
At the same time, the more you socialize, the less you follow Jesus into the wilds and prove the psalm’s promise, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer.” You build your life upon sand, and when the sand shifts, you add more sand . . . and more . . .
 
This may explain the findings of a recent study showing a correlation between Internet use and religious disaffiliation. Using data from the General Social Survey, computer scientist Allen B. Downey concluded that Internet use accounts for 20 percent (5.1 million people) of overall decreases in religious commitment since 1990. The science is fuzzier than Downey allows, but the trend matches our assumption that more social media means less prayer. People spend fewer minutes alone with God, and, more damaging, they acquire a sensibility less inclined to seek him out.

That disposition has hit most strongly among the young, the heaviest users. To reverse it, my advice to parents, ministers, and other mentors is not to speak to them of God’s greatness and love, nor to assure them, “God is with you always and best felt in solitude.” Young people trust most the evidence of their own experience. So, give them a spiritual exercise to perform before each session of social media begins. When you buy your ­seventeen-­­year-old a new tool, hand your charge three psalms, or the Sermon on the Mount, or the Nicene Creed, and say, “Here is your gift, but you may have it on one condition. When you sit down in Starbucks, before you open the tablet, you must recite these words. When you walk home from school, before you text your friends, you must recite these words. Say them slowly and mean them. It will only take a few minutes. I want your promise.”
the rest image

US Episcopal Church Has Adopted Pro-Muslim, LGBT Agendas

by Breitbart News
17 Nov 2014

Statements by the dean of the National Cathedral as it hosted Muslim prayers on the 100th anniversary of the last Caliph’s call for Jihad against nonbelievers have led to a closer look at the ideology of the Episcopal Church in the United States

As Breitbart News’ National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka reported, co-organizers of the Muslim prayer event at the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., included the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the All-Dulles Area Muslims Society (ADAMS) Center – all of which have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Breitbart News’ Jordan Schachtel interviewed Gary Hall, dean of the National Cathedral, who said he was not aware that the Muslim prayers took place on the 100th anniversary of the last Caliph’s call for Jihad against nonbelievers, or the infidel.

“I did not know that it was that anniversary,” Hall told Schachtel. “But knowing it now, it actually seems to be more appropriate to have an event that is on an anniversary of a hard time. …There have been atrocities on both sides. There have been extremists on both sides.”

The Episcopal church, as the Huffington Post reported in September, has been leaning leftward for over a decade, with greater emphasis on “diversity,” particularly in the area of human sexuality and now, in its outreach to Muslims. ... the rest (read the comments-wow)
As the Huffington Post reported, though her predecessor, Bishop Frank Griswold, chose not to litigate against parishes that left the church over its new emphasis on sexual “diversity,” Jefferts Schori spent millions of the national church’s funds in litigation against five dioceses, winning most of the legal battles.

Over Jefferts Schori’s term, however, Episcopal church membership has dropped by 12 percent. In 2009, the conservative Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) broke away from the Episcopal church over substantial issues regarding human sexuality and the authority of the Bible.
Woman Who Proclaimed Jesus During Islamic Prayer Service at National Cathedral: I Love Muslims ...Christine Weick, 50, at Washington National Cathedral disrupts first Muslim prayer service Friday afternoon and shouts, "We have built, and allowed you here in mosques across this country. Why can't you worship in your mosque, and leave our churches alone?"...

Monday, November 17, 2014

The place of real prayer...

Sunset at Singita - IMG_2666
The place of real prayer is the Christian's treasure chamber. He is there in the midst of the treasures of grace which God has given him, and it is there that God enriches him more and more; but in the secret place of the Most High where he dwells, he is rich in love, joy, peace, and all the fruits of the Spirit. ...Clarence Dixon image

Church of England formally approves plans for women bishops

17 November 2014

The Church of England has formally adopted legislation which means its first female bishops could be ordained next year.

The amendment was passed with a show of hands at the general synod.

The first women priests were ordained in 1994, but to date they have not been able to take on the Church's most senior roles.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the move meant the start of "a new way of being the church".

But divisions remain between Anglicans who feel it is consistent with their faith and traditionalists who disagree... the rest

NYT: Major Gain For Women In Church Of England   ...“Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together,” the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, said after the vote...

