Saturday, December 06, 2014

Archbishop Welby: “I’m absolutely not saying ‘Unity at all costs’ — quite the reverse.”

Anglican Mainstream
Dec 6, 2014
A full page interview with Archbishop Justin Welby  in The Times 6/12/14

“I think, realistically, we’ve got to say that despite all efforts there is a possibility that we will not hold together, or not hold together for a while,” the Most Rev Justin Welby told The Times. “I could see circumstances in which there could be people moving apart and then coming back together, depending on what else happens.”…………..

Learning to disagree without hatred has been a theme of the Archbishop’s ministry. He argues that “good disagreement” is vital (although some churches did not accept that). He did not want to see the same level of bitterness that had characterised some disputes in the past. There had been a danger, he admitted, of parts of the Anglican Communion drifting into that.

He could not ask people to give up views they strongly held. “But what you can ask is for people to engage with those with whom they disagree, not expecting to be convinced, or even to convince, but to understand the other person’s humanity and why they come to such a different view.”

Unity, however, could not come at the price of truth and integrity. “I’m absolutely not saying ‘Unity at all costs’ — quite the reverse. Truth and integrity matter hugely.” This was equally true for the Church of England, especially on the question of women bishops, approved by the Synod in November... the rest

Friday, December 05, 2014

"Puppy"-starring the Minions

Minions - PUPPY from Sydney Fernandes on Vimeo.

I love the Minions!

Anglican Perspective: Recovering Our Identity in Christ this Advent

December 5, 2014
Canon Phil Ashey

AAC Weekly Update

Survey About Relationships In America; Women and the Myth of Marriage Declining... more

WH mum on possible Israel sanctions   White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Friday would not discuss whether the Obama administration is considering sanctions against Israel for ongoing settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

"I'm not going to talk about any internal deliberations," Earnest said during a press briefing after he was pressed about discussions on sanctions against the U.S. ally.

While Earnest reaffirmed the strong bond between the two nations, he called the settlements "illegitimate" and said the U.S. was deeply concerned about the settlement activity...

'Unauthorized' Aliens With Jobs Outnumber Non-College-Grad Adults Seeking Jobs    Aliens illegally holding jobs in the United States outnumber all unemployed people who are not in management, professional or related occupations as well as all unemployed who are 25 and older and who do not have a college degree, according to an estimate of "unauthorized workers" published by the Chief Actuary of Social Security Administration and employment data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS only counts as "unemployed" people who have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.

“We estimate that the number of unauthorized workers grew from 4.8 million in 2000 to 8.0 million in 2007, the peak of the last business cycle,” the Office of the Chief Actuary of Social Security said in an analysis published in April 2013....

Will the Sexual License Mandate Destroy Christian Educational Institutions?  The predicament of individual Christians faced with legal or organizational requirements to acquiesce in the sexual revolution and provide goods or services that contribute to sin, reviewed in a recent article by the present author, is mirrored in a similar requirement being made on Christian institutions. The difference is that whereas individuals are threatened with loss of job, fines, or imprisonment, organizations are threatened with loss of existence if they do not conform.

The drama of institutions struggling to maintain their Christian identity in a hostile legal and social environment is now being played out by two excellent Christian collegiate institutions in markedly liberal jurisdictions, Gordon College in Massachusetts, and Trinity Western University, in British Columbia.

Not content with dismantling laws and policies which made Judeo-Christian morality the moral framework of society at large, social liberals now seek to deny traditional Christians the right to maintain their own private, voluntary institutions in which Christian sexual morality is enforced... 

Good News About Relationships in America: Findings from a New, Large, Nationwide Survey  A new and very large nationally representative survey of Americans is shedding much light on the religious and relationship lives, behaviors, and attitudes of adults. It’s called the Relationships in America study, and a report on it was released earlier this week from the Austin Institute. I’m a senior fellow of the Institute, and had a hand in the survey’s design and construction—approved by the University of Texas—and in editing the report whose key findings I’m about to describe.

