Friday, April 17, 2015

A Communique from the GAFCON Primates Council

April 17, 2015

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. ~ Isaiah 61:11

This week, from 13th to 17th April 2015, we have met in London for prayer and fellowship in order to help chart the future of global Anglicanism. We are uniting faithful Anglicans, growing in momentum, structured for the future, and committed to the Anglican Communion.

Uniting Faithful Anglicans: GAFCON 2018

We are excited to announce that the next GAFCON conference will be in 2018. This global gathering now serves a critical function in the life of the Anglican Communion as it is an effective instrument of unity which is capable of gathering the majority of the world’s Anglicans.

Delegations representing every continent and all orders of the church (lay and ordained) will again be invited to share in this powerful time of fellowship, worship, and teaching. An organising committee comprising global delegates and local representatives of the likely location has been formed. A further announcement will be made when the details of the venue have been confirmed.

Growing Momentum: Newest Province and Fellowships

We were encouraged to hear reports from some of the newest GAFCON provinces and fellowships.

Province

At the beginning of our meeting, Archbishop Foley Beach of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America was unanimously elected to the GAFCON Primates Council. Archbishop Beach shared about the remarkable growth being experienced in North America, evidenced by the planting of 483 new congregations since 2009.

Fellowships

We celebrated the recent launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Australia (FCA AU), the newest GAFCON fellowship, led by the Venerable Richard Condie, Archdeacon of Melbourne. Over 450 participants attended the inaugural conference in March 2015 and this fellowship is now well positioned to contend for the faith in the years to come.

FCA UK and Ireland, formed at our initiative, continues to welcome and provide support for faithful Anglicans in the British Isles. We are particularly concerned about the Church of England and the drift of many from the Biblical faith. We do not regard the recent use of a Church of England building for a Muslim service as a minor aberration. These actions betray the gospel and discourage Christians who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution.

We support Bishop John Ellison in resisting the unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury, and in view of the Great Commission, we note the sad irony that this former missionary bishop to South America now finds it necessary to defend himself for supporting missionary activity in his own country. We continue to encourage and support the efforts of those working to restore the Church of England’s commitment to Biblical truth. Equally, we authenticate and support the work of those Anglicans who are boldly spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and whose circumstances require operating outside the old, institutional structures.

We remain confident in the great good of gospel ministry, and we see what happens when actions impacting the Communion are taken without the priorities of the faith once delivered.

Wherever they are and whatever their circumstances, GAFCON continues to unite faithful Anglicans under a common confession of Christ’s Lordship and a desire to make disciples.

Structured for the Future

We have planned for the expansion of our movement in order to touch the lives of many more Anglicans with gospel fellowship. As part of this we have identified a clear need for theological education and the training of leaders, especially bishops, and we have started work on both of these priorities. We also recognise an increasing need to be able to respond both to calls for affiliation from other provinces, and requests for support from emerging fellowships where the biblical gospel is under threat.

In order to carry this forward we have put in place the necessary operating structures, people, and financial resources. We invite all of our supporters to be involved in this work.

Committed to the Communion

We are not leaving the Anglican Communion. The members of our churches stand at the heart of the Communion, which is why we are committed to its renewal. We belong to the mainstream, and we are moving forward.

GAFCON embodies an inclusive and confessionally grounded orthodoxy in continuity with the Scriptures, apostolic tradition, and ethos of the Book of Common Prayer. There is much room for variety within the boundaries of Christian orthodoxy, but when the Gospel is at stake there can never be a middle way. As followers of Jesus we know that it is the narrow way that leads to life.

We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in renewing the Communion so that united by a biblical and apostolic faith we can defend and proclaim the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

Primates
The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop, Anglican Church of the Congo
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Nigeria
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya (Chairman)
The Most Rev. Tito Zavala, Presiding Bishop, Province of South America

Advisors
The Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Archbishop (ret.), Anglican Church of Nigeria
Emmanuel Kampouris, Esq.
The Most Rev. Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney
The Most Rev. Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop (ret.), Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Archbishop of Myanmar
The Rt Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester (ret.)
The Rt Rev. Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes (ret.)

Here

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pakistani Christian boy dies after being set on fire by Muslim extremists...more

Pakistani Christian boy dies after being set on fire by young extremists ...Nauman died last night and his funeral service was held today at 1pm (local time) in Gulshan Ravi, Shera Kot, in Lahore, CLAAS said.

