Saturday, July 04, 2015

Happy July 4, 2015!

O God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come,
    Our shelter from the stormy blast,
    And our eternal home.
Under the shadow of thy throne,
    Still may we dwell secure;
    Sufficient is thine arm alone,
    And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
    Or earth received her frame,
    From everlasting, thou art God,
    To endless years the same.

A thousand ages, in thy sight,
    Are like an evening gone;
    Short as the watch that ends the night,
    Before the rising sun.

 Time, like an ever rolling stream,
    Bears all who breathe away;
    They fly forgotten, as a dream
    Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come;
    Be thou our guide while life shall last,
    And our eternal home.
-Isaac Watts
(picture by Raymond Dague)
"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." -2 Chronicles 7:14

Silencing: Oregon bakers fined, ordered to stay silent about Christian beliefs

Oregon bakers fined, ordered to stay silent about Christian beliefs   On Thursday, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa, were ordered to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple for refusing to bake a wedding cake. They were also essentially stripped of their First Amendment rights with a gag order that prohibits them from discussing how their Christian beliefs shapes their views on gay marriage.

“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian wrote. In short, the Kleins were ordered to “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for gay weddings based on their Christian beliefs.

"This effectively strips us of all our first amendment rights," they said on Facebook. "According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech. We will NOT give up this fight, and we will NOT be silenced. We stand for God's truth, God's word and freedom for ALL americans. We are here to obey God not man, and we will not conform to this world. If we were to lose everything it would be totally worth it for our Lord who gave his one and only son, Jesus, for us! God will win this fight!"...

Support the Klein family here.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Gag order on Christian bakers; Americans Don't Know Why We Celebrate 4th of July!

Oregon Official Silences Christian Cake Bakers Who’re Accused of ‘Mental Rape’ by Gay Couple Not content with trampling freedom of religion, Oregon authorities have now turned to freedom of speech, issuing a gag order to the Christian owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa forbidding them from speaking or writing about their Christian beliefs regarding same-sex marriage.

On Thursday, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian upheld a preliminary finding that sentenced Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Christian bakers who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, to a fine of $135,000 in emotional damages to the homosexual couple they denied service, but also added a new provision forbidding them to speak about their unwillingness to serve a gay marriage...

Americans Don't Know Why We Celebrate 4th of July!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Anglican Unscripted Episodes 191-192

Global South Statement on TEC marriage vote

Statement in response to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church resolution regarding same sex marriage

We are deeply grieved again by the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) Resolution to change the definition of marriage in their church canons in their current ongoing General Convention.

By this action, TEC has chosen by its own will and actions in clear knowledge to depart from the Anglican Communion’s standard teaching on human sexuality according to Lambeth Resolution 1:10. This TEC Resolution is another example of such unilateral decisions that are taken without giving the least consideration to the possible consequences on other provinces and the Anglican Communion as a whole, the ecumenical partnerships, the mission of the church worldwide, and the interfaith relations. This Resolution clearly contradicts the Holy Scriptures and God’s plan for creation as He created humankind as man and woman to complement each other physically and emotionally.

Indeed the church must provide pastoral care for all, whether heterosexuals or homosexuals. However the church should not alter the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, that was interpreted by the majority churches globally, to provide such pastoral care. The aim of pastoral care is to restore people to the bosom of God where they encounter His love and design to live a life according to His plan. We are against any criminalization of homosexuals, they are like all of us, need God’s mercy, grace and salvation. The church is intended by its Lord to be the holy leaven to shape society by its spiritual and moral values in line with God’s design. But sadly, by this action of TEC, the church gives way to the society to alter and shape its values. In other words the church is losing its distinctiveness as salt and light in this world.

“do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2)

This statement is approved by:

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis
Archbishop, Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa and Chairman of Global South.