As an early reader noted, the report is like a train wreck—it’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time. Take a look for yourself. While there’s more bad news than good, in this essay I want to dwell on the positive...

Women and the Myth of Marriage Declining ...With 50 years of experience behind us, what are the facts? What do the data show about women and marriage? About women and their need for men?

Ironically, while women are, in fact, not marrying as early and the decline in marriage is a reality, digging deep into the data shows that by the time women are in their 30s, about 70 percent of them are married (that’s only around 5 percent less than in the past)...

A.S. Haley: Is a Church that Sues Itself a Church?

December 5, 2014

The highly litigious Episcopal Church in the United States of America (“ECUSA”) has settled a lawsuit with itself, according to a press release from its rump group (which cannot legally be called a “diocese”) in South Carolina.

Shall we run that one by our eyes again? ECUSA has settled a lawsuit which it brought against itself.
OK, technically I should say: one arm of ECUSA has agreed to take money from another arm of ECUSA in settlement of a dispute the two arms had with each other, and that went to court. Is that clearer?

No? My, but you are being picky. Let me try one more time, in a bit more detail.

ECUSA is this epiphenomenon that is rather like the village of Brigadoon. One day or so you suddenly see it (if you’re lucky enough), and then for a very long time, you don’t. It arises (when it does), not out of its own doings, but of those of its constituent members.

Oh, you may think you see ECUSA far oftener than that, for if you follow lawsuits, ECUSA is perpetually in the news. Every time you see or hear of ECUSA in that sense, it is as the plaintiff in yet another lawsuit against one of its own churches, or diocesesthe rest
But stop and think for a moment: in the world of ECUSA, it is nothing for one arm of the Church to sue another arm of the same Church, and claim that it is a victim of bad-faith dealings by its fellow member -- entitling it to wipe out that member's entire net worth! I suppose that all the vestries and rectors whom ECUSA has sued personally for punitive damages and bad faith should take some small amount of consolation from the realization that for ECUSA, it's nothing personal, and nothing that ECUSA wouldn't hesitate to use against its own.

What a Church! What a Christian example to fellow Christians!

Anglican Unscripted Episode 143 - TEC Sues Itself

Dec 5, 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

00:00 TEC Sues Itself... and wins

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Men and women are at their noblest and best...

James Byron
Men and women are at their noblest and best when they are on their knees before God in prayer. To pray is not only to be truly godly; it is also to be truly human. For here are human beings, made by God like God and for God, spending time in fellowship with God. So prayer is an authentic activity in itself, irrespective of any benefits it may bring us. Yet it is also one of the most effective of all means of grace. I doubt if anybody has ever become at all Christlike who has not been diligent in prayer. ...John R. W. Stott image

Militants kill 36 Christian quarry workers in Kenya; More Pastors Embrace Talk of Mental Ills...more

How Pastors Are Passing the Leadership Baton
Every pastor is an interim pastor.

That statement may sound harsh or abrupt, but it’s becoming a catchphrase. Saddleback’s Rick Warren commented about the quote on Instagram, noting that it’s something his dad—also a pastor—said repeatedly. As William Vanderbloemen and I explain in Next: Pastoral Succession That Works (Baker Books), a day will come for every church leader when a successor takes his place.

And based on our research, the smartest churches address succession head-on. A church that doesn’t handle it well faces significant losses, sometimes to the point of no return. Crystal Cathedral is now bankrupt due in part to succession issues. The same is true of many once-prominent churches, like Earl Paul’s Chapel Hill Harvester Church, that are now gone. An outstanding long-term pastorate offers no guarantee that a church will survive, let alone thrive...

Al-Shabaab militants kill 36 Christian quarry workers in Kenya ...Militants from the Somalia-based al-Shabaab terror group have killed 36 mainly Christian quarry workers, intensifying security fears in much of Kenya’s north.

Witnesses said the attackers surrounded the camp in a remote district near the Somali border shortly after midnight on Tuesday, roused the sleeping workers and ordered those who could not prove they were Muslims to lie on the ground before spraying them with bullets.