Church of England allows women as bishops in historic vote  ...The legislation includes some safeguards to manage resistance, including the introduction of an independent reviewer, who will oversee arrangements for parishes who want oversight from a male bishop...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 138


Nov 17, 2014

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, and Allan bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please donate at http://anglican.tv/donate

Anglican Communion may be beyond repair says Welby

17 Nov 2014
Author: Justin Welby

During the last eighteen months or so I have had the opportunity to visit thirty-six other Primates of the Anglican Communion at various points. This has involved a total of 14 trips lasting 96 days in all. I incidentally calculated that it involves more than eleven days actually sitting in aeroplanes. This seemed to be a good moment therefore to speak a little about the state of the Communion and to look honestly at some of the issues that are faced and the possible ways forward.

A Flourishing Communion

First of all, and this needs to be heard very clearly, the Anglican Communion exists and is flourishing in roughly 165 countries. There has been comment over the last year that issues around the Communion should not trouble us in the Church of England because the Communion has for all practical purposes ceased to exist. Not only does it exist, but almost everywhere (there are some exceptions) the links to the See of Canterbury, notwithstanding its Archbishop, are profoundly valued. The question as to its existence is therefore about what it will look like in the future. That may be very different, and I will come back to the question.

Secondly, Anglicanism is incredibly diverse. To sit, in the space of a few months, in meetings with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Primate of Australia, the Primate of South Africa, the Moderator of the Church of South India, the Primate of Nigeria and many others is to come away utterly daunted by the differences that exist. They are huge, beyond capacity to deal with adequately in the time for this presentation. Within the Communion there are perhaps more than 2,000 languages and perhaps more than 500 distinct cultures and ways of looking at the world. Some of its churches sit in the middle of what are literally the richest parts of the globe, and have within them some of the richest people on earth. The vast majority are poor. Despite appearances here, we are a poor church for the poor. Many are in countries where change is at a rate that we cannot even begin to imagine. I think of the man I met in Papua New Guinea who is a civil engineer and whose grandfather was the first of his tribe to see a wheel as a small aircraft landed in a clearing in the forest.

At the same time there is a profound unity in many ways. Not in all ways, but having said what I have about diversity, which includes diversity on all sorts of matters including sexuality, marriage and its nature, the use of money, the relations between men and women, the environment, war and peace, distribution of wealth and food, and a million other things, underpinning us is a unity imposed by the Spirit of God on those who name Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. This diversity is both gift and challenge, to be accepted and embraced, as we seek to witness in truth and love to the good news of Jesus Christ...
the rest at Anglican Ink

"How to Overcome Your Fears" by Queso


Nov 15, 2014

Queso deals with his fear of walking into a room...

An Emergent Episcopalian Shares Some Thoughts; India: Christians Beaten, Jailed; ISIS threatens attacks on US streets...more

Here's What Jonathan Gruber Got Right ...In this view, elites must redeem the country by sinning against democracy. Since politicians are always at least half the creatures of voter stupidity, they must be ruled by an outside, privileged form of knowledge. That’s where Gruber and company come in. In a superficial sense, they are the humble servants of elected officials, merely advising them as to the most likely consequence of their actions. In a deeper, truer sense, they are the real officials, able to exert decisive influence whether Mitt Romney’s or Barack Obama’s name is attached to a policy.

Yet the populist impulse to attack Gruber must be tempered by recognizing he has told us all something we don’t want to hear. If we obscure the significance of Gruber’s remarks in the name of public policy or of social science, we won’t understand how the world that produced him has gone so wrong. To grasp why Gruber is wrong, we must grasp what he gets right.

Although Gruber’s conclusion is unwarranted, his premise is correct: too many Americans are too uneducated, formally and informally, to govern well. Rather than some vague multitude, Gruber suggests two particular kinds of “idiots:” the kind conservatives are more likely to rail against, and the kind liberals are. Both are a problem for anyone who does not subscribe to the kind of abstract faith in democracy that would excuse so much “stupidity.”...

ISIS threatens attacks on US streets in Peter Kassig beheading video Islamic State militants have beheaded another American hostage, Peter Kassig, issuing a video claiming the killing on Sunday and warning the United States they would kill other US citizens "on your streets."...

