Thursday, March 12, 2015

Discrimination revealed-UK Christians have to keep faith hidden; Americans Name Government as No. 1 U.S. Problem...more


Americans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans' mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place...

Discrimination revealed: UK Christians have to keep faith hidden ...Employees feel under increasing pressure to keep their religion hidden at work and they also feel discriminated against when it comes to wearing religious symbols or expressing their beliefs, the consultation found.

Christians in particular feel discriminated against.

Christians said they were mocked for their beliefs by colleagues who assumed they were bigoted.

Jewish and Muslim respondents also reported discrimination, such as finding it hard to get time off work, even as part of their normal annual leave, for religious observance. Others alleged that they were excluded from meetings, or passed over for promotion or recruitment due to their beliefs. They felt unable to raise the issue for fear of repercussions...

Islamic State ransacks ancient Iraqi city of Khorsabad  ...Islamic State militants have desecrated another ancient Iraqi capital, the government said on Wednesday, razing parts of the 2,700-year-old city of Khorsabad famed for its colossal statues of human-headed winged bulls.

Officials have said for several days they were checking reports of damage at Khorsabad following attacks on the cities of Nineveh, Nimrud and Hatra by the Islamist radicals who control much of northern Iraq...

From Lesbianism to Complementarianism ...Though my soul was saved, and my clothing and affections had begun to change, my mind sill needed to be renewed. And my relationship with the “stronger armed-wrestling lover” was the beginning of my walk to complementarianism. I had started embracing God’s will for my life in regards to my sexuality, which in turn forced me to wrestle with the nuances of manhood and womanhood...

The U.S. scores dismally when compared with other advanced nations on literacy, numeracy...and problem solving

Albert Mohler: The Integrity of Words and Our Confession of Faith

Trinity Church Pulpit Detail: Holly on Martin Luther's Bible (Boston, MA)
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Excerpt:

Theological education is a deadly serious business. The stakes are so high. A theological seminary that serves faithfully will be a source of health and life for the church, but an unfaithful seminary will set loose a torrent of trouble, untruth, and sickness upon Christ’s people. Inevitably, the seminaries are the incubators of the church’s future. The teaching imparted to seminarians will shortly be inflicted upon congregations, where the result will be either fruitfulness or barrenness, vitality or lethargy, advance or decline, spiritual life, or spiritual death.

Sadly, the landscape is littered with theological institutions that have poorly taught and have been poorly led. Theological liberalism has destroyed scores of seminaries, divinity schools, and other institutions for the education of the ministry. Many of these schools are now extinct, even as the churches they served have been evacuated. Others linger on, committed to the mission of revising the Christian faith in order to make peace with the spirit of the age. These schools intentionally and boldly deny the pattern of sound words in order to devise new words for a new age — producing a new faith. As J. Gresham Machen rightly observed almost a century ago, we do not really face two rival versions of Christianity. We face Christianity on the one hand and, on the other hand, some other religion that selectively uses Christian words, but is not Christianity.

How does this happen? Rarely does an institution decide, in one comprehensive moment of decision, to abandon the faith and seek after another. The process is far more dangerous and subtle. A direct institutional evasion would be instantly recognized and corrected, if announced honestly at the onset. Instead, theological disaster usually comes by means of drift and evasion, shading and equivocation. Eventually, the drift accumulates into momentum and the school abandons doctrine after doctrine, truth claim after truth claim, until the pattern of sound words, and often the sound words themselves, are mocked, denied, and cast aside in the spirit of theological embarrassment... the rest image

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Cost of Relativism; An African Ordination; Six Christians Murdered at Nigeria Church...more

Soldiers Kill Six Christians at Nigeria Church Upset that watchmen of a Catholic Church in Kaduna state on Sunday (March 8) set up a road-block as a security measure, Nigerian soldiers killed five church members, eyewitnesses said.

Shortly after opening fire on St. Peter's Catholic church in Gidan-Waya, the soldiers shot and killed a Christian from another church as he returned to his home near the site in the Jama'a Local Government Area of southern Kaduna, they said. In the clash that ensued between soldiers and area residents, a soldier was reportedly killed an several people were injured...

ISIS’s Sledgehammer Against Civilization
 Scenes of Islamic State mauls smashing ancient statues—one a winged bull from ninth century, B.C. Assyria—in the museum of Iraq’s northern city of Mosul and in the ancient city of Nimrud, reveal a new and profound dimension in radical Islam’s twenty-first century war on world civilization. When the slaughter, enslavement, and genocidal designs on other religious groups are joined by culturally catastrophic destruction of non-Islamic arts and artifacts, then the world faces a fully totalitarian enemy whose rationale is directly declared: “Oh, Muslims, these artifacts that are behind me were idols and gods who lived centuries ago [and were] worshipped instead of Allah,” the smasher said to the camera. “Our Prophet,” he continued, “ordered us to remove all these statues as his followers did when they conquered nations.”...