It was the second such massacre in recent weeks. On 22 November, al-Shabaab militants stopped passengers on a Nairobi-bound bus and killed the 28 Kenyans who could not recite the Muslim statement of faith known as the Shahada....

More Pastors Embrace Talk of Mental Ills
...In a study by Matthew Stanford, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, 71 percent of Baptist pastors said they were unable to recognize mental illness. In another study, he found that while 55 of 70 seminaries offered pastoral counseling electives, directors said that students were often unable to fit them into their schedules.

People have knocked on the parsonage door of Eagle Springs Baptist Church at all hours to speak with Mr. Brogli about depression, domestic violence, self-injury, hoarding, drug and alcohol addiction, and bipolar disorder...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 142

Dec 3, 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

00:00 Is the church about to reunify?

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

From God Christ's deity came forth...

From God Christ's deity came forth,
His manhood from humanity;
his priesthood from Melchizedek,
his royalty from David's tree:
praised be his Oneness.

He joined with guests at wedding feast,
Yet in the wilderness did fast;
he taught within the temple's gates;
his people saw him die at last:
praised be his teaching.

The dissolute he did not scorn,
Nor turn from those who were in sin;
he for the righteous did rejoice
but bade the fallen to come in:
praised be his mercy.

He did not disregard the sick;
To simple ones his word was given;
and he descended to the earth
and, his work done, went up to heaven:
praised be his coming.

Who then, my Lord, compares to you?
The Watcher slept, the Great was small,
the Pure baptized, the Life who died,
the King abased to honor all:
praised be your glory.
...By Ephrem of Edessa image

Dutch doctors to approve organ donation euthanasia; Abortion Coverage in Obamacare Plans; ...more

Dutch doctors to approve organ donation euthanasia ...The astonishing thing is not that some ethicists approved of the notion of organ donation euthanasia. Crackpot ideas are a dime a dozen in bioethics journals. The astonishing thing is that the leading doctors’ group in The Netherlands is about to adopt this policy.

Can’t it foresee the appalling abuses which will take place? The most obvious is that patients with neurodegenerative conditions will feel immense pressure to end their lives so that others can live longer. Their lives will resemble the cloned young people who are raised from childhood to be organ donors in Kazuo Ishiguru’s novel Never Let Me Go. Their teachers and carers teach them submissiveness and resignation to their fate. Death is called “completion”; they have finished the task they were born for.

Similarly, poor Dutch people afflicted with ALS or multiple sclerosis will be constantly reminded that the longer they live, the more younger, more active people will have to suffer. Their lives will only be meaningful if they choose euthanasia. Direct pressure will not be necessary; they will get the message every day on the radio, on the television news, in the glossy weekend magazines...

Gay Marriage Acceptance by Finnish Lutheran Archbishop Prompts Mass Resignations From Church; Nearly 8,000 Resign Over Weekend ...As many as 7,800 people have resigned from the Lutheran Church in Finland since the parliament approved a law legalizing same-sex marriages on Friday, which was backed by Kari Mäkinen, the Archbishop of Turku and Finland.

Mäkinen reportedly said that he was "rejoiced" by the passage of the law, YLE News reported on Sunday...

Study: 200 Babies Are Aborted for Every 1,000 Births in America ...The report stated, “Among the 37 areas that reported by marital status for 2011, 14.5% of all women who obtained an abortion were married and 85.5% were unmarried. The abortion ratio was 43 abortions per 1,000 live births for married women and 373 abortions per 1,000 live births for unmarried women.”...

NYC: 78% of Abortions Were Black and Hispanic Babies ...The Abortion Surveillance report published by the CDC, for which the latest abortion numbers are for 2011, show there were 76,251 abortions in New York City that year.

For that total, 9,550 abortions were of white babies, which is 12.5% of the total; 35,188 babies were black (46.1% of total); 23,959 were Hispanic (31.4%); and another 7,554 “other” abortions, 9.9%, which includes Asians and Native Americans, as well as those babies not reported by race.

Abortions of black and Hispanic babies combined totaled 59,147 – that is 77.56% of the total abortions in NYC...