The Most Rev. Ian Ernest
Primate of the Indian Ocean and General Secretary of Global South

The Most Rev. Bolly Lapok
Primate of South East Asia and treasure of the Global South

The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo
Primate of Myanmar

The Most Rev. Hector “Tito” Zavala
Primate of the Anglican Church of South America

The Rt. Rev. John Chew
member of the GS Global South steering committee, former GS chairman.

02 Jul 2015

⃰ The above mentioned GS Primates are the ones who sent their approval and amendments before posting this statement. We will add the names of those who will send their approval after. Here

Statement of dissent issued by bishops to gay marriage vote
The Bishops of Tennessee, Central Florida, Dallas suff, Northern Indiana, Albany, Springfield, North Dakota, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Ecuador Litoral, Haiti, Columbia, Venezuela, Honduras, and the resigned bishops of Albany, Texas, South Carolina, and the Dominican Republic (asst) have presented a statement of dissent today to the vote to authorize trial rites for the same-sex marriages and amend the canons to make marriage gender neutral.

A statement read by the Rt. Rev. Michael Smith, Bishop of North Dakota at the close of the morning legislative session on 2 July 2015 thanked the house for the "graceful" way in which the minority had been treated. He stated that when they were consecrated the signatories made a vow to "guard the faith" and unity of the church. They would continue to work within the Episcopal Church, but could not agree with the actions taken by their peers. They would honor the moratoria set forward by the Windsor Report and instruments of unity in the Communion.

The statement would be offered to other members of the House of Bishops and to Episcopal clergy and lay men and women to endorse.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said "the House was frateful for the way the [dissenters] had dealt with these issues, very grateful, thank you."

Added: Bishops Letter of Dissent on Same-Sex Marriage 02 Jul 2015
Communion Partner signatories:

The Rt. Rev’d John C. Bauerschmidt, Bishop of Tennessee
The Rt. Rev’d Gregory O. Brewer, Bishop of Central Florida
The Rt. Rev’d Daniel W. Herzog, Bishop of Albany, resigned
The Rt. Rev’d Paul E. Lambert, Bishop Pro Tem of Dallas
The Rt. Rev’d Edward S. Little II, Bishop of Northern Indiana
The Rt. Rev’d William H. Love, Bishop of Albany
The Rt. Rev’d Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of Springfield
The Rt. Rev’d Edward L. Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina, resigned
The Rt. Rev’d William J. Skilton, Assistant Bishop of Dominican Republic, resigned
The Rt. Rev’d Michael G. Smith, Bishop of North Dakota
The Rt. Rev’d Don A. Wimberly, Bishop of Texas, resigned

Other signatories:
The Rt. Rev’d E. Ambrose Gumbs, Bishop of Virgin Islands
The Rt. Rev’d Julio Holguin, Bishop of Dominican Republic
The Rt. Rev’d Alfredo Morante, Bishop of Ecuador Litoral
The Rt. Rev’d Jean Zache Duracin, Bishop of Haiti
The Rt. Rev’d Francisco José Duque Gómez, Bishop of Colombia
The Rt. Rev’d Orlando Guerrero, Venezuela
The Rt. Rev’d Lloyd Allen, Bishop of Honduras

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Anglican Unscripted Episodes 188-190

LGBT Episcopalians Celebrate “Disordering Our Boundaries”...other news

LGBT Episcopalians Celebrate “Disordering Our Boundaries” ...Viewscreens projected rainbow-colored Jerusalem crosses as the congregation sang an opening hymn to the “Wind of God.” An aspergillum-wielding Bishop Suffragan Mary Glasspool of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles sprinkled the congregation with holy water while a dove and colorful streamers circled overhead at the tip of a liturgical gizmo resembling a long flycasting rod.

“And now a word from the Prophet Louie,” a prayer leader introduced, beginning a video on the life of Crew. Following the video, the congregation was led in singing “Louie, Louie, Louie Hallelujah.”

Episcopal Church House of Deputies President Gay Jennings presented Crew with the House of Deputies Medal on behalf of his service to the Episcopal Church, which Jennings praised as “persistent, prophetic.”