David Brooks: The Cost of Relativism
 ...The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.

Reintroducing norms will require, first, a moral vocabulary. These norms weren’t destroyed because of people with bad values. They were destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refused to assert that one way of behaving was better than another. People got out of the habit of setting standards or understanding how they were set.

Next it will require holding people responsible. People born into the most chaotic situations can still be asked the same questions: Are you living for short-term pleasure or long-term good? Are you living for yourself or for your children? Do you have the freedom of self-control or are you in bondage to your desires?...

‘Star Wars’ to Introduce First Gay Character ...Del Rey Books editor Shelly Shapiro has revealed that the upcoming Star Wars novel Lords Of The Sith, written by Paul S. Kemp, will introduce the first canonical LGBT character in the world of the science fiction juggernaut.

Sci-fi website Big Shiny Robot reports the upcoming novel will feature a character named Moff Mors, who is described as “an Imperial who has made some very serious mistakes but she is an incredibly capable leader.“ Moff also happens to be a lesbian...

A Glimpse into an African Ordination ...Each candidate was asked to quote 50 Bible verses. They did not falter or hesitate. Each one started then picked up speed and more zeal as they quoted. The audience started to respond right during the quoting. They stood up as the quotes rose to a fever pitch. Then they began cheering and taking pictures. The candidates were not just reciting, but passionately declaring the words of Scripture as the best news ever heard. It was better than football, because the audience felt every verse was a glorious goal...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Anti-Christian harassment around the world; What’s really behind Ontario’s new sex-ed...more

 Former SEALs chaplain could be kicked out of Navy for Christian beliefs ...Michael Berry, a military veteran and attorney with Liberty Institute a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases is representing Modder. He accused the military of committing a gross injustice against the chaplain in a letter to the Navy. He told me they will respond forcefully and resolutely to the allegations – which they categorically deny.

“We are starting to see cases where chaplains have targets on their backs,” Berry said. “They have to ask themselves, ‘Do I stay true to my faith or do I keep my job?’”

He said Modder is being punished because of his Christian faith...

Kidnapped Missionary in Nigeria Released The Free Methodist Church USA announced the release of its kidnapped missionary in Nigeria, Phyllis Sortor.

In a statement signed on behalf of the Board of Bishops of the church, David W. Kendall said the 71-year-old Sortor was released by her captors on Friday evening (March 6). Kendall said armed gunmen abducted Sortor on Feb. 23 (not Feb. 24 as previously reported) from Hope Academy school in Emi-Oworo village in the central Nigerian state of Kogi.

Saying Sortor was released into the care of authorities and Free Methodist Church leaders, Kendall thanked all in Nigeria and in the United States for efforts to secure her release. He did not state whether the church or Nigerian authorities paid a ransom...

Are LARCs [long-acting reversible contraceptives] the Solution to Nonmarital Childbearing?  ...What might happen should the government encourage a sustained period of sterilization among a poorer population already experiencing high rates of early premarital sexual activity, serial cohabitation, and sexually transmitted infections, but low rates of marriage? While the St. Louis study indicated that abortion rates (abortions per 1000 women of childbearing age) would probably decline, the abortion “ratio” (abortions per pregnancies) soared; in other words, the usual ratio is one abortion for every five pregnancies, but in the St. Louis project, there was one abortion for every pregnancy...

The CIA Campaign to Steal Apple’s Secrets ...By targeting essential security keys used to encrypt data stored on Apple’s devices, the researchers have sought to thwart the company’s attempts to provide mobile security to hundreds of millions of Apple customers across the globe. Studying both “physical” and “non-invasive” techniques, U.S. government-sponsored research has been aimed at discovering ways to decrypt and ultimately penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. This could enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad currently masked by encryption.

The CIA declined to comment for this story...

A global problem: Anti-Christian harassment around the world ...“The world’s two largest religious groups, Christians and Muslims, continued to be harassed in the most countries, and there was a notable increase in the number of countries in which Jews and adherents of folk religions were harassed,” the Pew Research Center said in a Feb. 26 report on trends in religion-related restrictions and hostilities.

Christian groups suffered social or government harassment in 102 countries in 2013, while Muslims faced similar problems in 99 countries. Jewish groups faced harassment in 77 countries, a seven-year high...

Florida Town Threatens To Shut Down Churches Who Violate Strict New Code  Pastors and parishioners across Lake Worth, Fla., are up in arms following a recent city decision to begin forcing churches to secure permits or risk hefty fines and the possibility of being forced to close.