DEA launches surprise investigation into NFL prescription drug use

India: Christians Beaten, Jailed in Hindu Extremist Attack Four Christians in Maharashtra state, one 70 years old, were released on bail today after more than two weeks in jail, accused of “rioting” when Hindu extremists attacked them and damaged two of their homes.

The incident in Kamseth village, Nasik District in western India began on Oct. 28 when the Hindu extremists told Christians to remit 300 rupees (US$5) for the celebration of the Hindu festival of lights, or Diwali. The Christians submitted half the amount, which the Hindus later angrily returned to them, area church leader Prem Barnabas told Morning Star News...

Albert Mohler: Sexual Orientation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ   I recently addressed a major national conference on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage” held by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. As expected, the conference was one of the most responsible and edifying meetings yet held of Christians concerned about these issues. This is exactly what would be expected of the ERLC and its leadership. The conference was both helpful and historic. I had the honor of delivering the opening keynote address entitled “Aftermath: Ministering in a Post-Marriage Culture.” The full text of my address will be posted here shortly. Subsequent to the conference, it became clear that the vast coverage of the conference in the national press raised some issues that need to be considered further.

One of these issues is sexual orientation. As I explained in my address, I had previously denied the existence of sexual orientation. I, along with many other evangelicals, did so because we did not want to accept the sexual identity structure that so often goes with sexual orientation. I still reject that notion of sexual identity. But I repented of denying the existence of sexual orientation because denying it was deeply confusing to people struggling with same-sex attraction. Biblical Christians properly resist any suggestion that our will can be totally separated from sexual desire, but we really do understand that the will is not a sufficient explanation for a pattern of sexual attraction. Put simply, most people experiencing a same-sex attraction tell of discovering it within themselves at a very early age, certainly within early puberty. As they experience it, a sexual attraction or interest simply “happens,” and they come to know it...

Not That Kind of Homosexuality?
...Revisionist arguments in favor of same-sex unions do not rest on gay affirming exegetical conclusions as much as they try to show that traditional interpretations of Scripture are unwarranted. That is to say, the only way revisionist arguments make sense is if they can show that there is an impassable distance between the world of the Bible and our world.

Of all the arguments in favor of same-sex behavior, the cultural distance argument is the most foundational and the most common (at least among those for whom biblical authority is still important). Although the Mosaic Law and Paul’s letter to the Romans and the vice lists of the New Testament speak uniformly against same-sex behavior, these texts (it is said) were addressing a different kind of same-sex behavior. The ancient world had no concept of sexual orientation, no understanding of egalitarian, loving, committed, monogamous, covenantal same-sex unions...

Female clerics lined up for bishop selection as Church of England prepares for historic change   A string of senior female priests have been given special training to put them in prime position to become bishops in the Church of England when a historic change in canon law comes into force, the cleric who oversaw the process has disclosed.

The Rt Rev James Langstaff, the Bishop of Rochester, said there had been a major push to ensure that any female candidates interviewed for vacant sees in the coming months have the same chance as their male counterparts, some of whom may have been preparing for the process for years...

An Emergent Episcopalian Shares Some Thoughts about the Church  Many of us in the emergent conversation have left institutional Christianity. We do not trust institutions and are suspicious of hierarchies. Our personal histories and experiences of Christianity are filled with the frustration caused by the disconnect between the truth claims of our religious Christian institutions and their actual lived existence. We have seen how much energy and money is spent in the maintenance of our institutions, instead of the mission of Jesus. Some of us have been traumatized by the church. These reasons, among many others, have caused many of us to leave institutional Christianity. But some of us in the emerging conversation have decided to stay.

I am what has been referred to as a hyphenated Christian, a person who has emerging sensibilities who remains part of the existing institutional church during this cultural upheaval known as the Great Emergence. I have found my spiritual home in the Episcopal Church, and as such, I can be labeled an “Angli-mergent.” Let me be the first to say that my experience isn’t normative. I have friends who have been so traumatized by their church experience that they may never return to the Christian faith let alone any community of Christians. I understand. And besides issues of trauma, some of us will (many already are) strike out and explore the Christian faith outside of any thing resembling established denominations. I have been on a similar trajectory before, and I want to share some thoughts from the hyphenated perspective with the hope that it could further the emerging conversation, while also helping those who are still looking for a spiritual home...sigh