In Nauman’s statement to the Superintendent of Police he said that two Muslims approached him on a motorbike and asked him about his religion. When he said he was Christian they started to beat him up and after he ran away, folllowed him and subsequently threw kerosene over him and set him alight...

Redefining Marriage Redefines Parenthood ...Indeed, Faust recounts how she felt the pressure to go along. “I remember how many times,” she wrote, “I repeated my speech: ‘I’m so happy that my parents got divorced so that I could know all of you wonderful women’,” Then she continues, “I cringe when I think of it now, because it was a lie. My parents’ divorce has been the most traumatic event in my thirty-eight years of life. While I did love my mother’s partner and her friends, I would have traded every one of them to have my mom and my dad loving me under the same roof.”...

"Conservative" Judicial Activism for Gay Marriage: With Amici Like These, Who Needs Enemies?  A group of distinguished conservative public servants, policy makers, and political operatives has signed an amicus brief saying the US Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage. They argue that this is the truly conservative position—but it takes quite a bit of logical contortion to accept their argument...

An education is a terrible thing to waste
...Having taught college students for some 36 years of my life, I cannot refrain from offering a few bromides. They emerge from a realization that grew increasing toward the end of my teaching career. So many students were wasting precious years of their lives and vast amounts of dollars attending college. They were drifting, mechanically taking courses that were of little personal interest. Few were taking advantage of the huge opportunities their colleges were offering. So many seemed unhappy and disengaged...

The federal debt is worse than you think-America's unsustainable debt path ...Of all the failures of recent Congresses and Presidents, none is more important than their failure to deal with the nation's long-term debt. Although Congress tied itself in knots trying to address the problem, the growth of debt remains, in the words of the Congressional Budget Office, "unsustainable."

Debt figures tell part of the story. When the Great Recession hit, the federal debt was equal to about 40 percent of GDP. But to fight the recession, Congress enacted an $800 billion dollar stimulus bill. Stimulus spending, combined with already enacted spending and tax policy, resulted in four years of trillion dollar deficits. As a result, the debt ballooned to 78 percent of GDP in 2013, almost twice the pre-recession level. The annual deficit is now declining at a stately pace, but by 2016 it will begin increasing again, and by 2020 under CBO's alternative fiscal scenario, we will once again return to annual deficits above a trillion dollars, thereby once again greatly increasing the national debt...

American Christians wear orange in solidarity with those persecuted for faith A number of campaigns to get American Christians to wear orange in solidarity with persecuted Christians are gradually gathering momentum.

In February, Islamic State (IS) released footage showing the beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians captured in Libya. The group were lined up, wearing the orange jumpsuits which have become a characteristic feature of their brutal videos.

Now, Christians across America are calling on the church to use the colour orange to identify with those who are suffering, to pray for them, and to donate to initiatives which support the persecuted...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 172: GAFCON Opportunities


Apr 14, 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 - http://anglican.tv/donate

A.S. Haley: Legal News from South Carolina and San Joaquin

16 Apr 2015   

Late yesterday the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a brief order transferring to itself the jurisdiction over the appeal filed by ECUSA and its rump group (ECSC) from the February 3, 2015 judgment and order against them entered by Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein. ECUSA and ECSC had themselves requested the transfer of the case in order to expedite a final decision in the case by the State's highest court, without having to wait for any intermediate decision from the Court of Appeals.

The Court's order declined further to expedite the case's briefing schedule, set oral argument in the case for September 23, 2015, and then added: "No further extensions of time will be granted." In view of the great number of parties to the case (Bishop Lawrence's Episcopal Diocese and thirty-six of its member parishes are all respondents in the appeal, represented each by their own attorneys), the Court's order relaxes some of the filing and service requirements, and urges the attorneys to compress the multi-volume record on appeal to just the documents necessary for meaningful review of the decision below.

This order will enable a written, final decision in the case to be rendered before the end of the current calendar year, and should be welcome news to those on both sides who want to put this litigation behind them, and get on with the real work of the Church.

Also, in the federal case in South Carolina, Bishop Mark Lawrence has asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to grant a rehearing, either by the three-judge panel that decided the case a few weeks ago, or else by all the judges of the Circuit Court sitting en banc (as a group).  The petition is based largely on technical distinctions between the panel's recent decision and earlier cases, both reported and unreported, from the Fourth Circuit which Bishop Lawrence's attorneys maintain are inconsistent with that decision. Whether or not the petition is granted, the underlying federal case should be dead in the water pending the outcome of the case in the South Carolina Supreme Court, for the reasons discussed in this earlier post.