According to recent reports, at least one church – which met inside a local coffee shop – was visited by a clandestine code enforcement officer sent to gather information about the gathering. Fox News released a portion of the officer’s report, which included the fact that he witnessed “what appeared to be a ministry in progress” complete with “people holding what appeared to be Bibles or religious books” and “an unknown man with a cross around his neck.”

Local authorities returned the following week, reports confirm, and informed Pastor Mike Olive that his congregation would have to leave the premises within a week, citing the absence of a permit as the cause...

What’s really behind Ontario’s new sex-ed    ...The sex-ed will teach kids that the homosexual relationship between “two mothers or two fathers” is ordinary. It will teach them to embrace various sexual deviations in the name of “accepting differences, being inclusive.” With ideas such as “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” it will teach them that one can be a boy on the outside but a girl on the inside. It will teach them that the dangerous and unhealthy practices of ‘anal and oral sex’ are biologically and morally equivalent to vaginal intercourse.

According to this vision, there is no right or wrong way to live and act as humans. It is a vision that is not only at odds with the sciences that study man, such as psychology, biology, and medicine, but it is also at odds with common sense, the wisdom of the ages, and with God’s own revelation to man. Human nature is not malleable and open to manipulation. Kids formed according to this false vision of man become hurt when they act in ways contrary to human nature. In turn, they can hurt others...

Here’s How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel ...Faith and culture will continue to collide in America. The culture wars, the growth of family, the success of missions, the prosperity of our great nation—the future rests on millennial evangelicals’ worldview. And that is cause for concern, because something has gone wrong with young evangelicals’ theology.

The millennial generation’s susceptibility to “feel-good” doctrine is playing a big part in America’s moral decline. Millennials’ religious practices depend largely on how the actions make us and others feel, whether the activities are biblical or not. For example, we only attend churches that leave us feeling good about our lifestyle choices, even if those choices conflict with God’s clear commandments. We dismiss old hymns that focus on God’s transforming salvation, love and mercy and opt for “Jesus is your boyfriend” songs. Or we contribute to nonprofits that exploit and misuse terms such as justice, oppressed and inequality because tweaking the language makes us feel more neutral, less confrontational.

Popular liberal evangelical writers and preachers tell young evangelicals that if they accept abortion and same-sex marriage, then the media, academia and Hollywood will finally accept Christians. Out of fear of being falsely dubbed “intolerant” or “uncompassionate,” many young Christians are buying into theological falsehoods. Instead of standing up as a voice for the innocent unborn or marriage as God intended, millennials are forgoing the authority of Scripture and embracing a couch potato, cafeteria-style Christianity all in the name of tolerance...

Monday, March 09, 2015

Anglican Unscripted Episode 166


Mar 9, 2015

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Each Episode Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please Donate

Muslim Radicalization and The Dark Future of Europe; Planet Fitness revokes woman's membership over her complaints about a man in women's locker room...more

Once I began thinking, reasoning, and examining my life, an extraordinary thing happened: I couldn’t stop. Reason led me to acknowledge natural law, which led me to begin rejecting some of my former ways of thinking and acting. Reason then led me to recognize God...

The Dark Future of Europe, by an Expert on Muslim Radicalisation   In a remarkable interview given just days after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, a British free speech advocate and expert on Muslim radicalisation gave his worrying analysis of the coming challenges facing Europe, on Islamist colonisation, and the politicians who through neglect or design have allowed it to happen...

The Night Prayer of the Church as a “Rehearsal for Death”  Some years ago I was addressing a group of young adults at a “Theology on Tap” gathering. I was asked by an attendee of some ways to avoid temptation. Among the things I offered was to meditate frequently on death, especially at night before going to bed. The bar got very quiet and everyone looked at me as though I had just been speaking Swahili. “What did he just say?…Could you repeat that?” Perhaps my remarks were the right answer but the wrong answer at the same time. In these modern, medically advanced times, those in their 20s don’t really relate to death as a concept or near reality. Meditating on death seems strange and foreign to most of them...

Leave It to Beaver, Sex and the City, and a Woman's Happiness ...In the early sixties, a landmark book, The Feminine Mystique, burst onto the scene. It claimed that women were NOT happy as housewives—at least they shouldn't be happy in that role! Those women who were content as wives and moms simply hadn't had their eyes opened to the extent of their oppression. Men had duped them to believe that a June Cleaver-type of existence was worthwhile and satisfying, when, in fact, such a role was subservient, and demeaning. As this feminist message spread, women in the sixties and seventies began to vilify Billingsley's June Cleaver ideal.

Fast-forward the tape fifty years. A whole generation has had its consciousness raised to believe the idea that homemaking and caring for family is demeaning to women. The June Cleaver "Leave It to Beaver" ideal for womanhood has been replaced with a Carrie Bradshaw "Sex & the City" one. We've denigrated the value of marriage, children, home, self-sacrifice, and morality, and elevated the value of independence, career, self-indulgence, and sexual freedom. And our marriages and families have suffered as a result...