“All I did was get in the way of the Holy Spirit, and she’s a fierce tornado,” Crew said in accepting the medal. Encouraging the assembled congregation to “be evangelicals for Jesus,” Crew emphasized his calling to open the church to groups which felt marginalized or excluded...

Archbishop of Canterbury: Response to the US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage   The Archbishop of Canterbury today expressed deep concern about the stress for the Anglican Communion following the US Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops’ resolution to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed.

While recognising the prerogative of The Episcopal Church to address issues appropriate to its own context, Archbishop Justin Welby said that its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships...

A.S. Haley: Sweet Poetic Justice for the Bishop of LA
  Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles, he of the forkèd tongue, has finally met with a degree of poetic justice worthy of his nefarious aims. I have previously reported in these pages the long and tortuous saga of the parish of St. James, Newport Beach, which had no stomach for the revisionist tendencies of either Bishop Bruno or his Episcopal Church (USA), and which voted in 2004 to leave the Diocese of Los Angeles...

Who Needs Greece When You’ve Got Chicago; Thoughts from the other side of the Obergefell decision...more

Thoughts from the other side of the Obergefell decision ...Was it once common for Americans to delay sex until marriage? Yes. Did they once avoid divorce if humanly possible? Did the law once lend its authority to chastity and the preservation of marriages? Yes. Unquestionably. But once the birth-control pill, legalized abortion, and the removal of legal sanction changed the calculus of consequence, Americans moved in a different direction en masse. It wasn’t a desire to be faithful to God and his design that sustained more traditional sexual behaviors. It was a flatly utilitarian calculation. Once that changed, America changed. I don’t think it was ever going to be possible to maintain the old consensus on marriage, including gay marriage, in a time in which sex is much more about pleasure than it is about conceiving children.

The change is almost like the plot of a sci-fi novel in which a sentient planet begins to exert an impact on human beings. Gay marriage seems almost like an ecological strategy of some green mega-mind. “A significant percentage of unions henceforth must not be fruitful. Thus, the male-male and the female-female relationship must come to represent a larger portion of potential couplings. This strategy will join the pharmocological and surgical methods.”...

...In any event, it’s no surprise that a federal education program is moving beyond assessing academic knowledge and into the realm of attitudes, mindsets, and dispositions. For years now, the federal government has openly advocated teaching and measuring the “appropriate” (that is, government-approved) mindsets for students. The concept is known as “social/emotional learning,” or SEL...

Who Needs Greece When You’ve Got Chicago?
The “internal contradictions” of socialism are now becoming distressingly external. Surprise!

The Chicago Board of Education made its pension payment on schedule Tuesday, but at a cost — massive layoffs. The meet the $634 million obligation, the board used a combination of borrowed money, $200 million dollars in cuts and layoffs it promised before talks with the Chicago Teachers Union broke down last week.

The board is expected to lay off 1,400 employees, and Interim Schools CEO Jesse Ruiz said in a statement that classrooms will be impacted. “As we have said, CPS could not make the payment and keep cuts away from the classroom,” he said.

FBI investigating 11 attacks on San Francisco-area Internet lines The FBI is investigating at least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California's San Francisco Bay Area dating back a year, including one early Tuesday morning.

Agents confirm the latest attack disrupted Internet service for businesses and residential customers in and around Sacramento, the state's capital.

FBI agents declined to specify how significantly the attack affected customers, citing the ongoing investigation. In Tuesday's attack, someone broke into an underground vault and cut three fiber-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based service providers Level 3 and Zayo...

The Gospel According to Pixar   ...Good stories, of course, draw on familiar themes and story arcs that audiences connect with easily, even if they’re not necessarily the "target audience." Good stories point to truths beyond the story itself.

Pixar movies touch our hearts precisely because they tap into deep truths.

As you may already know, Pixar's movie catalog offers plenty of spiritual messages we can identify. Unfortunately, we can't look at all of them. So here are four examples from recent films, including this weekend's Inside Out—don't worry, I won't spoil anything...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The bible is one of God's greatest love gifts to you...