Finally, in the San Joaquin case (which is currently also on appeal), ECUSA and its rump diocese had filed a motion with the trial court in Fresno that sought to have all of the real and personal property transferred into their possession immediately, without waiting for the outcome of the current appeal. But the trial court yesterday issued a tentative ruling denying that motion, explaining that it lacked the authority to do what the plaintiffs asked. Since plaintiffs did not request oral argument after the issuance of the ruling, that tentative decision now becomes the final ruling of the court on the plaintiff's motion, and the status of all the property pending the appeal will not change.

The entities that hold the bare legal title to that property (in trust for the Anglican Diocese and its member parishes) have filed their opening brief in that appeal. The ECUSA parties' brief is due to be filed by June 1, after which I shall have more to say about the appeal.  Here

Leaving home: The Future of the Faith in England

16 Apr 2015
Gavin Ashenden

The thought of leaving Canterbury, spiritually or emotionally, breaks my heart. I grew up there. I spent five years in the school built around its cloisters. I sang from its tower on Ascension days. I sat for hours at the entrance to the cloisters where Thomas a Becket was struck down for refusing the demands of the secular over the sacred. I took the Eucharist there in the bowels of its undercroft before dawn in the mists of winter. I was confirmed there when the saintly prophetic Michael Ramsey was Archbishop.

But Canterbury has sold its birthright. She planted the orthodox Gospel around the world so that scores of millions worship our adored Risen Christ, but has slid from under the obligations of the Apostolic faith she received, to a heterodox secularized shadow of that faith.

I often wonder how I could explain our present difficulties to St Augustine who came here to evangelise in 597. I think I would say that “just as you, blessed brother in Christ, are still struggling with the Arians, who are powerful in Eastern Europe at the moment, we are struggling with the new Arians. Just as you will overcome them by the 8th Century, we will too, by the power of the Spirit.

But our Arians have assaulted the apostolic faith not by a full on assault on the Holy Trinity, but by a sideways undermining of it. Jesus has become less than the 2nd person of the Trinity because he has been reduced by claiming he suffered from cultural ignorance; he is thought to be captive to a 1st century culture with its misogyny and restricted sexual ethics. Our heretics have decided that Jesus did not come to reveal the Father, because they have adopted a new secular and essentially Marxist idea, that gender is an oppressive cultural construct. And they join that idea to a second piece of Marxism, that ‘equality’ is the most important social value to strive after. The masculinity of the Father, and that of the Son, are for them unwelcome cultural constraints. The revelation of a hierarchy of glory inverted by love became an anathema to them, because they worship equality... the rest
And I think St Augustine might then say, “but are there no orthodox bishops left you could turn to?”

And the answer would be “Yes, many. All round the world there are faithful Archbishops and bishops faithful to what Canterbury planted in their cultures and hearts. They are called the Global Anglican Fellowship.”

“So then” he would reply, “your question is not where, but when – you re-align your allegiance to my successors?”

And that is the question.

 The Episcopal Church and the New Episcopal Church ...Now, three years later, we find General Convention once again considering patently unconstitutional actions. What is noteworthy this time is that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music is not only proposing these unconstitutional actions, it is also acknowledging that they are unconstitutional and proposing an amendment to Article X that would (presumably retroactively since the amendment could not be approved before 2018) give General Convention the authority it has attempted to exercise for years without constitutional mandate...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Archbishop Peter Jensen: Anglican Conflicts Coming to Denomination Near You

Jeffrey Walton
April 14, 2015

An orthodox renewal leader in the Anglican Communion has warned that the pressures which divided his family of churches are on the doorstep of every other Christian Church.

“What the Anglicans are suffering is already, or will be, the fate of us all,” warned Archbishop Peter Jensen. “Even evangelical and catholic denominations and movements will not be exempt in years to come. Do not think that you are living in a safe haven. You are not.”

The emeritus Archbishop of Sydney, Australia spoke March 18 at Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania for the school’s eighth annual Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. Lecture on Theology, Culture, and Mission. Jensen’s lecture was entitled “Beginning in Jerusalem: The Theological Significance of the 2008 Global Anglican Future Conference.” (GAFCON)

Speaking to an audience of mostly non-Anglicans, Jensen outlined the crisis within the third largest family of Christian churches, explaining why other Christians should take note, and what lessons they could bring back to their own Christian communities.