Planet Fitness Revokes Woman’s Membership After Speaking Out About Man in Womens’ Locker Room ...“Planet Fitness is committed to creating a nonintimidating, welcoming environment for our members,” Gosselin continued. “Our gender identity nondiscrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.”

But Cormier says that she finds it ironic that instead of the man being addressed about the matter, she was the one who was reprimanded...

Anglican Primate Nicholas Okoh Preaches Detribalised Nigeria

Mar 9, 2015
Igho Oyoyo

The Bishop of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Diocese of Abuja, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh has called for a united and detribalized Nigeria, in order for the country to grow and developed to its desired height in the face of the challenges confronting it.

Okoh who made this call at the official flag-off of the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the church said that the challenges affecting the nation, which is as well affecting the church is the issue of tribalism and the absence of unity.

According to the clergyman, the issue of unity in Nigeria is what the church has taken upon itself to teach the people during the anniversary celebration, adding that it wants to unite Nigerians and make the issue of tribalism less attractive... the rest
“You will agree with me that we are in a country where we are not really united. If we are truly united, Nigeria would have made much progress. So, we want to emphasize it, we want to teach it and we want to make everybody accept it and give it as a gift to the nation and anybody who has gone through the teaching would have no difficulties in relating with anybody from any part of Nigeria.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Episcopal leader in spotlight after bishop charged in Baltimore hit-and-run

By Jonathan Pitts
The Baltimore Sun

Just over two months ago, when Heather Elizabeth Cook, a newly ordained Episcopal bishop, was involved in an accident that left a bicyclist dead, the tragedy made headlines around the world, while sparking controversy within and outside the church..

Cook — who was drunk at the time of the accident, according to Baltimore police and prosecutors — had been made a bishop despite an arrest on DUI charges four years earlier. The Dec. 27 crash raised questions about how the Episcopal Church, already split over dogma and facing steep membership declines, chooses its leaders.

And it has put the stewardship of the national church's presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, in the spotlight.

Jefferts Schori, 60, has headed the 1.9 million-member national church since 2006. Her tenure has been a period of major schism, and she has drawn criticism for what some say is her overly litigious response to conservative Episcopalians who have broken with the church over its official support of same-sex marriage and gay clergy.

Jefferts Schori, who presided at Cook's consecration Sept. 6, has faced criticism before — perhaps most notably when she welcomed a former Roman Catholic priest who was a pedophile into her home diocese without telling parishioners about his past.

Now, some Episcopalians in the Baltimore area have been asking how their diocese could have put forward a candidate it knew had a drunk-driving arrest without telling them. The selection committee that vetted Cook knew of the 2010 DUI on the Eastern Shore — though not all its details — and decided not to pass the information on to those who would vote in her election last May. the rest

A.S Haley: The Meaning of the Fort Worth Decision

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Excerpt:
...A partial summary judgment is one, then, that grants summary judgment, but only as to part of the whole case. Perhaps there were some claims raised by one of the sides that will require a jury to sort out the facts. The court cannot grant a summary judgment as to those issues -- while it is able to do so on the other claims in the case.

And that was what happened in the Fort Worth case. The parties each brought motions for summary judgment as to the issues of who controlled the diocesan corporation that owned all the real property, and whether or not there was any permanent trust imposed upon that property. As to those issues, Judge Chupp ruled that the trustees elected by Bishop Iker's diocese controlled the corporation, and that the corporation held its real property free and clear of any trust in favor of the national Church.

ECUSA and Bishop Iker each had additional claims against the other, however, which could not be resolved by summary judgment. For the most part, ECUSA alleged that Bishop Iker breached his "fiduciary duties" owed to the national Church, or converted property that was not his, or committed trespass, while Bishop Iker asserted claims against ECUSA for trademark infringement and damages.  These raised disputed questions of fact which would need to be tried before a jury. So ECUSA was not able to move for summary judgment as to its whole complaint; nor could Bishop Iker move for summary judgment on his whole complaint -- they both had to settle for motions for partial summary judgment, as to the facts that were undisputed, and as to just the claims that turned on those facts.

Now, however, that Judge Chupp has ruled in Bishop Iker's favor on the main claims, the lesser claims by ECUSA are, for all practical purposes, "moot" -- that is, they no longer matter to the outcome of the case. Because Bishop Iker is the rightful head of the diocesan corporation, then nothing he did with the corporation's property could ever amount to conversion, trespass, or breach of fiduciary duty. As just noted, however, there are still some claims to be tried on Bishop Iker's side. The judgment is only partial, and not final, as long as there are still claims which have not been resolved; an appeal may be taken only from a final judgment... the rest