Bible time
The bible is one of God's greatest love gifts to you. It is the world's greatest literary treasure. It is the foundation of the church and your faith. But there is always the danger that you may forget how personally God wants to give it specifically to you. He desires you to use it daily as your spiritual food, your personal prayer resource, and your weapon for spiritual conquest. 
 ...Wesley L. Duewel image

A.S. Haley: Bishops Bless Blasphemy; Curmudgeon's Cup Runneth Over

June 30, 2015

One hundred and twenty-nine of the bishops in the Episcopal Church (USA) House of Bishops voted yesterday to embrace blasphemy as a "trial rite" for same-sex marriages in the Church. The blasphemy begins in the rite at the point where the celebrant says to the congregation (see p. 98 of these materials; my bold emphasis added):

Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of N. and N. in Holy Matrimony. The joining of two people in a life of mutual fidelity signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and so it is worthy of being honored among all people.
As I wrote in an earlier post, critiquing the rite when it was first proposed, the bold language evinces a category mistake of the worst sort, by equating the union of two people of the same gender to the holy union between Christ and His Church. (How can they be equated? In the former, which of the two men -- or two women -- signifies Christ, and which the Church?)

The bishops approved three other rites for trial use, as well, but they are just as blasphemous in invoking the blessing of the triune God on the union/marriage of a same-sex pair. It was God Himself who defined marriage as between a male and a female in Genesis 2:24, and thus to invoke the name of that same God in blessing (or celebrating) a pairing that is not one that he made provision for in Holy Scripture is a blasphemy on His name... the rest
But the bad news is that, for the reasons explained in this earlier post, the Episcopal Church (USA) will have to make the performance of same-sex marriage rites mandatory upon the request of a same-gender couple, in order to be able to retain its tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. So the opt-out clause will have to be removed from the Canons at the next General Convention.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dissenting Obergefell Justices Sound Alarm On Religious Freedom; Priest spit upon at gay pride parade...more

Advice from Chesterton: Don’t Take Down the Fence until You Know Why It’s There  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few days, it’s this: Most people—religious or otherwise—have no idea what marriage is, why it exists, and what we need it for. And what’s worse, they have no idea they have no idea. Some sound advice from G.K. Chesterton...

How to Protect Your Ministry from Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Lawsuits.

Fr. Jonathan Morris spit upon at gay pride parade
He also tweeted... The Episcopal Church sponsored float in gay parade with dancing man or woman (not sure) with short skirt and g-string. Something is wrong.

Milwaukee Art Museum's embrace of condom portrait of pope draws disgust The decision by the Milwaukee Art Museum to acquire and prominently display a controversial portrait of Pope Benedict XVI fashioned from 17,000 colored condoms has created outrage among Catholics and others who see it as profoundly disrespectful, even blasphemous.

Many suggest that if a piece were as offensive to other faith traditions or communities it would not be tolerated, much less embraced.

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki blasted the decision as insulting and callous. The museum acknowledged it has fielded about 200 complaints. A handful of patrons dropped their memberships; one longtime docent tendered her resignation; and at least one donor vowed never to support the museum financially again...

Dissenting Obergefell Justices Sound Alarm On Religious Freedom   ...Let’s remind ourselves that for years, now, the media have acted as cheerleaders for same-sex marriage. At best, they’ve ignored concerns from much of the country that redefining marriage to include same-sex couples could lead to grave threats to religious freedom. At worst, they’ve disparaged critics and skeptics of marriage redefinition as the worst kind of bigots. Many journalists, including some at the Washington Post, New York Times, NPR and other major outlets, put word out that they did not believe opponents of marriage redefinition needed to be covered fairly, shunning them as beneath contempt. In recent months, the media engaged in anti-religious liberty campaigns, hunting for heretics in state-based battles of sexual liberty vs. religious freedom.

With that brief reminder, let’s look at what each justice had to say about the clash...