“This may all seem very remote to you,” Jensen noted. “Your church home may be comfortably orthodox – but so fast is change coming and so massive are the forces at play that no one is safe. You need perhaps to enter into our experience so that you can prepare yourself for what may come. You too may need to form a new confessional fellowship.”... the rest

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pakistan: Boy set on fire 'because he was a Christian'; 9-Year-Old Pregnant from ISIS Gang Rape...more

The Logic of Economic Discrimination  ...Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation powerfully summarizes this dynamic: “Businesses are saying they’ll boycott Indiana over this religious liberty law. So they want the freedom to run their businesses in accordance with their beliefs—so they’ll boycott a state that tries to protect that freedom for all citizens? Do they not see that the baker, photographer and florist are simply asking for the same liberty?”

Why should big businesses like Apple, Angie’s List, or Salesforce be able to discriminate against an entire state like Indiana, while Christian small-business owners cannot likewise decide who they want to do business with? If Apple can boycott Indiana, why can’t evangelicals boycott same-sex weddings? The reality is that such economic discrimination depends on a complex of freedoms, including but not limited to religious liberty. Also at issue in these debates is the fundamental freedom of association, and when government power is used to coerce economic exchange, there ought to be a convincing reason to do so. Otherwise, the presumption should be in favor of liberty and the burden of proof should lie on those who want to compel exchange...

Pakistan: Boy set on fire 'because he was a Christian' ...Nauman Masih has said that two men approached him and asked him about his religion. When he said he was a Christian, they beat him, and when he tried to run away they followed him, threw kerosene over him and set him on fire, Mehwish Bhatti, Pakistan officer for the British Pakistani Christian Association, told Christian Today.
The young man was training to be a tailor, and was on his way to the tailor's shop when the attack took place...

9-Year-Old Pregnant from ISIS Gang Rape, Could Die if She Delivers Baby ...A nine-year-old Yazidi girl who was released by ISIS last week is pregnant from 10 ISIS militants raping on her. The child is one of over 200 women and children that were released from ISIS captivity last week, according to The Christian Post.

A Canadian aid worker said the girl is too young to be pregnant and delivering a baby could kill her...

Obama administration: Catholic school upholding marriage is ‘sex discrimination’ ...Under this interpretation, Catholic schools are not allowed to expect their employees to live by the Catholic understanding of marriage. They are legally forbidden to uphold Catholic doctrine...

...Social media and television allow for abstraction, a stripping away of the humanity of both the target and the attacker. We are left with a form of spirit. It is why the perpetually offended are always playing to a sense of moral and spiritual guilt rather than actual guilt stemming from a person’s actions.

The reality is that Internet trolls are probably not crying into their lattes and, if they are, no one should listen to them because, by any account, they are irrational and unstable. People who should probably be placed in the psychiatric ward should not drive culture. Rather, these poor, darlings, the psuedo-offended, are plying for power, and often achiev it through mass manipulation with no bearing in reality...

Will Bible-Carrying Hillary Address Churches and Public Square? ...As soon as Hillary Clinton enters into a serious campaign mode — and this has been true for her husband’s campaigns as well as her own — the citizenry becomes informed that Mrs. Clinton is a “staunch Methodist” and bible-believing Christian. It is always one of the very first cards she plays in her attempts to “connect” with the
rubes and yahoosyearning masses whose causes she wants to champion, and whose votes usually factor in religion. I recall reading, during Bill Clinton’s campaigns, that Hillary kept “Christian tracts” in her purse for inspirational reading.

Possibly she does. Possibly Mrs. Clinton prays more than I do, or you do; I’m not going to gainsay any of that. But it is remarkable to me how her faith is always the first information that comes up in any new campaign. The cynic in me wonders about political expediency; the naif in me gives the benefit of a doubt. Perhaps, say my better angels, it comes up first because her faith really is a super-important part of her life, period.

So, over the weekend, concurrent with her unsurprising announcement of her candidacy for president, “Hillary is religious” was once again the very first card out of the play-pack, and presented this time in a handy listicle: 5 faith facts about Hillary Clinton, social gospel Methodist to the core...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Must Christianity change its sexual ethics?; The Potemkin Economy...more

Must Christianity change its sexual ethics? History may hold the key ...Over time, the effort to save the kernel of Christianity and leave aside its shell had the opposite effect. The distinctiveness of Christian teaching disappeared, and the shell of church rituals was all that remained. This is why, even today in some denominations, bishops and pastors and parishioners openly reject the core tenets of the faith but continue to attend worship and go through certain rites. The denominations that followed this course have since entered a sharp and steady decline...