Pro-life Website Reveals Abortion Coverage in Obamacare Plans ...The website, Abortion in Obamacare, contains healthcare research conducted by the Family Research Council (FRC) and the Charlotte Lozier Institute. The organizations launched the site after a video surfaced of Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of Obamacare, calling the law’s lack of transparency a “huge political advantage.”

“By launching we are attempting to do what the Obama Administration has not been willing or able to do for the 2015 new enrollment,” Arina Grossu, director of the FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, said during a press conference Thursday. “That is, to inform Americans about abortion coverage in Obamacare plans and expose the great difficulty in obtaining this information.”

The new website attempts to shed light on the confusion over abortion coverage. But even the site’s authors found that difficult to do. The site’s homepage says the information on the site is limited “by the Obama administration’s failure to make abortion coverage information easily available.” And some insurance providers were reluctant to divulge information. Assurant Health and FirstCare Health Plans in Texas refused to disclose information. United Healthcare in Rhode Island never returned calls about its abortion coverage, instead transferring researchers to its Medicaid/Medicare office...

Vicar of Baghdad: Four Iraqi Christian Kids Beheaded After Refusing to Convert to Islam

-Telling ISIS Militants 'No, We Love Jesus'
By Samuel Smith
December 2, 2014

Four Iraqi Christian children, who were all beheaded by the Islamic State, refused to betray Jesus and graciously died in his name when the ISIS militants gave them one last chance to say the Islamic words of conversion, the Rev. Canon Andrew White revealed in a recent interview.

In an interview last week with the Christian Broadcast Network published on the Orthodox Christian Network, White, who is the only Anglican vicar in Iraq and is know as "The Vicar of Baghdad," detailed the plight of Christians in Iraq and recounted two instances when Islamic State's forceful conversions directly pulled the strings of his heart.

Speaking on ISIS' brutal mistreatment of religious minorities, White recounted the recent incident when ISIS militants beheaded four kids, all of whom were under the age of 15, when the kids refused to say that they would follow the Prophet Muhammad and told the ISIS fighters that they will always "love" and "follow" Jesus. the rest

Monday, December 01, 2014

During this Advent season...

During this Advent season as we celebrate the new relationship between God and his people, may that be mirrored in our renewed relationships with spouses, children, family and those near and dear to us. May we speak tenderly to each other amidst all the rush of the season and transform the shopping days till Christmas into the true Advent of Christ. ...Casely Essamuah image

GAFCON Chairman Archbp. Wabukala's Advent Letter 2014

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

Advent 2014

‘We look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.’  (2 Corinthians 4:18)

My dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, ‘the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end’.

During this Advent Season we shall be preparing for the joyful celebration of the first coming of our Lord Jesus, but let us also rejoice that we have the promise of his second coming in glorious majesty as Lord, Saviour and Judge, and be willing to stake our lives on what we do not yet see, the fulfilment of the promises of God.

It was this confidence that kept the Apostle Paul from despair despite all the setbacks and suffering of his apostolic ministry and with deep insight he cuts right through earth bound ways of thinking when he writes ‘For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal’ (2 Corinthians 4:18).

This is a truly radical perspective. It brings our lives into line with what is ultimately real and gives us a hope that is not defeated by immediate challenges and loss. This is true whatever the crisis that confronts us and we must continue to pray for those whose lives have been devastated by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, but the difference biblical hope makes is seen most clearly when persecution and violence are unleashed.

As I write these letters, I find that very often I need to emphasise the need to pray for and stand with our bothers and sisters who are experiencing heart-rending suffering as radical Islamic influence grows in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Here in Kenya, al-Shabab gunmen have just murdered twenty-eight non-Muslim passengers from a bus they ambushed in northern Kenya. In some parts of the world Christian communities now live with the constant threat of violent death. One of the most shocking attacks in recent weeks was the burning alive of a young Pakistani Christian man Sajjeed Mashah and his pregnant wife Shama Bibi in a brick kiln near Lahore. How do Christian communities manage to carry on in such circumstances unless they look to ‘the things that are unseen’? As we pray for those who suffer, let us resolve to be of the same mind and to be faithful to Christ wherever he has placed us.

The threat of atrocity is now truly global. Following the jihadist killing of a young soldier on duty at Canada’s national war memorial in Ottawa, I was moved by the gentle yet bold response of Bishop Charlie Masters, recently appointed Moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). He spoke of shock and grief, but also how the founding fathers had named the country and he said  “they called it the Dominion of Canada, based on Psalm 72:8 ‘he shall have dominion from sea to sea…’ and that was speaking about the Lord Jesus, that he has dominion in this country”. For Bishop Charlie, part of the response to this murder was national repentance to bring the country back to its founders’ vision. The dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ is a reality unrecognized by many, but one day all creation will bow the knee and the greatest service we can do for our nations is to win them for Jesus Christ by the proclamation of the glorious gospel of the Prince of Peace.

The Anglican Network in Canada is part of the Anglican Church in North America which was formed following our first Global Anglican Future Conference in 2008. Such steps of radical faith demonstrate our trust in the Advent hope of the ultimate triumph of the gospel. For the New Testament writers, the expectation of Christ’s return was an encouragement not to waver from sound doctrine or godly living, but on crucial issues such as sexual morality and the uniqueness of Jesus as Saviour and Son of God we are in a Communion where there is no longer a common mind.

Some say this does not matter. For instance, the ‘Bishops in Dialogue’ group after their Coventry meeting earlier this year claimed that we must maintain visible unity despite everything because ‘now we see through a glass, darkly’ (1 Corinthians 13:12). In other words, things will only become clear in heaven. This is a bad mistake. It is true that there is much about our future state that we do not yet understand, but God has given us the inspired Scriptures as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps.119:105). Our future hope cannot be turned into an excuse for compromise or silence when Scripture is clear. For Anglicans the collegial mind of the Communion on sexuality and Scripture remains the orthodox position as strongly reaffirmed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference which continues to call us to obedience and pastoral responsibility. Dialogue is no substitute for doctrine.

Despite these challenges, I am confident that our efforts are not in vain. The crucial contribution of GAFCON to the future is that in an increasingly confused Communion it has a clear confessional basis in the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which keeps the gospel at its heart. And where the gospel is, there will be life.

So may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ establish your hearts in all that is good, make you strong and courageous in his service and bring us all with great joy to that day when the Church Militant here on earth shall become the great Church Victorious.

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala,
Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council

Posted November 27, 2014

Galloping Toward Gomorrah; The Great Wage Slowdown; MN Plans To Eliminate Gender Distinctions For High School Sports...more

The key to Obama's struggle with white working class voters is not 'white,' but 'working.'  Working class white people don't like President Obama much. According to the latest Gallup poll, only 27% approve of him. That's 21 percentage points down since he took office in 2009.

A standard talking-point is that these voters don't like Obama because they're racist. But that assumes that the key word in "white working class" is "white." In fact, the key word is "working." After all, Obama isn't any blacker than he was in 2009...

The Great Wage Slowdown of the 21st Century ...The typical American family makes less than the typical family did 15 years ago, a statement that hadn’t previously been true since the Great Depression. Even as the unemployment rate has fallen in the last few years, wage growth has remained mediocre. Last week’s jobs report offered the latest evidence: The jobless rate fell below 6 percent, yet hourly pay has risen just 2 percent over the last year, not much faster than inflation. The combination has puzzled economists and frustrated workers.

Of course, there is a long history of pessimistic predictions about dark new economic eras, and those predictions are generally wrong. But things have been disappointing for long enough now that we should take the pessimistic case seriously. In some fundamental way, the economy seems broken...

Minnesota Plans To Eliminate Gender Distinctions For High School Sports   Minnesotans are currently facing a fast and furious onslaught by the transgender lobby, which seems to be dictating policy to the Minnesota State High School League. The MSHSL decides policy for all extracurricular activities in public, private, religious, and home schools. It’s currently in the process of outlawing all sex distinctions in high-school sports. On December 4, it plans to install an athletic policy granting transgender students the choice to play on either boys’ or girls’ teams.