‘Being raised by two mothers ruined my life’ ...She said: “And far from being a healthy, nurturing state of affairs, this arrangement — where I was caught in a destructive, triangular battle for my mother’s affection with another woman, while forced to watch helplessly as my father was emasculated and airbrushed from our lives — was simultaneously damaging and confusing”.

She added: “With so many people vying for space and prominence within the family, I know, from experience, they can become hotbeds for resentment and jealousies which can cause irreparable, long-term damage to a child.”...

The Potemkin Economy-the press has hidden the holes in the economy for months ...During the past several months, business scribes and broadcasters have largely pretended that all is well, constructing and maintaining a Potemkin-like facade of a prosperous economy, even as the vast majority of hard-number economic indicators turned in performances ranging from middling to awful. To prop up their false image, they concentrated most of the commerce-related news they delivered to low-information voters and low-awareness news consumers on the job market, the economy’s one supposedly strong area, and positive consumer and corporate sentiment surveys...

Mosul: Isis Kidnaps 120 Children from Local Schools, to Recruit them in 'Terror' Training Camps

By Johnlee Varghese
April 13, 2015

Islamic State (Isis) has kidnapped as many as 120 children from various schools in Mosul to recruit them to terror training camps run by the Sunni militant group, Iraqi media states.

Isis reportedly stormed a number of schools on Sunday in al-Qayyarah, al-Shura, Badoush and al-Baaj neighbourhoods of the city, located 400 km from Baghdad and loaded the children into military trucks. The children who were taken away from their respective schools in the southern and western districts on Sunday, are being trained at the Isis cub camps.

In Isis-controlled areas, the militant group has special training schools for children where they are "brainwashed" and desensitised.

In these Islamic boot camps, referred to as "Cubs of Islamic State" or "Cubs of al-Baghdadi", children are given weapons training and taught how to be a suicide bomber. And to graduate from the school, the Cubs of al-Baghdadi have to behead someone... the rest

'Yazidi women and children used as sex slaves, raped in public by IS fighters' ..."If you come and sit with the girls you will find different stories from girl to girl. A lot of them have been sold to Isis fighters, they have been raped in [...] public, and by more than two or three people at a time," he told the International Business Times. "They were tortured, beaten and subject to any type of violence."...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Upstate NY: How high taxes and regulation are killing one of the most prosperous states in the nation

William Tucker, American Media Institute
Friday, April 10, 2015

Upstate New York is becoming Detroit with grass.

Binghamton, New York — once a powerhouse of industry — is now approaching Detroit in many economic measures, according to the U.S. Census. In Binghamton, more than 31 percent of city residents are at or below the federal poverty level compared to 38 percent in Detroit. Average household income in Binghamton at $30,179 in 2012 barely outpaces Detroit’s $26,955. By some metrics, Binghamton is behind Detroit. Some 45 percent of Binghamton residents own their dwellings while more than 52 percent of Detroit residents are homeowners. Both “Rust Belt” cities have lost more than 2 percent of their populations.

Binghamton is not alone. Upstate New York — that vast 50,000-square mile region north of New York City — seems to be in an economic death spiral.

The fate of the area is a small scene in a larger story playing out across rural America. As the balance of population shifts from farms to cities, urban elites are increasingly favoring laws and regulations that benefit urban voters over those who live in small towns or out in the country. The implications are more than just economic: it's a trend that fuels the intense populism and angry politics that has shattered the post-World War II consensus and divided the nation.

Upstate New York, the portion that lies beyond the New York metropolitan area, has become “The Land That Time Forgot,” a broad swath of depressed cities and low-profit farmlands that stretches from Newburgh and Poughkeepsie in the Hudson Valley through the old manufacturing centers of Schenectady and Troy, across the Allegheny Plateau to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, all the way west to Jamestown, the city with the lowest percentage of college graduates in America.  the rest
Syracuse was devastated when Carrier, the nation’s largest manufacturer of air conditioners, General Electric and auto-parts manufacturer Magna International shuttered their last manufacturing plants in Onandago County. A Wall Street Journal survey of the nation’s 2,737 counties, shows that only nine other counties have suffered greater job losses per capita than Onandago [sic Onondaga] County since 2009.