In this scheme, there would be no accounting for sex differences in high school sports on the field or in locker rooms, bathrooms, and hotel rooms. It forbids any camaraderie rooted in the biological reality of one’s sex, or any consideration of the reality of the opposite sex. In fact, to affirm that reality would basically be a crime. So the policy would ultimately abolish girls’ and boys’ sports alike.

Minnesota is a major trigger point for this policy’s application across the nation. If you haven’t noticed, the trans agenda is being pushed throughout the nation in a media shock-and-awe style intended to have folks get with the program, just like the proverbial teenager who says: “Well, everybody else is going along with it.” For the moment, on paper there will still be the illusion of male and female teams under this policy. . . . except that anybody claiming to be transgender can play on either the boys team or the girls team. In other words, there will not really be boys’ teams or girls’ teams. Follow me? No?...

Galloping Toward Gomorrah
...There’s no way around it: New York magazine is mainstreaming bestiality as an alternative sexuality. It’s just different. Who are you to judge, you bad heteronormative person? How does his relationship with the mare affect you, huh?

One extremely tasteless and morally revolting interview in a leading magazine is not the end of the world. But it is a signpost. It’s not going to make everyone run out and get an animal boyfriend or girlfriend. But it does attempt to weaken an important taboo by giving a sympathetic forum to a deranged man whose behavior deserves the strongest condemnation, and who personally needs help. It’s important to pay attention to this for exactly the reason Robby George says. Ideas have consequences. If your idea is that all consensual sex is good, or at least beyond judgment, and that sexual desire is its own justification, then you have met your consequence in New York‘s anonymous zoophile. If you can stomach reading the thing, it’s rather remarkable how the perv defends himself and his desire using the language and reasoning we have all become familiar with in other contexts...

How the Sensitivity Movement Desensitized Catholics to Evil ...One of the first institutions to embrace humanistic psychology was the Catholic Church. During the 1970s, self-awareness psychology became an integral part of life at Catholic seminaries, colleges, and grade schools. Religious studies textbooks were rewritten to include a generous serving of the wisdom of pop psychology gurus such as Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. For example, in the Conscience and Concern series’ book on the sacraments, about four-fifths of the chapter on marriage consists of a lengthy excerpt from Carl Rogers’ book Becoming Partners: Marriage and Its Alternatives. What might those alternatives be? Well, basically, whatever makes you feel good about your self. According to Rogers, the governing priority in any relationship is not fidelity but self-growth.

The influence of psychology even extended to the textbook illustrations. Book Seven of the Benziger series used in those days contains 300 photos and illustrations, but only one depiction of Christ on the cross. Book Eight has no crucifixion scenes. Nor do the books for grade levels Six, Five, Four, and Three. Presumably the sight of Christ suffering and dying for our sins might remind us of our sinfulness—and that, from the humanistic viewpoint, might be an unhealthy blow to our self-esteem.

Whenever a Catholic doctrine, such as human sinfulness, collided with a psychological doctrine, such as human goodness, the tendency was to sweep the offending Catholic doctrine under the rug. Catholics were given the impression that salvation was bound up with self-awareness and self-acceptance. Self-acceptance, it was believed, would automatically follow self-awareness, because the more you learned about yourself the more you would discover about the wonders of your inner self...

Ed Stetzer: Why Do These Pentecostals Keep Growing?
There are parts of the globe where the greatest church growth is happening through the Pentecostal movement. One of the most asked questions is, “In a world where the church seems to be declining in many areas, how they are bucking the trend?”

There is never one reason why a movement succeeds. But some factors rise to the surface. Pentecostals will say they are growing because the Spirit is moving in a powerful way. I get that, and actually would affirm that as part of the reason, but from a sociological perspective, other things are happening and worth exploring.

I was recently asked (by Pentecostal leaders) what some sociological reasons might be. So, following that meeting, and in this brief post, I want to explore how the beliefs of Pentecostals actually promote and produce growth, compared to other, more “mainstream” groups...